The Chicago Bears wanted to bolster their wide receiver corps this summer after losing Allen Robinson to free agency. The wide receiving corps was already thin before Robinson’s departure.
Thus, when they selected only one wide receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft, a 25-year-old, the scrutiny mounted rapidly.
For claimed 25-year-old Velus Jones, though, neither naysayers nor rival defenders will stop him.
Jones recently told NFL Network’s Adam Rank on The Sick Podcast, when asked if he was shocked that people are so fixated on his age, “People talk about it, but it doesn’t matter.” “At the end of the day, I am a baller. I know my capabilities. The fact that I am 25 years old will not prevent me from scoring touchdowns and other such feats. I will be quick for a very long time, powerful for a very long time, and able to make plays for a very long time. Thus, it is truly irrelevant.”
Jones, who was selected with the 71st overall choice in the third round, is not the perfect 21- or 22-year-old rookie, but he still possesses 4.3 40-yard dash pace and should provide a spark to the return game. He had 62 receptions for 807 yards and seven touchdowns during his senior year at Tennessee, which was statistically excellent. It was also his sixth season in college, which explains why he will be 25 as an NFL rookie.
Jones began his undergraduate career at USC and concluded it at Tennessee. The journey included a redshirt season and a COVID-19 eligibility extension.
“I never gave up on myself,” stated Jones. “And it took me six years, first as a red shirt and then as a COVID. However, this process was not for nothing. I earned an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree from USC. Therefore, I took full advantage. And I also improved my craft. If I could redo it, I would not make any changes.”
Jones must convince those who believe the Bears should have done more to give second-year quarterback Justin Fields more alternatives.
Jones is expected to contend for starting reps with the likes of Byron Pringle and Equanimous St. Brown, while Darnell Mooney is the only NFL receiver within striking distance of a proven producer.
Jones is prepared to demonstrate that the time is right for him to join the Bears and is a firm belief that it is.
Jones stated, “With my situation and upbringing, having been raised in a church and all, God’s timing is right.” “To get to where I am now, I had to overcome a number of challenges and overcome a number of difficulties. I constantly state in every interview that everything occurs for a purpose. Consequently, if I had joined the league when I was in third grade, my perspective would be as follows: I was less mature than I am currently.”
Maturity and experience could both be regarded as positive attributes. Jones does not believe he has more wear and tear than most rookies, despite having more experience.
Jones added, “I can also state that I was never seriously injured during my college years.” “My only injuries were a boxing fracture and an ankle sprain. I have never broken a bone and have never undergone surgery. Therefore, I have the physique of a 21- or 22-year-old. Then there are players who have suffered numerous injuries in college and who you know will endure punishment in the NFL, whereas I am as healthy as a newborn horse. I’m in the best of health. That is completely irrelevant; you already know that people will discuss it. I can only control what I can control, therefore they need only pay attention to that.”
Be on the lookout to see if the 25-year-old rookie proves the Bears and their detractors wrong.