Former Michigan tight end turned offensive lineman traded to Patriots

Tyrone Wheatley

Cleveland Browns rookie Tyrone Wheatley performs a drill at the NFL football team's rookie minicamp in Berea, Ohio, Saturday, May 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Phil Long)AP


Tyrone Wheatley Jr. is on the move just ahead of Tuesday’s deadline for NFL teams to finalize their 53-man rosters.

The former Michigan tight end, who transitioned to offensive tackle after his college career, was traded Sunday from the Cleveland Browns to the New England Patriots for running back Pierre Strong Jr., a 2022 four-round pick.

Wheatley could be a candidate to make New England’s roster after a strong preseason with Cleveland. The 6-foot-6, 320-pounder, who has yet to play in an NFL regular season game, received a stout 86.1 grade from Pro Football Focus for the two preseason contests he appeared in.

The son of a former Michigan running back and current Wayne State head coach has had an unusual path to the NFL. The ex-four-star recruit in the 2015 class transferred to FCS program Stony Brook after three years at Michigan, where he caught six passes for 61 yards and a touchdown in 23 games (three starts).

With the Seawolves, Wheatley, who was then listed at 265 pounds, played in 11 games and started eight, finishing with six catches for 36 yards. He then transferred to Morgan State to play for his father in 2019 but did not play.

He went undrafted in 2020 and didn’t receive his first NFL opportunity until switching to offensive tackle. Wheatley earned a spot on the Chicago Bears’ practice squad in 2021 and then signed with the Las Vegas Raiders during the 2022 offseason.

When he was cut by Las Vergas, he signed with the Browns’ practice squad, remaining there for the entire 2022 season.

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