When Marvin Jones finally was picked by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fifth round of the NFL draft, the former Cal wide receiver couldn’t help but feel like it was destiny.
After a 3 1/2-hour wait, Marvin Lewis Jones received a phone call from Bengals coach Marvin Lewis.
“What cooler name is there than Marvin Lewis?” Jones told me. “I was like, `I love your name.’ Something is up there. It probably was destined.”
Jones’ stock seemed to rise during pre-draft events, including the Senior Bowl all-star game, where he caught a touchdown pass, and the scouting combine, where he ran the 6-foot-2, 199-pounder ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds.
But he watched 22 wide receivers picked ahead of him in the draft before his namesake phoned.
“Oh man, it was definitely crazy . . . stressful,” Jones said. “I went up and down with emotions. Initially, I was high on a lot of people’s boards. That didn’t work out for whatever reason. Regardless of what theories I have, it doesn’t matter.
“I ended up in a great spot. I’m blessed for the opportunity. I just want to start my new life as a Cincinnati Bengal.”
Jones, the first receiver from Cal to be drafted since the Eagles took DeSean Jackson in the second round in 2008, said he’s excited to be part of a young offense that last year featured rookie quarterback Andy Dalton and wideout A.J. Green.
“The young talent says something about the direction they’re going,” Jones said. “They run a West Coast offense. Obviously, playing at Cal for four years that’s what what I’m used to. I can come in and run every route and vie for a position.”
Jones caught 62 passes for 846 yards and three touchdowns as a senior in 2011, giving him career totals of 156 receptions for 2,270 yards with 14 TDs.