Why Velus Jones was a horrible value for the Chicago Bears

Credit: Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports /

It took until the third round at 71 overall but the Chicago Bears finally picked a wide receiver. However, he isn’t much of a wide receiver and the team still has a need at the position.

Does Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles not like quarterback Justin Fields? A year ago, Chicago Bears Nation celebrated when the team picked Fields. They felt they finally found their franchise quarterback.

A year later, we are wondering why general manager Ryan Poles isn’t doing what he can to put FIelds in a winning situation. He didn’t sign many players of note at wide receiver to give him targets. Additionally, he didn’t do much to add protection on the offensive line.

The Bears had two picks in the second round. Many people thought Poles would trade at least one of the picks to acquire more of them. That didn’t happen. He kept the picks.

Many people also thought that the draft was falling great for Chicago. They had a litany of wide receivers and offensive linemen to choose from. Instead, Poles used the 39th overall pick on cornerback Kyler Gordon. He then went and used the 48th overall pick on safety Jaquan Brisker.

Fans were left wondering what happened. They really wanted help for Fields, but Poles went with defense. As they say, “The more things change the more they stay the same.” Once again, we’ll see the offense struggle to score points while the defense holds teams down.

Poles did finally pick a wide receiver, though. With the choices he had, however, he went with an under-the-radar player, Tennessee Volunteers’ Velus Jones Jr.

This was not the receiver that Poles and the Chicago Bears needed. Jones is a speed burner, running a 4.31-40 at the NFL Combine. However, he isn’t much of a route-runner. He has some trouble making catches in traffic. Additionally, he’s had trouble making catches with no pressure on him.

His speed is Jones’ calling card. He is lethal with the ball in his hand and open space. Once he gets clear, no one on the field will catch him. On passes downfield, he’ll blow past defenders. He can change speeds at will and just explode.

The problem with Jones is that his route-running is limited. Either he’ll go deep and blow past people or he’ll take a screen and use his speed and quickness to run away from defenders. He doesn’t do much more than that.

With his incredible speed, Jones is electric as a returner. At Tennessee, he averaged 24.4 yards per kickoff return and 15.1 yards per punt return.

Another negative on Jones is his age. He played an amazing six years in college. He played at USC from 2016 to 2019 and Tennessee from 2020 to 2021.

The Bears will do what they can to get the ball in Jones’ hands in space. They might envision Jones as a Deebo Samuel/Cordarrelle Patterson type of player. What the offense needs is someone who can catch the passes Fields throws. Jones isn’t that guy. Furthermore, many analysts gave him a fifth-round projection.

Yes, the Chicago Bears have a number of holes to fill. However, the offense needs special attention. The Bears have spent most of its existence watching great defensive efforts wasted while the offense struggles. It appears that it will continue this season. They should be looking for solid offensive players instead of gadget players.

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The Bears need to develop Fields. Jones will not help with that. He might be a good special teams player but Fields will likely enter his third season under the rookie contract in 2023 without having a true evaluation. That’s why picking Jones in the third round was a horrible pick.