Grading the Chicago Bears 71st overall pick Velus Jones Jr.

Chicago Bears - Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel
Chicago Bears - Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel /
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Bears knew they had a hole at wide receiver after losing names like Allen Robinson, Jakeem Grant, Damiere Byrd, and Marquise Goodwin in the offseason. They opted to take two defenders in the second round of the draft but took their first wideout in the third round in Velus Jones Jr. There were other options that could have been better, but it seems the Bears really liked Jones from their pre-draft interview.

The Bears probably reached a bit with this selection. Jones was projected to be a fourth or fifth-rounder. Instead, the Bears jumped on him in the third round. As explosive as Jones is, he does not have a well enough rounded game to warrant a selection in the third round.

The Chicago Bears finally addressed wide receiver by selecting Velus Jones Jr. at 71st overall in the 2022 NFL Draft

Velus Jones is insanely fast, running a 4.31 forty-yard dash at the combine. I like what the Chicago Bears are doing by adding speed to the offense. Justin Fields has always been a quarterback who favors speedy receivers because of his tendency to throw the deep ball. Jones will have a good chance to be at least a WR3 in this offense, but his ceiling is not much more than a deep threat. He has been compared to Deebo Samuel for his ability to play that “wide-back” position, but he is not quite the receiver that Samuel was coming out of college. Still, there is some potential with Jones due to his electric play style.

Jones does not separate well, and his route tree was very minimal in the Tennessee offense. His footwork on short to intermediate routes is not clean enough to separate in press-man coverage, so look for him to be used to stretch the field, especially early in his career.

Another knock on this draft pick is that he is going to be 25 years old as a rookie, which is definitely on the older side. One would think that he is super NFL ready at that age, but again his game is complimentary of his age and experience.

Draft Grade: C-

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Velus Jones has solid hands and can track the ball well, and after the catch he is lethal. Combined with Darnell Mooney and Byron Pringle the Bears have three guys who can turn a slant into a touchdown at any time. Still, Jones was a reach at this spot, and he does not have the potential of some of the other receivers still available at the time. He just does not do enough to address the glaring hole at wide receiver. The skill of Jones combined with where he was drafted contributes to the C- grade for this pick.