Detroit Lions

T.J. Jones NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Detroit Lions WR

Sep 7, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver TJ Jones (7) makes a catch while Michigan Wolverines safety Jarrod Wilson (22) goes in for the tackle in the first quarter at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan McCrystalFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2014

T.J. Jones, WR, Notre Dame (HT: 5'11⅝", 188 lbs.)

Detroit Lions

Sixth Round: 189th Pick

Combine Weigh In
HeightWeightArmsHands
511518830 5/8"10"
NFL.com
Combine Workout
40-Yd Dash10-Yd SplitVerticalBroad Jump3-Cone DrillShuttle
4.481.5333"9'11"6.824.27
NFL.com

Positives

  • A polished route-runner who can help make up for his lack of size and speed by forcing defensive backs into extra steps in coverage.
  • Very reliable hands.
  • Quick to extend his arms to snatch the ball out of the air. 
  • Prototypical slot receiver—quick, reliable hands and polished enough as a route-runner to create space in just a few quick steps.
  • Does a nice job working against zone coverage and finding the open space to show himself to his quarterback.
  • Plenty of experience against top competition. 
  • Remained durable throughout his career. 
  • Has some experience on special teams—used as a punt returner as a senior. 
  • Consistently on the same page as his quarterback and was a go-to option for both Tommy Rees and Everett Golson when the play started to break down.
  • An intelligent player on and off the field. He was also a team captain as a senior.

Negatives

  • Size will likely limit him to a role in the slot in the NFL.
  • Spent four years at a D-I school, but made no physical development—listed at 6'0", 184 pounds as a high school senior—which raises some questions about his work ethic in the weight room.
  • Primarily played out wide late in his career in a very traditional NFL offense at Notre Dame, but lacks the size or speed to play that role at the next level and will need to adjust his game. 
  • Does a poor job adjusting to the ball down the field—struggles to track it over his shoulder and adjust to put himself in the best position to make the catch.
  • Not a threat in 50-50 situations—struggles to fight for positioning and doesn't have the height, size or leaping ability to come down with the ball consistently. 
  • Lack of height and short arms give him a very limited catch radius.
  • Doesn't show the body control or quick reaction skills to adjust to poorly placed balls.
  • Ran very well at the combine, but that same speed doesn't show on the field.
  • He's much more of a straight-line runner than a quick athlete.
  • Did not always step up against top competition—some of his worst games came when Notre Dame needed him most.
  • Relatively injury-free in college, but his lack of size raises some concern about his long-term durability.
  • Missed a game with a hamstring injury in 2010.
Collegiate Stats
YearSchoolRecYardsYds/RecTD
2010Notre Dame2330613.33
2011Notre Dame383669.63
2012Notre Dame5064913.04
2013Notre Dame70110815.89
ESPN.com

 

Personal Notes

  • Son of former Notre Dame and Detroit Lions linebacker Andre Jones. Nephew of former Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins defensive lineman Phillip Daniels. 
  • Godson of former Notre Dame and NFL receiver Raghib "Rocket" Ismail. 
  • Started multiple games in all four years at Notre Dame.
  • A 4-star recruit and ranked as No. 19 overall receiver out of high school by Rivals.com.
  • Originally committed to Stanford before switching to Notre Dame.
  • Given first name is Tai-ler.

 

Ratings Chart

Chart created at nces.ed.gov

 

Overall

Jones' route running and hands make him an ideal candidate to play a slot receiver role at the next level. However, his upside is definitely limited and he may already be at or near his ceiling.

In every physical aspect of the game—height, weight, speed, quickness—he's average at best, which limits his ability to gain an advantage against many NFL-caliber cornerbacks.

He has some of the tools necessary to carve out a role as a third option in the slot, but is probably more of a fourth or fifth receiver on the roster.

 

Draft Projection: Fifth-Sixth Round

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