There’s a history of the Cincinnati Bengals having a great pair of receivers. The eighties saw Cris Collinsworth and Eddie Brown, the early part of the new century had Chad Johnson and TJ Houshmandzadeh, now the team may have found a big-time player to pair with all-world receiver AJ Green. Marvin Jones is fast becoming a guy the Bengals can count on, and has all the qualities that could make him a star.
Jones was drafted by the Bengals in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He was considered a steal at that spot by many in the internet draft community who had witnessed his playmaking ways in college. He was knocked for his thin frame and inability to handle physical cornerbacks. He also played with a sub-par quarterback, which limited his ability to showcase himself. What teams passed on was a savvy, quicker-than-fast pass catcher with great hands, and an ability to catch balls that were anywhere near him. He was underrated, and has shown that he should have gone much earlier.
In his rookie season, he saw limited action, recording just 18 receptions for 200 yards, while playing in just 11 games. He did flash his talent and was expected to fight for the starting job going into 2013. Season two was a good one. He got three starts, and played in every game. With Green commanding so much attention, Jones thrived. He racked up 51 catches for over 700 yards and a whopping ten touchdowns, including a franchise record four in a single game. He also electrified fans along the way.
The Bengals are likely to begin 2014 with Jones as the #2 receiver. He certainly earned the distinction with his play last season. If he’s healthy for the whole year, he could build on what he did in 2013 and it could be special. Cincinnati has seen some great second receivers, and Marvin Jones could be the next in line.