When the final whistle had blown to signal the end of the 2012 Holiday Bowl, Cal wide receiver Marvin Jones took a deep breath. Texas had defeated Cal 21-10, but Jones didn’t have much time to dwell on that. One journey had come to an end, but another journey was about to begin.
He didn’t take the flight back to Cal with the rest of his teammates. His college journey was over and it was time for him to start preparing for a potential career in the NFL. Just two days after he had played his final college game, Jones was in Arizona training at Fischer Sports. The Senior Bowl was only about a month away and it would be Jones first chance to show NFL scouts what he could do.
Jones has seen his stock rise slowly but steadily since his last game against Texas. Originally, Jones wasn’t invited to the Senior Bowl but injuries to other players resulted in him being a late addition. At the Senior Bowl, Jones had a great week of practice in front of NFL coaches, scouts and general managers and then scored a touchdown in the game, but still that wasn’t enough.
After the Senior Bowl, Jones went back to Fischer Sports to continue training. The NFL combine was right around the corner and there were some questions about Jones’ speed. “I knew I had speed, but I don’t think anyone else knew it. I trained hard for that,” Jones said speaking to ProPlayerInsiders from his home in California.
Jones impressed again at the combine. Jones proved he had speed by running a 4.46 40-yard dash. His stock went up again.
Last fall, one scouting service had Jones ranked as the 39th draft eligible wide receiver. After proving himself at the Senior Bowl, proving himself again at the combine, and then interviewing well for what Jones describes as “almost every team in the league,” Jones has seen his stock rise all the way to 15th out of 283 ranked wide receivers by that same previously-skeptical scouting service.
Jones is more than a player with good size and speed. He is considered to be a high character prospect. Jones was able to balance school at one of the elite institutions in the world, with two kids at home and the demands of college athletics. Jones is only two electives away from graduation. He plans to have his degree next spring.
Cal head coach, Jeff Tedford agrees that Jones is a high character guy. ”Character is a big thing in the NFL,” Tedford said. “When they interview him, they’re going to see what kind of quality guy he is.”
Now that the workouts, pro days, and pre-draft interviews are over, Jones is forced to wait and see who calls his name at the draft. Jones says the waiting isn’t easy. “My girlfriend goes to bed every night thinking about it. I am nervous, but I just want to keep busy and keep my mind off of it. “
Jones loves to bowl during his free time and says his high score is a 196. If the NFL doesn’t work out, the PBA isn’t going to be an option.
Jones expects to be drafted in the high to mid-second round. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock believes he will be picked at some point in the third round.
Whoever ends up drafting Jones is going to add a high character player to their community. Jones has the potential to win a Walter Payton Man of the Year Award someday. He is already making plans for a foundation that will help at-risk youth. Jones says, “When you go into the inner city and you show kids that others care about them, they can achieve their dreams through education and sports… just like I did.”
Melvin Jones has shot up draft boards in part because of his high character. In this clip, Jones talks about the foundation he plans to start after his rookie year, giving back to the community, and showing kids how they can better themselves with sports and education.