Monday, May 12, 2014
A scouting report on Lions WR TJ Jones
By Michael Rothstein
Detroit went big on the outside in the beginning with tight end Eric Ebron, who is almost like a tall, hybrid wide receiver. The Lions, though, were almost definitely going to add another receiver during the draft.
They have long lamented the issues the team had in 2013 catching the ball and made some changes to the receiving group heading into this season, most notably releasing Nate Burleson (now injured again in Cleveland) and signing Golden Tate.
Then on Saturday, the Lions added another former Notre Dame receiver with good hands who can make plays -- TJ Jones.
To get some more information on Jones, I caught up with ESPN.com Notre Dame blogger Matt Fortuna, who covered him the past three seasons:
"Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly was effusive in his praise of TJ Jones entering last season, confident that the senior captain was capable of being a true No. 1 receiver," Fortuna wrote. "Then Jones went right out and proved his boss right, notching a 1,000-yard season and earning MVP honors from his teammates.
"Jones was a study in steady advancement throughout his college career, showing improvements each season as he evolved from a possession receiver to a big-play threat. His frame took a beating in college, as he dealt with injuries from his ankle to his shoulder, but he was the model of consistency, a player the younger receivers looked up to as they learned to deal with the nicks and bruises that come throughout the fall.
"It wouldn't hurt Jones to get a little bit bigger, something he's well aware of, saying in April that his focus the past few months has been to add weight without sacrificing speed. But Jones' attitude and pedigree have all the makings of a long, solid NFL career. His late father, Andre, was an end on the Irish's last national title team in 1988, and Jones has been leaning heavily on his godfather, Raghib Ismail, throughout the past five months."