The Chicago Bears’ 2022 11-man draft class consists of some intriguing names. The Bears landed two immediate contributors in the secondary in Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker. But it’s third-round wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. who stood out to ESPN analyst Todd McShay.
Jones is coming off a breakout 2021 season, where he totaled 62 receptions for 807 yards and seven touchdowns. He was also a force on special teams as a returner after averaging 27.3 yards on 23 kickoff returns (with one touchdown) and 15.1 yards on 18 punt returns, earning him SEC Co-Special Teams Player of the Year honors.
While there are some who believe the Bears might’ve reached on Jones high in the third round, there’s plenty to love about Jones. He’s a speedster with great run-after-the-catch ability who has the potential to develop into a weapon in Luke Getsy’s offense.
McShay loves Jones’ upside, and he went as far as to explain why Jones was Chicago’s best draft pick.
“I love Jones’ upside,” McShay said, via ChicagoBears.com. “He’s a tad under 6-foot and is still refining his route running, but look at his speed and contact balance. He is a threat any time the ball is in his hands, with instincts and elusiveness in the open field and the breakaway speed to take the top off the defense. Jones’ 4.31 in the 40 ranked fourth among all participants at the combine and second among receivers, and he’s built like a running back.
“Chicago can get the ball in his hands on quick slants and let him pick up extra yards. They can target him on deep shots. They can get him involved on sweeps. And they can use him in the return game, where he averaged 24.4 yards per kickoff return and 15.1 per punt return during his college career. “
Jones joins a Bears receiving corps led by Darnell Mooney and newcomer Byron Pringle. Jones projects as a WR3, where he can carve out a role for himself in Getsy’s offense and give quarterback Justin Fields another playmaker to throw to.
Breaking down Bears’ 2022 draft class: Best picks, sleepers, overall assessment
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