Not many things went right for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021. Not only did they have the worst record in the league but they also had to endure the Urban Meyer debacle. On the other hand, not everything was gloom and doom and there were a few bright spots, including the play of wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr.
Jones was one of the few playmakers on the Jags’ roster last season. Even though they finished 3-14 and ranked last in points scored, Jones put up pretty solid numbers. This wasn’t lost on Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports, who included him on a list of one underappreciated player in each NFL team. Kerr notes that the veteran wide receiver might take a backseat to free-agent acquisition Christian Kirk but he will still be an important part of Jacksonville’s offense in 2022.
"His 22 touchdown catches are 12th in the NFL over the last three seasons, and he is one of just five players with three seasons of nine-plus receiving touchdowns over the last five years (joining Davante Adams, Adam Theilen, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill). A solid No. wideout, Jones had 73 catches for 832 yards and four touchdowns last season in the Jaguars’ anemic offense. Those numbers should improve in Doug Pederson’s offense, as the Jaguars can use Jones’ deep-ball ability to their advantage (he led the NFL in yards per catch in 2017)."
A fifth-round pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2012, Jones signed a two-year deal with the Jags last season. He was slated to be the No. 2 receiver opposite DJ Chark Jr. but injuries to the position pressed him into a bigger role. First, Chark fractured his ankle in Week 4 and Jamal Agnew suffered a hip injury in Week 11, leaving Jones as Jacksonville’s top target.
Marvin Jones will once again play a big role in the Jaguars offense
Wide receiver was one of the Jaguars’ biggest needs this offseason and the front office addressed it with the signings of Christian Kirk and Zay Jones in free agency. Jones will once again have a big role in the offense but opposing defenses will now have to account for Kirk and Jones, leaving him with more favorable matchups. This will in turn increase his effectiveness on the football field.
Off the football field, he’s been a veteran presence in the Jaguars’ locker room. Offensive coordinator Press Taylor recently praised his leadership skills, which will be invaluable in head coach Doug Pederson’s first year at the helm.
The truth is that Jones is a pretty talented player. From 2017 to 2020, he scored 32 receiving touchdowns or an average of eight per season. Had the Jaguars had more all-around talent, last season, he might have made a few more trips to the end zone. The former California Golden Bear isn’t necessarily underrated or underappreciated but he certainly deserves a bigger spotlight.
The Jaguars have gotten significantly better over the last few months and should be able to win more games than they did in 2021. Jones will do his part and once again be a key cog on offense.