Velus Jones Jr. was a bit of a divisive selection by the Chicago Bears in the 2022 NFL Draft. There’s a path for him to make a year one impact though.
It was perhaps an unexpected 2022 NFL Draft for the Chicago Bears. Many mock drafters and analysts around the draft sphere had the Bears pegged to select wide receiver and offensive line with their two second-round picks. Instead, they went the direction of the secondary, selecting both Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker to fortify the back end.
As for receiver and the line, the Bears went a different route. They selected Velus Jones Jr. at pick 71, one that was a bit of a shock considering other receivers still on the board. Chicago also went with dart throws on day three along the line, selecting four players including Southern Utah’s Braxton Jones and Southern’s Ja’Tyre Carter.
Jones might not end up becoming the WR1 that Bears fans were hoping for in this draft, but that doesn’t mean he can’t provide a role. The key to him getting one as a rookie is the changing of the guard with the coaching staff in Chicago. Matt Nagy is out and Luke Getsy is in. Unlike Nagy, Getsy will tailor the offense to help out Justin Fields while the roster continues to get better around him. That means that the quick game and rollouts will be featured.
Jones can take advantage in the quick game, as he was one of the best receivers in terms of yards after catch per reception among the 2022 NFL Draft receivers. His short area burst and quick twitch will allow him to pick up chunk yardage against off coverage and make the first defender miss. Play action will weave its way in as well, and this will give Fields the opportunity to hit on some shot plays. Jones has the speed to threaten deep and Fields has the deep ball accuracy to give him chances to make plays down the field.
Don’t expect massive numbers as a rookie, but the offensive shift should give him a role in year one with the Chicago Bears.