The Detroit Lions' roster build had naturally been rooted in youth, leaving them with a very young roster. Wide receiver Marvin Jones, who was brought back to Detroit this offseason after two years with the Jacksonville Jaguars as the nominal replacement for DJ Chark, is a departure from that.
Jones, at 33 years old, is at least five years older than every other Lions' wide receiver. He has also outlasted every other receiver from his 2012 draft class, entering his 12th NFL season.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (subscription required) recently talked to Jones. He's clearly proud to have outlasted his draft class peers--upon apparently being told of it.
"It’s (an accomplishment),” Jones told Birkett. ” ‘Cause I never think of those things, especially while I’m playing, but that’s pretty cool, for sure.”"
Jones said he doesn't feel much different than he did 11 years ago, becase "I still do the same things I did,"
Lions' Marvin Jones is oldest wide receiver in the NFL
On roster cutdown day last week, Nathan Jahnke of Pro Football Focus dropped this.
Matthew Slater is a special teamer for the Patriots, with one catch in 15 NFL seasons. So Jones, at 33.5 (March 12 birthday) edges Adam Thielen and Randall Cobb (who both turned 33 on Aug. 22) as the oldest actual wide receiver in the league this season.
Going further in the interview with Birkett, it doesn't sound like Jones has any plans to retire soon.
"Did I lose a step? Probably, but I’m still fast...- Marvin Jones
“In terms of catching and going up and getting the ball, diving, route cuts and in and out of my breaks, when that starts to go and I notice, then I’m out of here, no questions asked,” he said. “But I still feel the same when I’m doing those type of things, and I think the biggest thing for a receiver is your reaction. Can you react to a throw or the ball in a split second, and stuff like that. So as long as I still have my ball skills, I can keep playing if I want to.”"
Jones may have a notable on-field role for the Lions this year. But his role as a veteran leader is going to be just as important.