In the third round of the 2021 NFL draft, the Chicago Bears selected wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. from Tennessee. Many fans and analysts called this pick a reach, because the rookie wideout is already 25 years old, but was it actually a reach? Absolutely not.
While he may be old for a rookie, that does not change the fact Jones is going to be a beast once he gets on the field. While most people familiar with him already know he has blazing speed, with a 4.31 second 40 yard dash, not everyone knows that was the second fastest time by any wide receiver at the combine. In case that does not seem very fast to you, he is twenty pounds heavier than the wide receiver who beat him (Tyquan Thornton) and only 0.2 seconds slower then Tyreek Hill. Not only does Jones use his speed to catch passes, he also uses it to return kicks and punts. And he is pretty damn good at it. During his five college seasons, Jones amassed nearly 3,000 return yards, averaging over 24 yards per attempt. This versatility is exactly what made him stand out to Ryan Poles, “He’s special. There’s something about him … there is just an aura about him. Not only can he help our offense, he can help in many different ways. I’m not going to compare him to Deebo [Samuel]. But he has that flexibility where you can put him anywhere: Backfield. Slot. Outside. And then he’s a returner, he’s a gunner. There are so many different things that he can do. And then, always adding that element of speed is important because as a defense, you have to think, ‘where is he?’ You have to find out where he is and then all of a sudden that opens up other things for other people. So, he’s going to be a good player.”
Velus Jones is a star kick returner, and a receiver who is bigger, taller, and nearly as fast as Tyreek Hill. He has every physical attribute you could ask for in a wide receiver or kick returner and enough college experience to guarantee a quick transition to the NFL. He has high praise from Poles, excitement from Luke Getsy, and Poles even got a good word about Jones from Justin Fields. Everything about this guy radiates star potential, and I wouldn’t be surprised seeing Jones get WR2 playing time this season.