He may not have the speed of DeSean Jackson or the build of Keenan Allen, but Marvin Jones has some of the best fundamentals of any receiver in the draft. He ranks fourth in the New York Times' ranking of the draft's top receivers (behind Kendall Wright, Justin Blackmon, and Michael Floyd).
Jones is the most technically sound receiver in this class, and he has enough athleticism to play the X (split end) or the Z (flanker). His draft spot might not be commensurate with where I rank him, but his stock is definitely on the rise because teams are beginning to recognize just how good he is.
He demonstrates more polished route running than any receiver in this class. Jones will set up his breaks with a good move to turn the hips of the opposing defender and then break back to the ball. His breaks need to be consistently sharper. He does not plant his front foot hard enough to turn. However, he is good at driving defenders downfield with good body control and speed to set up breaks or vary his speed early or late to win passes in single coverage.
What Jones does that is harder to teach is make successful adjustments to the football and do so against physical play. Most of his receptions in games I watched went for first downs in situations where he bailed out his quarterback. He can high-point or dig out a low throw. He has good awareness of the sideline, but he also will go across the middle. He seems comfortable working against physical contact downfield on vertical routes, and he has enough speed to get down field or take a short pass a longer distance.
Jones reminds me of Donald Driver – a versatile flanker for most of his career capable of playing every receiver position on the field. He may never be one of the top producers in the N.F.L. as he grows into a starting role, but he has the talent to have a long career with several seasons of 900-1,200 yards.
After the jump Lunardi has Cal playing another play-in game in the 2013 NCAA tourney and rugby's regular season comes to a disappointing end.
- Cal was among the five finalists in Rivals' Position U series for running backs and tight ends.
- Ted Miller chats with Chris McCain.
- Matt Giordano has re-signed with Oakland.
- Cal topped Arizona 6-0 to win the weekend series against the Wildcats.
Although the Bears suffered a loss over the weekend, they held onto the #1 ranking in both polls.
- Despite a strong effort from Justin Jones, the Bears missed their opportunity to secure the sweep by losing 5-3 to Washington.
- Baseball America has Cal among its teams earning a trip to the postseason. Cal sits on the bubble, but still earns a bid in the BA predictions.
- Saint Mary's beat Cal for the first time in over 20 years. The Cal reserves defeated Saint Mary's 57-5. The Bears now turn their attention to preparing for the 7s Championship.
- The women's team won four of five events at the Natomas Invitational.
- Members of the varsity eight team won the Muscle Milk Student Athlete of the Week award.
- The Bears finished fifth at the Western Intercollegiate. This marks the first time in school history that the Bears finished in the top-five in all eleven of the season's events.