Scott McMahon

The 3 Most Underrated Lions Heading Into 2014

Created on Jun. 19, 2014 5:00 AM EST

1. Jeremy Ross, WR/KR

Ross joined the Lions active roster on October 19 and immediately began to impact the special teams unit. The second-year specialist's average punt return yardage with the Lions ranked him first among all NFL punt returners with at least 15 returns, as he averaged 16.2 yards per return. On kickoffs, Ross’ average of 29.3 yards per return ranked him fifth in the NFL. His impact was no clearer than in the blizzard conditions of Philadelphia during Week 14 last season, when Ross accounted for all 12 of Detroit's points - on both a kickoff and a punt return touchdown.

Looking ahead to 2014, Ross will retain his kick return duties and will also have the chance to climb the wide receiver depth chart during the offseason. Behind Johnson and new arrival Golden Tate, the door is open for the rest of the Lions receiving corps to make names for themselves. With a good offseason and preseason, Ross could see a lot more offensive snaps and improve on the six receptions he recorded in 2013.