The Chicago Bears made an unpopular decision in the 2022 draft when they chose to pass on selecting a wide receiver with their first two picks. GM Ryan Poles instead waited until the 3rd round, where they stirred up even more controversy by taking Velus Jones of Tennessee. While experts didn’t seem to mind the talent, they struggled to justify why the team would select a player that would be 25-years old before the start of summer.
Poles didn’t blink when asked about it. In his mind, he got a player ready to contribute immediately. What people see as old, he sees as mature. Jones is a grown man and won’t be intimidated by the NFL like typical rookies usually would. He also knows he has the full backing of offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and quarterback Justin Fields, both of whom pinpointed Jones as somebody they liked leading up to the draft.
It sounds like he didn’t waste time making a first impression, either.
Getsy was asked about the appeal of Jones despite the age concerns. The Bears offensive coordinator stated the explosiveness and the versatility were two things that jumped out right away. He is somebody that can take it to the house every time he touches the ball. Yet that wasn’t what stood out the most in rookie minicamps this past weekend. It was Jones’ business-like approach. Not only did he arrive at Halas Hall dressed in a suit, but he even brought his own whiteboard ready to take obsessive notes.
That goes back to the maturity Poles talked about. Jones is already at the point of his athletic career where he realizes he’s not a kid anymore. He takes his future seriously and is ready to put in whatever work is necessary to better himself. That was evident during his final season at Tennessee, where his skills as a traditional receiver showed significant progress.
Velus Jones will fill a critical void for the Bears’ offense.
They are not expecting him to be Davante Adams. That is something fans must grasp about the situation. If the 3rd round pick eventually becomes that, fantastic. Their view of him is somebody that can do certain things nobody else in this offense can. He is at his best turning short plays into long ones. Tennessee often used him on quick slants and bubble screens, and he’d often make the most of those for sizable gains.
If there is a Deebo Samuel in this draft class its probably Velus Jones. Built like a RB and looks like one when he gets the ball in his hands. Ran a 4.31 at the combine. Biggest issue is his age. Will be 25 in a few weeks. #bears pic.twitter.com/9kRKQ8s6NS
— Chicago Football Connection (@CFCBears) April 30, 2022
Combine that with his ability to take carries out of the backfield, and it’s not hard to understand his comparisons to Deebo Samuel. The Bears are running a similar offensive scheme to San Francisco, so it makes sense Getsy would gravitate to somebody like that at wide receiver. It can open up several possibilities from a scheme perspective. Especially when it comes to assisting the ground attack.
It is all about complementary football.
Velus Jones can be a massive help to Justin Fields. One problem the Bears had last season was not being able to turn easy passes into big plays. Their screen game was terrible and the short passes rarely ever yielded much after the catch. That stands to change with this kid in the mix.