Rob Rang, draft expect for The Sports Xchange and CBSSports.com, reflects on the Cincinnati Bengals draft class, focusing a particular emphasis on Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones, selected in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL draft. Rang, who writes that this is Cincinnati's third strong draft in a row, often a catalyst for long-term success, believes that Jones could "pay surprising dividends."
In much this same way, the Bengals' fifth round selection of California wideout Marvin Jones could pay surprising dividends. At least partially due to poor play at the quarterback position, Jones didn't generate a great deal of buzz a year ago in the Pac-12. Given an opportunity at the Senior Bowl, however, Jones was spectacular, demonstrating the straight-line speed, balance and quick feet as a route-runner, body control to contort to poorly thrown passes and soft hands to develop into a legitimate NFL starting receiver.
Entering the week of practice at the Senior Bowl, I had graded Jones as a 6th round prospect. When I left Mobile, I'd moved him to the third round. Having attended the Mobile, Alabama all-star game since 2001 there has only been one other receiver from the west coast who boosted my grade of him as dramatically as Jones in one week of practice there -- former Oregon State Beaver, Bengal (and current Patriot) Chad Johnson (Ochocinco).
Jones is one of several players vying for the No. 2 wide receiver spot when training camp kicks off in two months.