Detroit Lions: Marvin Jones ranked a top-five NFL pass-catcher

Many seem to undervalue the contributions Marvin Jones makes for the Detroit Lions. Now, the receiver is finally receiving some much-needed recognition.

Expectations were set usually high for Marvin Jones Jr. when he joined the Detroit Lions back in 2016. The former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver signed a five-year, $40 million contract as a free agent to come to Detroit the very same week legendary wideout Calvin Johnson retired.

Although no one believed Jones would outright replace Johnson’s production, it was still unknown how the Lions’ offense would fare without the threat of Megatron on the field. Now, entering into the final year of that original contract, you’d have to admit that the move was one of the best free-agent signings made by general manager Bob Quinn, who also first came to Detroit back in 2016.

His first season in the Motor City, Jones recorded 55 receptions for 930 yards and four touchdowns while averaging 16.9 per catch. The following year, he posted the first 1,000-yard receiving season of his career, bringing in 61 catches for 1,101 yards and nine scores.

The last two seasons have been hindered by injuries for the now 30-year old veteran. Jones has missed a total of 10 games since 2018 but has remained effective when on the field.

Last year,  Jones recorded 62 receptions for 779 yards and nine touchdowns. That’s despite missing three games due to an ankle injury and playing with a backup quarterback under center for half the season.

In a recent article by Nick Shook, Around The NFL Writer for NFL.com, Jones was ranked as the fourth-best pass-catcher in the league in 2019. This was proven through Next Gen Stats.

Specifically of Jones posting a catch rate of 68.1 percent last year, 10.4 percent higher than his expected catch rate. Here’s what Shook wrote about the Lions’ veteran receiver.

“Jones overcame plenty — including the second-highest tight-window percentage (29.7) of any of these pass-catchers — to post our fourth and final double-digit positive catch-rate difference of 2019 (among receivers). His yardage total doesn’t say it, but he made plenty of plays amid disadvantageous circumstances.”

There are lingering questions about the future for Jones in the Motor City beyond 2020. Entering the final year of his contract in Detroit, and ending the past two seasons on Injured Reserve, it’s unclear if the Lions will choose to offer the nine-year veteran an extension or not.

Next: Lions 15 greatest receivers in franchise history

But the value Marvin Jones brings as a contested pass-catcher to the Detroit Lions is unquestioned. And his value to the team entering a pivotal season in 2020 is undeniable. And fans of the Lions didn’t need Next Gen State to tell them that.

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