WR T.J. Jones is one to watch for Detroit Lions this season

Is young wide receiver T.J. Jones ready to thrive for the Detroit Lions in 2016? There have been some positive early signs.

No matter what happens, the Detroit Lions are going to lose some ability at the wide receiver position next season. Calvin Johnson retiring from the team is obviously less than ideal and they are in a tough position trying to replace him.

While there is not one player who can come in and replace Megatron off of the bat, the Lions’ starting duo of Golden Tate and off season free agent signing Marvin Jones are solid. However, behind Tate and Jones there is a lot of unknown.

Jeremy Kerley was also brought in via free agency this off season, and he will likely enter the season as the Lions’ primary slot receiver. Corey Fuller and Andre Caldwell also figure to play a role at the position as well, but it is young receiver T.J. Jones who has the most upside to make an impact behind Jones and Tate.

T.J. Jones was drafted by the Lions in the sixth-round 189th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, but missed his entire rookie season with an odd back injury that never seemed to go away. While he did not compile many numbers, Jones did play in 10 games for the Lions last season, and really started to show some promise in the offense down the stretch.

Now, the former Notre Dame star is standing out in Lions’ OTAs. According to Kyle Meinke of MLive.com, was one of the stars on the field for the Lions in the first OTA opened to the media last week.

“When Detroit opened up practice to the media for the first time, Jones was one of the obvious stars,” Meinke said. “He made several terrific catches, and did not drop any passes or commit any other obvious mistakes.”

Jones also has a lot of fans within the Lions’ organization with both head coach Jim Caldwell and quarterback Matthew Stafford talking extremely highly of the young receivers. Stafford chose Jones as his breakout player in the Lions’ offense this season, and Caldwell is talking about his ability to step up and take on a larger role.

“He’s (Jones) a guy that does a lot of things well. He can return for you. He’s got return ability. But then also, he’s got a little scat-back ability. He can catch screens for you. He can take off and go when he gets a seam,” Caldwell said.

Nobody is expecting T.J. Jones to come in and replace the legendary Calvin Johnson, but he is an extremely skilled player who could certainly help fill that void in the Lions’ offense.

He has always been an extremely fast player, but he has seemingly grown as a route-runner and pure receiver in recent years under NFL coaching. Jones is an exciting talent who is going to make a difference in the Lions’ offense this season.

He is undoubtedly a guy to watch out for as training camp and preseason games begin later this off season.