Marvin Jones emerging as a deep threat for Lions

Posted Jul 31, 2016

Wide receiver Marvin Jones has shown great play-making ability during training camp practices so far.

After the retirement of Calvin Johnson, the Lions made receiver Marvin Jones a priority in free agency because they believed Jones brought a lot to the table.

“I thought Marvin was a very good route runner,” Lions general manager Bob Quinn said shortly after signing Jones. “He’s not just a one-dimensional receiver. He can run vertical routes, he can run short routes, he can run intermediate routes. He’s got very good hands, so I think he’s a guy that can get open and catch the football.”

Getting open and catching the football is something we’ve seen a lot from Jones early and often so far in training camp. That’s especially been the case down the field both in one-on-one drills and in team portions of practice.

Jones beat cornerback Darius Slay twice for big plays Sunday, once in a one-on-one drill where Slay had tight coverage but Jones was still able to make the catch down the left sideline. The other came in an 11-on-11 team drill where Jones got a step behind Slay down the right sideline and made the catch in between the safety coming over to help. In both instances, quarterback Matthew Stafford dropped a dime right into Jones' hands.

“It's just focus,” Jones said of the ability he’s shown in camp to track deep passes and haul them in. “When the ball’s in the air, I don’t really care who is on me and stuff like that. It's just focus. It’s just me and the ball no matter how many (defenders are there).”

It’s still early in training camp, but Jones has already shown to have a nice repertoire of short, intermediate and deep playmaking ability. He and Stafford seem to already be building a nice rapport.

“He’s well rounded,” head coach Jim Caldwell said of Jones. “I mean there’s not too many things that are going to limit him. He can stretch the field, he can cross the field, he’s a very, very conscientious and good route runner, and obviously he’s got good hands as well.”