The 53 man Lions roster review continues with Wide Receiver TJ Jones in part 2 of the series.
TJ Jones was selected in the 6th round of the 2014 draft out of Notre Dame. He missed his rookie year with nerve damage after shoulder surgery but returned for the 2015 season. Jones is 6’0 and 188 pounds of pure steel and muscle.
Jones signed a four year 2.362 million dollar deal in 2014. He is signed through the 2017 season.
Cap hit: 536K
Fluid movement with good balance and body control. Releases cleanly and accelerates off the line. Excellent route runner. Sinks his hips and gets in and out of cuts cleanly to create separation. Adjusts to throws and has soft, reliable hands. Exhibits field awareness and is quarterback friendly. Quick and slippery after the catch. Comes from football family. Durable and experienced. Mature, likeable, intelligent team captain.
Could stand to add some body armor and improve functional strength. Average physicality. Lacks elite top-end speed. Not exceptionally explosive, nor is he a go-up-and-get-it guy. Limited kick-return experience.
Draft Projection and Actual
Rounds 4-5. Actual draft spot in Round 6.
Athletic, smooth-moving, polished receiver who runs crisp routes, has terrific hands and boasts NFL bloodlines. Balanced skill set, dependability and versatility will be valued at the next level, where he could be a productive No. 2 or No. 3 receiver in a sophisticated passing system. Arrow pointing up.
Jones produced 10 receptions on 18 targets for 132 yards and 1 TD. Jones played more during the second half of the season. Jones notched 13.2 YPC with three catches over 20 yards and five first downs. He showed some flashes and can play outside or in the slot. The former Golden Domer has special teams value with punt return ability as well. Jones is a good developmental WR prospect and fits well as the 4th WR on the roster.
Quotes around the league
“He matched my production. Why would Packer fans ignore how good TJ Jones is? They must be brainwashed too.”-Ty Montgomery
“Holy cow. They have TJ Jones too. I wish we had good WRs like that”- Mike McCarthy
“I’m burnt toast if I face Jones” Trae Waynes
“I used to touch myself to his big plays when I watched him at Notre Dame. Now he’ll kill my Bears and make me sad.” –MIBsy
TJ Jones is a 4th WR with a lot of potential. He runs good routes and can make big plays. He has return ability and has more experience entering year 3 in the league. Jones should produce for the Lions in 2016 and could beat out Jeremy Kerley for the slot WR spot (third WR). On that note, the next player in the series will be slot WR Jeremy Kerley.