Wide receiver Marvin Jones played 43 games in California blue and gold over the past four years, and now, he'll be donning the orange and white of the Cincinnati Bengals as a professional, as he was taken with the 31st pick (166th overall) in the fifth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday.
"Character is a big thing in the NFL" said Cal head coach Jeff Tedford of Jones, who has become a father of two during his time in Berkeley, while still graduating on-time and not missing a down on the field or in practice. "He's a guy who will work very hard to be a team player."
Jones made 38 starts including all of the the Bears' games over his final three campaigns, and finished his career among the program's all-time leaders in receiving yards (2,260, 6th), 100-yard receiving games (6, T6th), receptions (156, T7th) and receiving touchdowns (13, T8th).
Jones tied for seventh on Cal's single-game receptions list with the 12 he recorded as a junior at Nevada. As a senior, Jones set career highs for both receptions (62) and receiving yards (846) in 2011, both second on the club, after leading Cal in both receptions and receiving yards in 2009 and '10, as well as in touchdown receptions as a 2009 sophomore.
Jones was remarkably consistent in his later years for the Bears, making at least one reception in each of his last 38 career games over his final three seasons (2009-11). Jones posted career averages of 14.6 yards per catch and 52.8 receiving yards per game, as well as a long reception of 62 against Colorado in his junior season. Jones hauled in 33 catches of 20 or more yards in his career, as well as five grabs of 50 or more.
Jones has led or co-led all Cal receivers in receptions in 16 games and in receiving yards on 13 occasions, and he added 11 rushes for 116 yards (10.5 ypr) and a career long of 48 for a touchdown in the 2010 season opener against UC Davis. Jones finished his career with 86 points scored, adding a two-point conversion to his 14 total touchdowns. Jones finished with 2,488 all-purpose yards (116 rush, 2,270 receiving, 102 punt return), and had four career tackles.
At the NFL Scouting Combine in March, Jones pressed 225 pounds 22 times to tie for first among all receivers at the event, while also running a 4.46 40-yard dash time that ranked 12th among wide outs. Jones was fourth in the three-cone drill (6.81), sixth in the 20-yard shuttle (4.11), tied for 10th in the 60-yard shuttle (11.47) and checking in with a 33-inch vertical leap and a 9-foot-4 broad leap.
"I think the Combine really helped," Tedford said. "Marvin went and tested really well, there, ran, caught the ball, when they interviewed him, they see what kind of quality guy he really is."
One of Jones's biggest selling points was his performance in the Senior Bowl, when he hauled in an eight-yard touchdown pass to help lift the North to a 23-14 win.
Jones becomes the fourth former Bear to get picked up in the 2012 NFL Draft, following offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz (2nd round, Cleveland), linebacker Mychal Kendricks (2nd round, Philadelphia) and punter Bryan Anger (3rd round, Jacksonville). Schwartz was taken with the 37th overall pick, Kendricks with the 46th and Anger with the 70th.