Marvin Jones, wide receiver from the University of California, was selected by the Bengals in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He did well at the NFL Combine; he was tied for first for the bench press (among receivers), ran a 4.46 forty yard dash, and was at or near the top in the other events. He received a late invitation to participate in the Senior Bowl. He played well in the game, catching an 8-yard touchdown pass, helping the North to beat the South in the Senior Bowl.
Jones played 4 years at California. He started every game his final 3 years. He put up solid numbers in college; 156 receptions, 2,260 receiving yards, 13 receiving touchdowns, and had 6 games with 100 yards receiving or more. He returned punts and also ran the ball on occasion. He twice earned honorable mentions for the All-Pac-12 Team and also won 2 team awards; the Cort Majors Captain Award for being one of the team’s four captains and the Ken Harvey Award for the Player Showing Special Academic Commitment and Improvement.
Marvin was considered a solid wide receiving prospect in the draft and many considered him to be a steal for the Bengals in the fifth round. During the preseason, he has shown that to be true. His preseason numbers are solid; caught 2 passes of 40+ yards and he lead the team in receiving touchdowns (2) and receiving yards (150). He played faster than his forty yard dash would indicate, showed good hands, and showed an ability to get separation from a defender.
Bengals fans have a lot to be excited about when it comes to Marvin Jones, but some of it needs to be throttled back. He has a ton of potential and could be for this Bengals team what the late Chris Henry was for previous teams. Jones could be the guy used to stretch the field and take a lot of heat off of AJ Green. He is still raw though. He hasn’t gone up against top competition in the NFL yet either. The preseason is a great time to see young talent play, but it does not give the best representation of a player’s ability. That is not taking anything away from Marvin, that’s just to say that it is too early to tell.
He has the gifts needed to be a big time playmaker at wide receiver. He played well enough to earn a spot on the 53-man roster, but will probably be inactive on Sundays unless he is continued to be used in the return game. Marvin Jones has a huge upside and could be the #2 wide receiver before long.