The Lions made many fans quite happy by selecting Notre Dame wideout T.J. Jones in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
None perhaps more than me…
My sure to be wrong pick for the Lions is Tajh Boyd. Would like TJ Jones
— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) May 10, 2014
Jones comes to the Lions as a strong value at this point of the draft. While I did not do a formal scouting report on him, I did see Notre Dame in person against Oklahoma and had some other notes on him as well.
From my Pinstripe Bowl preview:
The Irish have four players headed to Shrine Game week as well. Wideout T.J. Jones is the most likely to make a big impact in the NFL. He’s quicker than fast but also fast, with light feet and the ability to plant and cut sharply without decelerating. He’s not very big, and that poses issues for Jones as both a receiver but especially as a blocker. He has the makings of a quality 3rd wideout in the NFL.
And from November, where I was once again prophetic:
Notre Dame WR T.J. Jones vs. Navy
Many Lions fans believe the team will take multiple wideouts in the upcoming draft. If they do, they could do a lot worse than tabbing Jones in the 6th or 7th round.
I wasn’t all that high on the senior wideout until I saw him in person against Oklahoma. As you can tell from my game notes, I came away impressed. I’m a sucker for wideouts with quick, crisp feet and good body control. Jones has both. He’s not a blazer up the sideline, but he knows how to change speeds and set up moves. He can make things happen after the catch too.
He measures in at an even 6 feet tall, but his arms are fairly short at just over 30”. He makes up for the short arms with very big 10” hands. By way of comparison, Stanley Jean-Baptiste is three inches taller but has just 8 1/2” paws.
Jones figures to challenge for the slot receiver role, though he can also play outside. With Ryan Broyles a major injury question, it’s a smart pick to find a capable ball catcher with some wiggle to fill that role.
This appears now to be a niche role, with Eric Ebron likely doing a lot of his work from the slot. He can also operate on end arounds and jet sweeps. There’s a chance for him to wind up being a 2014 contributor as a sixth-round pick. Great value by Martin Mayhew here.