Marvin Jones can’t replace Megatron, but gives Lions a solid WR duo

Detroit may not have a No. 1 receiver, but Golden Tate and Marvin Jones form a solid 1-2 punch.

| 9 months ago
(Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)

(Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)

Marvin Jones can’t replace Megatron, but gives Lions a solid WR duo


Editor’s note: Grades and analysis for this article may be updated as further details of the deal are reported.

The deal: Former Bengals wide receiver is reportedly set to sign a free-agent contract with the Lions.

What it means for the Lions: Calvin Johnson’s retirement is a big loss for the Lions and it comes in a down year for available free-agent wide receivers. Marvin Jones was by far the best receiver available, even though he is probably not a No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL. However, he has shown growth over his career and is capable of making big plays. At 6-foot-2, he is a big receiver who plays on the outside and who won’t take away slot time away from Golden Tate. Along the same lines as Tate but not to the same level, Jones makes plenty of plays after the catch. He has forced 27 missed tackles over his past two seasons.

The pairing of Jones and Tate might leave Detroit without a true No. 1 receiver, which some may see as a concern. Yet we have seen the Panthers make it to the Super Bowl with a depleted wide receivers corps, and Seattle has been successful despite not having a prototypical No. 1 wideout. The Lions will still have two very good receivers in addition to playmakers like running back Theo Riddick, who can be utilized in the passing game.

What it means for the Bengals: With Mohamed Sanu also a free agent, the Bengals have a big hole at wide receiver after A.J. Green. Even with the re-signing of Brandon Tate, Cincinnati will still need to address the position this offseason. There are options in free agency, but at this point the Bengals might have to look (early) in the draft for a No. 2 receiver.

| Analyst

Matt has been an analyst for PFF since 2013. He is also a contributor to 120 Sports and a former NCAA Division-III football player.

  • Richard Stanczak

    I would prefer that the Lions had gone after a true # 2 like Rishard Matthews and paid around $5M per year, but I am okay with this. This is a passing team and we need high performers as receivers. The Lions will still draft at least one WR in the third or fourth round [I think] but at least this takes the Treadwell at # 16 option off the table.

    • Rodney Hungerferd

      Richard Stanczak, it is nice to finally hear a Lions fan talking some sense! I thought I was the only one! I’m perhaps a little more okay with it than you though: having two #1.5ish WRs will be just fine in Detroit; after all, Ebron is going to breakout and Riddick quietly already did. We all need to remember that Calvin wasn’t Calvin at the end there anymore. I don’t think this is the drop off that everyone is thinking. It is a drop off from Calvin a few years ago, but let’s face it, there were times Calvin was a decoy this past year. He was having trouble staying healthy enough to threaten– and maybe it is just me but he also seemed to be having trouble wanting to. He was long and tall and because of that DBs would try to take him down by launching themselves at his legs. It was always scary to see someone drilling him between the knee and ankle on a slant play.
      The fact that we can look at an OT at #16 is super nice, and will probably help more than finding a “true” #1 WR.

  • crosseyedlemon

    It the Bengals misfire at the draft they are going to regret letting Jones walk. The signing buys the Lions some time to find another home run hitter at wideout so it’s a positive move for them.