This Detroit Lions veteran wide receiver appears to have stepped up his game now that he is in his second season in the Motor City.
Early last year, free agent wide receiver Marvin Jones jr. faced the impossible task of replacing a legend in the Motor City. The day before the Detroit Lions signed Jones, All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson up and retired. Although it would be Golden Tate who would assume the number one role in Detroit, the signing of the former Cincinnati Bengal so quickly after the announcement sent a clear message.
By inking the former fifth round selection out of California to a hefty five-year, $40 million deal, the Lions officially moved on from Megatron. And through his first four games in Detroit, it appeared Jones was living up to the hype. The fifth-year receiver recorded 23 receptions for 482 yards and two touchdowns in that short, initial span.
But Jones’ production steadily dropped for the rest of his first season in the Motor City. The 26-year old ended up posting a decent 55 catches for 930 yards and four scores in 2016, helping the Lions return to the playoffs for the second time in three years under head coach Jim Caldwell.
In the offseason, Jones vowed to improve. He worked with future Hall of Famer Randy Moss, specifically on his lower-body strength, route running and yards after catch. And that extra work seems to have paid off.
Through 11 games so far this season, Jones has recorded 44 catches for 731 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s already doubled his scoring tally from last season with five more games to go. Against the Minnesota Vikings on Thanksgiving, Jones had his best game of the season. The talented receiver posted six catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns in the divisional loss.
In his first season in Detroit, Marvin Jones started out strong and fizzled out as the year progressed. In 2017, Jones is finishing strong having scored five times in his last four games. I fully expect the 27-year old wide out to post career highs in receptions, yardage and touchdowns by season’s end.