LA Chargers: “Steal a Player” series – NFC North edition

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(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) – LA Chargers /

From the Detroit Lions, the LA Chargers steal…

WR Marvin Jones

Marvin Jones Jr. has been a really underrated receiver in Detroit. Perhaps he’s overlooked because Kenny Golladay is on the other side of the field. Jones has fantastic body control and speed though.

Jones is particularly solid when it comes to contested catches. He’s ranked sixth in the league since 2017 on catch rate with contested targets. He’ll challenge any cornerback attempting to make a play on the ball. Jones is frustrating to cover with his body control and catch radius.

Where Jones could really help the Chargers is in the red zone. Jones finished with eight red zone receiving touchdowns last season. That was good enough to be tied for the most receiving touchdowns in the red zone league-wide despite missing three games.

The Chargers on the other hand were not too great inside their opponents’ 20-yard line last season. When it came to red zone efficiency, the Chargers ranked 23rd in 2019.

Jones also impressed me in 2019 with how he was able to get it done regardless of who the quarterback was. Even after Matthew Stafford had his season ended prematurely with a back injury, he still averaged about 50 yards per game with three touchdowns in the final five contests. Again, that was with David Blough and Jeff Driskel throwing the ball to him.

His speed, contested catch ability, and body control could really mesh with the offense that the Chargers are trying to build. Like Bakhtiari, he’s also on the last year of his contract and wouldn’t require a ton of future financial commitment. If he could theoretically help the Chargers break their red-zone woes, Jones would be worth it.