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Detroit Lions 2016 roster review: Did Marvin Jones flop in Detroit?

Taking a look how the Lions biggest free agent did in 2016.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Now that we’re in full offseason mode, we’re going to review every single Detroit Lions player that finished the 2016 season under contract. We’ll look at their expectations coming into the season, whether they met those expectations and what to expect of them going forward.

Marvin Jones

Expectations before 2016

The expectations on Marvin Jones were quite mixed after the Lions made him their first signing on the opening day of free agency. The reason was clear: Jones was immediately tagged as the man the Lions signed to take Calvin Johnson’s place.

This spawned many questions like "is he a deep threat?" or "can he replace Calvin?" Marvin may have been set up to fail by perception before the season even started.

Actual Role in 2016

2016 stats: 15 games (15 starts) | 55 receptions, 930 yards and four touchdowns

Here’s where the debate starts. Is 55 receptions, 930 yards and four touchdowns a failure? In most cases you would say no. For a number two receiver, this is pretty good. This is something to be happy about.

However, the way he got to those stats will leave you a tad disappointed. There was a time that Marvin Jones looked like a powerhouse of a wide receiver. He led the league in receiving yards and made me one of the happiest fantasy team owners in the world. His 205 yards and two touchdowns against the Packers was awe-inspiring.

Jones then disappeared. After the Green Bay game, Jones put up just 37 receptions for 522 yards and two touchdowns over 12 games. That’s not bad if you forget that his first three games tallied 18 receptions for 408 yards and two touchdowns.

If you look at the season as a whole, it looks likes success, but within proper context, it very well could be viewed as a failure. Regardless, the final stat line could have been much worse.

Outlook for 2017

Going forward, I see Marvin Jones still being quite the asset. He’s not going anywhere. He’ll still be, at the very least, the Lions No. 2 receiver.

Marvin Jones, along with Golden Tate and possibly Anquan Boldin, will make the Lions the same receiving threat they were in 2016. If the Lions are able to supplement their passing game with a run game, Jones could be in for a big year. If the Lions decide to go after a big free agent, like Chicago’s Alshon Jeffery, Jones’ role in Detroit could drastically change. However, it seems unlikely the Lions would do that, so expect Marvin to have a better year in 2017.

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