J.J. Nelson, a speedy wide receiver and returner from UAB, made a pre-draft visit to the Lions’ facility on Thursday, per the team web site.
Nelson ran the fastest 40-yard dash at the Combine, clocking in a 4.28.
He looked more like a track star (he’s 5-foot-10, 156 pounds) than wide receiver but, according to reports, he did catch the ball well during the Combine drills.
The Lions will bring back wide receiver/returner Jeremy Ross but he will likely have to battle to keep his position.
New special teams coordinator Joe Marciano made a point Tuesday night at the Lions’ Town Hall that whoever returns must also have good blocking.
At UAB, Nelson was named a member of the 2014 College Football All-America Team by USA Today, CBS Sports and the Walter Camp Foundation as a kick returner.
Nelson led the nation in both kickoff return average at 38.3 yards per attempt and with four kickoff returns for touchdowns.
He was Conference USA’s leader in punt return average at 10.7 yards per attempt and the Blazers’ top receiver, with 35 catches for 655 yards and four scores and all-purpose yards with 1,820.
NFLdraftscout.com has Nelson ranked as the 31st best wide receiver available and projects him as a sixth- or seventh-round pick.
Wide receiver prospect Breshad Perriman visited the Lions on Wednesday. Another speedster, he’s considered a top 15 pick. He is the son of former Lions wide receiver Brett Perriman.
The Lions have the 23rd overall pick in the three-day draft which starts April 30.