The Chicago Bears drafting Velus Jones in April felt like a typical situation. Team evaluates player. Team meets player and then decides they like player. Then team works to select player in the draft. Simple and somewhat routine. Except it wasn’t like that for the 3rd round pick. His odyssey began back in 2020. There was no way he could’ve known at the time how a chance connection with a QB hundreds of miles away would become what it has.
The rookie receiver appeared on The Sick Podcast with Adam Rank to discuss his college career and how he ended up in Chicago. It is quite the story. Not everybody plays six seasons, but a unique set of circumstances made that happen for him. That is why he entered the NFL at the ripe age of 24. He saw the development as a positive. It allowed him to earn two college degrees and fine-tune his fundamentals as a receiver. Jones views himself as better prepared than most first-year players.
This is where the story gets interesting.
In most instances, a rookie receiver meets his quarterback for the first time when drafted. That is unless they were teammates in college. Jones is an ultra-rare case. It seems he already had a developing relationship with Justin Fields long before he arrived in Chicago. Its origin goes back way further than people might think.
That is pretty crazy. Two guys who are hundreds of miles apart in different schools connected online. They developed a decent acquaintanceship, and then Fields left for the NFL. It likely should’ve ended there. One year later, GM Ryan Poles asked his new quarterback to watch film on potential draft prospects, discussing which he may like to play with. Fields put in a good word on Jones. Sure enough, a few days later, the receiver was a Bear.
Velus Jones is eager to play with Fields finally.
There is no telling whether Fields or Jones will succeed in the NFL. Football is an unpredictable sport. That said, chemistry can go a long way toward laying the groundwork. The fact that the two men already had solid communication should make their transition on the field that much easier. Whispers out of OTAs and minicamps suggest Jones is already turning heads. That connection should only grow as they get more reps in training camp.
Expectations remain uncertain. Poles said the Bears have high hopes for Velus Jones to be an immediate contributor this year. That isn’t to say they have visions of what JaMarr Chase did last season in Cincinnati. It is more a situation of them wanting to see steady progress in his operation and showing off that talent. Somewhere along the lines of 400-500 yards is the likely ballpark.
Anything more would be icing on the cake.
This is a big year for Fields. Quarterbacks are expected to take a considerable leap in Year 2. That will be difficult in a new offensive system. He’ll need significant contributions from his supporting cast. Jones is eager to help his friend do precisely that. It would make for an inspiring story.