Chicago Bears rookie wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. was drafted in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft with the hope he’ll provide quarterback Justin Fields with a game-breaking target. He’s viewed as a do-it-all offensive weapon that will be used in a variety of ways, which he said Monday he’s more than capable of handling.
“There’s just so many things I can do,” Jones said on the Parkins and Spiegel Show. “With the deep ball taking the top off the defense, with a screen, an out route, a slant. And also, I can run routes as well.”
Jones’ path to the NFL was non-traditional. He didn’t explode onto the college football scene or dominate early in his career. He didn’t turn pro after two or three productive seasons. Instead, it wasn’t until his sixth year, his second with Tennessee after playing his first four seasons at USC, that he emerged as a top-100 prospect.
Velus Jones ended the 2021 season with career highs in receiving across the board: 62 catches, 807 yards, and seven touchdowns. He’s as dynamic of a kick returner as he is a receiver, and he’ll give the Bears an element of explosiveness they’ve been lacking for quite some time.
Velus Jones Jr. has the confidence of a superstar
“I’m a different type of player, I’m a unique type of player,” Jones said. “There’s not many people, especially in this past draft we just had, that have my skill set and can do what I do. I’m really good with yards after the catch mentality, never let the first person tackle you … I just run with that aggressiveness and the passion I have for the game.”
Jones isn’t just an elite athlete, either. Sure, his 4.31 speed is his calling card, but his level of professionalism and maturity is rare. And he knows the importance of developing a bond off the field with his quarterback.
“I’m looking forward to going to work with (Fields), spending time with him, getting to know who he is as a person, what he stands for, and I feel like that’s a huge part of the production on the field when it comes to a receiver and a quarterback.”
General manager Ryan Poles raised eyebrows when he selected Jones with the 71st pick in the draft. It was considered a reach at the time, but as the dust has settled on the 2022 NFL Draft, the arrow for Jones is pointing up.
It doesn’t take long to understand why Poles prioritized Jones. He has big goals. In fact, his personal goals can’t get much bigger.
“A gold jacket,” Jones said of his NFL plan. “My grandmother told me a long time ago if you’re going to do something, do it. Don’t ever give a poor performance. I put my heart in this game.
“I’m going to give it all I got.”