Rd 3, P71: Velus Jones, WR - Tennessee

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dplank
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I’ve decided that Jones is going to be Marty Booker 2
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Mikefive wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 1:44 pm I used to be one of those guys like most or all of you here who studied the prospects and could do 5+ round mocks based on tape and scouting reports. Based on scouting reports I've seen since we picked him...
1. He did next to nothing for his first 5 college years.
2. He's a poor route runner, despite having a very limited route tree.
3. Despite his blazing speed and good size for that speed, he was a projected R4 or R5 guy.

It's funny to see the folks who know all this trying to talk themselves into why this was a good pick. Back in the day, I would've been smoking hot over picking a guy you could've gotten in R4 vs. another player who is a better value early in R3. So I can relate.

All that said, I have a different viewpoint now. I just take a wait and see once the games start before judging. Winning the draft in April doesn't mean squat anyway.
Except we didn't have a pick in round four and not 'til the 7th pick in round five. I didn't count the exact number of interceding picks but it seem to me like Poles felt Jones would not last 'til our 7th pick in round five so he reached a little because he had to.

I also don't believe that in his case executing the entire route tree will be as helpful as executing only those routes he'll be running as efficiently as possible. If Getsy's plan is to get Jones the ball in space as we did with Cohen at one time and tried to do with Hester then Jones may turn out to be a really valuable pick after all plus there is also his KR/PR talents.
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dplank wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 8:17 pm I’ve decided that Jones is going to be Marty Booker 2
Could you explain more?

On the face of it this looks like an odd comp
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dplank wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 8:17 pm I’ve decided that Jones is going to be Marty Booker 2
:toast:
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dplank wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 8:17 pm I’ve decided that Jones is going to be Marty Booker 2
A possession WR with giant hands who ran a 4.64?

Maybe if the Bears had drafted David Bell…
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I always liked Booker, one of our better receivers in recent history. Sturdy dude, decent size but not tall, strong and can run after catch. Just from watching highlights it’s who he reminded me of for some reason.
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Jones and Booker were both 3rd round picks and their build are somewhat similar - that, for me, is where the comparison ends.

Jones is the fastest bear wr since Johnny Knox, with Jones being 30lbs heavier. The age doesn’t bother me - I believe Devin Hester was 24 when he was drafted. The questions surrounding this kid (for me anyway) are whether he can develop as a route runner and if Getsy can get the most out of him
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I'm slowly coming around on this kid, and I will get more excited IF and it's a big IF, he can develop his route running, and be a proven commodity over the middle on slants, drags, and digs. His YAC is outstanding. As well as be an asset on ST as a gunner. If he can do that...then it's a win.
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Some of my favorite players over the past few years have been weapons like Jones... Deebo (body, yac), Reek (speed, elusiveness, suddenness), Curtis Samuel in Carolina. I've grown to love CPatt, even though Nagy managed zero TDs rushing or recieving with him in two years (WTF!!). And Velus Jones is VERY much like CPatt except faster, sudden, and looks like a much better receiver.

I'm fighting the homerism hard. Especially because I didn't know hardly anything about the guy besides a highlight or two and pre-draft lists where he wasn't particularly high but you can't help but notice the speed. Now watching his video he seems like a really good guy & teammate. This guy is better and better for the Bears the more you dig into it. I think the same thing occurred to Poles & team, as they hunted for guys with a chip on their shoulder.

I'm convinced this is going to go from "how did he go so high" to "how did he go so low - look at that explosiveness & speed and nose for the end zone".

I'm obsessed with this tape. This is SEC football. Look at this effing KR at :50. And that acceleration off the line at 3:42. And the two TDs around 5:00. Sudden, and then blazing. And the instant speed I'm guessing his speed at 1 second after the snap is the closest thing we could hope to Reek-like. Chicago is going to effing LOVE this guy.

Kollmann had good things to say about him, but man that ST pigeonhole / label is hard to shake even for really good analysts like Kollmann. I'm not sure Kollmann's buckets/tiers appropriately reflect NFL player value where versatility is becoming strategic vs guys being a positionless question mark.

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Great tape, IE!

The more I read and the more I see about him, I am thinking that maybe Velus Jones will become a real pain in the ass for the rest of the NFC North.

After seeing that tape I'm really glad he did not go to one of our division opponents.

:welcome:
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wab wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 10:11 pm
dplank wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 8:17 pm I’ve decided that Jones is going to be Marty Booker 2
A possession WR with giant hands who ran a 4.64?

Maybe if the Bears had drafted David Bell…
Yup.....that would be a much better comp. This kid has some real wheels on him and a motor to match. Plus he can catch.

Here's what I see;

He's not had the greatest of college careers. Either he was a poor fit at USC at WR or they simply chose to keep his as a KR/PR Specialist and therefore buried on their depth chart. He moves on to Tennessee where he finally get to play some at WR and breaks out in 2021. But in his two seasons there he caught 84 balls for nearly 1100 yards and 10 TDs so the kid can actually play some and he's stuck it out in college working to get better so he would get drafted......and did.

Someone else posted a blurb about how he was one of the biggest reaches in Round 3 because he was slotted as the #127 ranked player which ironically would have had him aligned with NE pick there. Knowing Belicheat I'd like to think he wouldn't have passed on him if only because he could see Jones as another Cordarelle Patterson type weapon which is more of what he is. We also had no 4th round pick so if we wanted him Poles pretty much had to take him at #71 or risk losing him.

In the long run I think we're gonna be happy he did.
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artbest01 wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 6:59 am Jones and Booker were both 3rd round picks and their build are somewhat similar - that, for me, is where the comparison ends.

Jones is the fastest bear wr since Johnny Knox, with Jones being 30lbs heavier. The age doesn’t bother me - I believe Devin Hester was 24 when he was drafted. The questions surrounding this kid (for me anyway) are whether he can develop as a route runner and if Getsy can get the most out of him
Great post. Jones has "weapon" type skills. If Getsy can exploit those Jones will be a great pick at that spot.
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I have a feeling a lot of the people hating on this pick will be claiming they knew it was a good pick all along by October.
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TheWorldBreaker wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 4:40 pm I have a feeling a lot of the people hating on this pick will be claiming they knew it was a good pick all along by October.
No way, man. When I'm wrong, I admit it, and I'll eat all kinds of crow.
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AZ_Bearfan wrote: Sun Apr 10, 2022 1:54 pm Poles went to a nice steakhouse, ordered the cheapest thing on the menu and is stuffing the bread rolls in his pockets for later. Poles is basically my mom.
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If Getsy can put him into some successful plays that get the ball out of Fields' hands quickly, that might really help Fields' development.
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Yeah, maybe they can learn the new Getsky route tree together. ;)

I'm only half joking. I think all of these young guys are standing at the gates of a golden opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a well-managed total renovation like this one.

My kool-aid cup runneth over.
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pus wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 8:41 pm Yeah, maybe they can learn the new Getsky route tree together. ;)

I'm only half joking. I think all of these young guys are standing at the gates of a golden opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a well-managed total renovation like this one.

My kool-aid cup runneth over.
I just want him to learn the Desean Jackson tree. Or the initial Reek tree. I'm not greedy.

Let Mooney hang out in the trees. I want Jones in the end zone.
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If you look at Fields completion percentage by depth, he was awful at behind the LOS and 0-9 yards:

Image

https://www.dabearsblog.com/2022/fields ... more-30883


At worst, Jones gives him the option of getting rid of the ball quickly with the opportunity for serious YAC.

I think this is a big reason why Poles (and Fields) wanted him.
An excellent way to take pressure off a young QB.
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This makes me feel better about Jones:

https://dawindycity.com/2022/05/03/chic ... -impact/4/

Will they use him as the X?
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Grizzled wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 3:35 pm This makes me feel better about Jones:

https://dawindycity.com/2022/05/03/chic ... -impact/4/

Will they use him as the X?
I think he'll definitely get some X snaps. Guys are gonna move around a lot. Whoever the "starter" is opposite Mooney each week may not get the second most snaps. Getsy is gonna get by with unique looks, not being predictable, a steady run game, and obviously the talent of Fields.
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dplank wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 8:17 pm I’ve decided that Jones is going to be Marty Booker 2
I'm assuming high as fuck when you wrote this, yeah? :lol:

Those two couldn't be any more different WRs bro: Marty was a pure possession WR, Jones is legitimate 4.3 burner.
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The Cooler King wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 9:00 pm
Grizzled wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 3:35 pm This makes me feel better about Jones:

https://dawindycity.com/2022/05/03/chic ... -impact/4/

Will they use him as the X?
I think he'll definitely get some X snaps. Guys are gonna move around a lot. Whoever the "starter" is opposite Mooney each week may not get the second most snaps. Getsy is gonna get by with unique looks, not being predictable, a steady run game, and obviously the talent of Fields.
As Adams was used in GB, moved around a lot, even into the slot.
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dave99 wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 3:04 pm If you look at Fields completion percentage by depth, he was awful at behind the LOS and 0-9 yards:

Image

https://www.dabearsblog.com/2022/fields ... more-30883


At worst, Jones gives him the option of getting rid of the ball quickly with the opportunity for serious YAC.

I think this is a big reason why Poles (and Fields) wanted him.
An excellent way to take pressure off a young QB.
My take on that performance on short throws is that in those cases he was often under duress. I'd like to think that Nagy's presumptuous style had a lot to do with it.

On Vay Jones playing the X I do think he and Pringle will rotate in that spot, with Pringle getting more. Me personally I'd like to see them deploy Horsted there as well. After a few years of building strength training to be a TE, Jesper may surprise in that role.
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If the plan is to "move guys around alot" the younger players are really gonna struggle to learn the playbook. Mooney is smart enough and Pringle is a veteran so I trust them to play any spot. Velus, Newsome, and any UDFA that sticks should only be learning one position IMO. That's how you get rookies on the field faster. ESB I still consider a special teamer in the vein of Josh Bellamy so I don't care what they do with him and I don't know enough about David Moore to know whether to treat him as a vet or a ST-only guy or what.
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crueltyabc wrote: Thu May 05, 2022 2:56 pm If the plan is to "move guys around alot" the younger players are really gonna struggle to learn the playbook. Mooney is smart enough and Pringle is a veteran so I trust them to play any spot. Velus, Newsome, and any UDFA that sticks should only be learning one position IMO. That's how you get rookies on the field faster. ESB I still consider a special teamer in the vein of Josh Bellamy so I don't care what they do with him and I don't know enough about David Moore to know whether to treat him as a vet or a ST-only guy or what.
Respectfully, I believe there are aspects of this that are a bit too "traditional" or conservative, and maybe not as relevant for a team that is intending to get players open via their athleticism and overwhelming speed vs precisely-executed routes on a complicated tree. AND smarter play calling.

I see Jones starting out like Reek did, with very friendly assignments that take advantage of his ability to simply leave the defenders in the dust... to scare the crap out of them & make them respect you even if you don't have the ball in your hands. We know the new Bear offense is going to be far more simple & straight-forward especially for the skill players if not as much for the Oline. And then the challenge for Getsy is to have the right packages of guys with the right bundle of plays they can run.

So I guess I sort of disagree here with the notion that Jones' playing time or touches are going to be highly dependent upon him learning a ton of nuances. I think those sorts of days and player development approaches where he has to start as a mostly ST player... those days are over. I think he's going to get the ball a LOT but in simpler ways.

And god bless the guys that try to slow, keep up with or catch him.
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I think we’re agreeing

The conservative approach is to sit young WRs until they know how to run all the plays from every position

The new way is to train them on one position so they have less to learn about their assignments. It has nothing to do with route tree or precision it has to do with literally lining up in the right place and running the correct (even if it’s imprecise) route.

And yes Jones will have a package of plays where they get it to him in space. But someone also needs to be in there doing normal receiver things on 3rd and 8 so I think he learns ONLY the plays from slot or ONLY the plays from Z and Mooney/Pringle move to slot because they’re vets and know what to do
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Watched some highlights and stuff. My thoughts.

PROS
  • great kick return vision, should immediately get that role
  • very nimble on his feet, graceful adjustments on underthrown passes
  • speed/athleticism are NFL caliber
  • challenges defensive backs to tackle him clean, as he doesn't go down at first contact
CONS
  • the way he carries the football worries me - fumbles are likely
The KR/PR jobs are his to lose. He'd be a great weapon out of the slot, but with WR as dry as it is, he may be over-targeted and I don't think that's where he excels. Should be an interesting guy to follow.
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I wasn't feeling the pick when it was made, but I've come around. He and Thomas are probably my two favorite picks at this point.
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