Armed with all the measureables to be picked in the first three or four rounds of the NFL draft, former Cal receiver Marvin Jones believes he also benefits from a coveted intangible quality.
"I'm somebody that's stable and I have my head screwed on right," Jones said. "I'm all about business when it comes to education or being a leader or playing football. I'm never going to be somebody who will hinder a program. I'm going to lift up a program."
Cal coach Jeff Tedford agrees.
"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."
Draft expert Mike Mayock of the NFL Network believes Jones will be a third-round pick.
"(It) has been a slow, steady rise for him," Mayock said. "I don't see him going higher than that, although some people may."
Jones performed well in front of NFL coaches, scouts and general managers in the week of practice leading to the Senior Bowl, then caught a touchdown in the game. At the NFL combine camp, he checked in at 6-foot-2, 199 pounds, ran a 4.46-second time for 40 yards (third-fastest among wideouts 6-2 or taller) and showed off 101/4-inch hands (second-biggest among wideouts).
"Jones is the most technically sound receiver in this class," wrote New York Times NFL blogger Matt Waldman, who ranks Jones as the No. 4 wideout in the draft but acknowledged he'll likely be picked lower than that.
"His stock is
Added Mayock, who will help anchor the NFL Network's draft coverage, "He's a good blocker. He's got good speed, good size. He's a smooth receiver. What I like is he fights for the ball -- comes back for the football, attacks the football."
Jones believes it's his body of work -- even beyond his Cal career totals of 156 receptions for 2,270 yards and 13 touchdowns -- that has elevated his draft stock from last fall, when one scouting service ranked him no better than the 39th draft-eligible receiver.
He believes the way he's lived his life will count for something.
"Obviously, there's that perception that if you're a wideout you're a prima donna or a knucklehead. There's some people who are," Jones said. "Especially in this day and age, they're leaning more toward guys who are stable, who proven they are leaders. They want smart guys.
"I've been this guy my whole life. There wasn't one time you've seen me in a negative light."
Besides avoiding off-field issues throughout his time at Cal, Jones, 22, also has helped raise two sons -- 3-year-old Marvin III and 6-month-old Mareon -- with longtime girlfriend Jazmyn Mathis.
"We've been together since I was a junior in high school," Jones said. "After I get settled, then I'll pop the question."