A Look At Wide Receiver Marvin Jones 2017 Season Performance And Future Outlook
Marvin Jones 2016 season was quite up and down. He really lacked an ability to get separation from man coverage, as well as struggling to consistently win against tight coverage. These two inefficiencies compounded on each other and made it difficult for Jones to be counted on week in and week out. Going into the 2017 off-season, Jones worked out with former Vikings star receiver Randy Moss.
Jones was among the top that impressed during the 2017 training camp, standing out with improved route running and body control. Those improvements translated onto the field well for the Lions receiver last year. His improved route running helped him gain a bit more separation in 2017, but is still an area that needs improving. However, the biggest change Jones showed on the field last year was great body control to consistently bring in contested balls.
This was essential for Jones success as he still struggled to gain the separation you want from your top receiver. However, Jones was arguably one of the best deep targets in the entire NFL against contested balls, which helped make up for the lack of space to operate in. Jones was the Lions receiving leader in both yards (1,107) and touchdowns (9).
Those numbers were also tied for 9th and 4th best in the NFL, respectively. His big play ability led to the highest yard per reception in the NFL with 18 ypc.
Marvin Jones 2018 Season Outlook
Given how 2017 panned out, it is nice hearing reports Jones is again spending this off-season working out with Moss. For this next season, and future seasons, Jones still needs to work on getting better release at the line of scrimmage. His stem was more successful last year, but he still got slowed down by physical hand fighting both at the line and down the field. His overall footwork in his route running looked much improved however.
In 2017, Jones was among the top 10 receiver in the NFL production wise. Continuing to improve his ability to get open will help him ascend into the next tier of receivers. While he was among the top of the NFL in terms of receiving yard and touchdowns, he only caught 61 balls on 107 targets last season.
Jones already has the hands, quickness, and body control to be one of the league’s best receiver. But for him to take that next step into the “elite” conversation, he has to do a better job putting himself in non-contested situations more often. While his ability to win against tight coverage was among the best in the NFL in 2017, a 57% catch rate is likely too low if he wants to be in the “elite” conversation this time next year.