T.J. Jones/Brandon Powell, WR, Detroit Lions
With Golden Tate being shipped off to Philly at the NFL trade deadline, a gaping hole needs to be filled on the Lions offense. Tate was leading the Lions in essentially every statistical receiving category this season. Tate’s 27.06% market share of the teams targets also ranks top-10 amongst all NFL players this season.
T.J. Jones is the presumed next man up who has been a member of the Lions since 2014. Jones has never had a solid role on offense but did net a career year last season with 30 receptions, 399 yards and 1 TD. Jones has also been primarily a slot man in his career with the team which is where Tate did most of his damage. Jones doesn’t offer any eye popping athleticism but his experience on the team is a big plus over undrafted rookie, Brandon Powell.
Powell was noted this week by Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett as the “heir apparent” to Tate’s role as Rotoworld reported. Powell notably led the Lions in the preseason in catches and receiving yards. It was also reported that Powell was personally groomed all Summer by Tate himself for this role.
While Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay are obviously the biggest winners of Tate’s relocation, there is plenty of room on this offense for another player to step up as Detroit has run one of the most impressive three-receiver sets all season. And as mentioned above, with Tate’s enormous market share of targets up for grabs, there is a great opportunity for one of Jones or Powell to become a threat for at least every week WR3 status going forward. This will be a situation to keep a close eye on and either receiver is worth a speculative add if you need help at wideout and space is available on your bench.