The Cincinnati Years
Marvin Jones was drafted in the 5th round of the 2012 draft by the Bengals. Jones started his final two seasons at California and posted 62 catches for 846 yards as a senior, but was overshadowed by his younger teammate, Keenan Allen. Jones was a favorite of many draft analysts after excelling at the Senior Bowl and ripping off a 4.46 forty-yard dash at the NFL Combine. He fell to the fifth round in part due to the depth of the wide receiver class (which was lauded at the time as one of the deepest receiver drafts in years).
Jones quickly proved to be a late-round steal for the Bengals. He earned a starting job as a rookie (starting five games) and showed flashes of his top playmaking ability, but had trouble staying healthy and was limited for much of the season. He broke out as a second-year player in 2013. While Jones saw just 80 targets, he was one of the league's most efficient players, averaging 9.0 yards per target. He also scored 10 touchdowns on just 51 receptions. Jones was expected to ascend to a bigger role in 2014, but ankle and foot injuries forced him to miss the entire season. Jones returned healthy in 2015 and put together a strong season as the Bengals starting outside receiver opposite A.J. Green. Jones was second on the team in targets (103) and caught 65 passes for 816 yards and four touchdowns.