Jones is the son of Andre Jones, a starting defensive end on Notre Dame's 1988 national championship team. Andre Jones played six games with the Lions as a linebacker in 1992.
Two months before TJ's sophomore season began in 2011, Andre Jones died of a brain aneurysm at his home in Roswell, Ga.
“Football’s really in my blood,” Jones said in a conference call. “From the time I was born, my father played with the Lions, so I was a couple months old out on the practice field at the Lions practice with my mother.
“My godfather, Rocket (Raghib Ismail), who has been through the process, (as well as) my uncle, Phillip Daniels. They’ve showed me and allowed me to go through the process with knowledge that I would have had to figure out on my own if I didn’t have them to lean on.”
Jones caught 70 passes for 1,108 yards and nine touchdowns last season, leading the team in every major receiving category. That included five 100-yard games.
The six-foot, 189-pound Jones ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds at the Combine and the scouting reports rave about his route-running and hands. He'll likely play in the slot.
“Notre Dame used me in a lot of different ways, from being an outside receiver to being a single receiver to playing slot, both to the field and to the boundary, and sometimes being a running back,” he said.
“They really just moved me around as much as they could so it wouldn’t give defenses the ability to key on me.”
He joins a receiving corps that includes
He’s projected to play more slot in the NFL, but says he’s comfortable playing both.
“You know, the slot gives you a little more leeway to kind of play with your routes, to kind of play with your man-on-man coverage,” Jones said. “But at the same time, you can run crisp routes from the No. 1 receiver, that’s more one-on-one just back to basics of being a receiver.”
The Lions will also play first-round pick TE