Rd 3, P71: Velus Jones, WR - Tennessee

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This pick was a total waste. I understand there are times that you draft the better talent.

We did that though with the first two picks.

WRs do no good when the QB is running for his life.

There were a couple starting OL on the board at the time including Rain Man.

Even though I think this was a mistake, I hope Velus Jones becomes the next Randy Moss and goes into Canton as a Bear for his whole career.
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I don’t like this pick, but the dude can haul ass. I thought he was strictly a gadget guy and had him as a 5th round guy.
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I kinda like the player, just obviously bitter we’ve ignored OL yet again. As I’ve admitted before, I’m no scout and hardly watch college football, so my reasons for liking a player are surface-y. What I like about this guy is his speed obviously, but combined with his thickness. I think he’s a real RAC threat in our new offense, break a tackle and take it for big plays kind of guy. We haven’t had a guy like that AFAIK

Simms take:

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Well first, that video is not really "analysis", guys - it asks a few questions but instead of trying to answer them just spins his USC experience a bit negatively, ignores the obvious context that he clearly wanted to be more than KR at USC and ended up leaving because of it. If someone wants to wallow in trepidation, that's a great video. In fairness they did mention he was the best WR at the senior bowl and also his speed and good body.

I'm surprised seeing folks act like he's the only 24 year old who was ever drafted, or that he's horribly old. Nobody mentions Hester's draft age of 24, and he was even more of an positionless "athlete" pick and a round higher. Unlike Hester, Jones earned a Master's degree at Tennessee. Jones isn't a development project - he is going to get immediate opportunity. Isn't it incredibly obvious that Poles wouldn't have picked Jones without buy-in from Flus and Getsy? No way he'd do that out of the gate. This was a consensus pick in the new room that includes Cunningham and a lot of other top notch personnel personnel. I also just read that Poles watched tape WITH JF1 last weekend to get his input on their candidates. Poles is building a culture and a team and wants to make sure they're all seeing the same thing and picking players that fit what they want to do (not reaching for names). Jones is exactly the sort of "shoulder chip guy" that Poles likes.

It is driving me crazy that people are saying the Bears drafted a KR. I feel bad for Jones because he had to burn years trying to avoid that pure label. Labels don't come off easily. He's still pigeonholed even after a really nice season in '21. Jones isn't a slot receiver either. He can play on the inside OR out. Both he and Pringle have the bodies to play the X for this year if we have to wait until next year for our stud alpha guy. But honestly (and I'm guilty too) longing for that big X is just fans saying what the Bears need, with very traditional mentality. Poles never said that - he said he wanted explosiveness and play-making ability - and with this kid he got it in spades. I agree with CK we're probably going to see him in the backfield as well.

Lastly, on the average age of draft picks lower... it is NOT that players are always better when they're 21-22 than when they're 24. It is guaranteed money and opportunity to secure it that is driving the trend. Before the rookie wage scale in 2012 the average first round draft pick age was closer to 23 (22.6) than what it is now around 22. One of the reasons guys need developmental time in the NFL is BECAUSE they come out too early chasing security and they just aren't ready. Jones is ready. Sure, his role will expand over time. But Getsy is going to use him immediately and hopefully to great effect.
Last edited by IE on Sat Apr 30, 2022 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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I said this in the BFO chat last night and will repeat it here: I hate the pick (to clarify: the player, not the position) and I hope I'm wrong.

MAKE ME EAT MY WORDS, VELUS!
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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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Poles said in his press conference that he watched tape of WRs with Fields and Jones was on the list. So you got buy in from your OC, ST, and QB.

Poles also mentioned he could play running back and mentioned how difficult a player that lines up in multiple different spots on different weeks can make things on opposing defenses.

So I think some people are underselling the value the Bears see in him. Hopefully, it works out.
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dplank wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 9:44 am What I like about this guy is his speed obviously, but combined with his thickness. I think he’s a real RAC threat in our new offense, break a tackle and take it for big plays kind of guy. We haven’t had a guy like that AFAIK
For as long as I can remember, the Bears have had WRs that caught the ball and then fell down. Or the Arob move I always hated of jumping to catch the ball (seriously what was Furrey doing?). Or the debacles we always saw with Bear receivers standing still, slow moves & immediate tackles. Last year we were excited about the track speed guys (Goodwin, Byrd) but we rarely saw them even try to take advantage. We did see Byrd and Grant last year make some nice plays on the move. But those were rare exceptions and mostly Nagy neutered any speed the team had with this strategy and play calling. Oh God please make that the past, and gift us an explosive offensive future.
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IE does bring up a good point about Jones earning his Master's degree. Players can get grad transfer eligibility by taking grad classes, but to earn the degree you actually have to do the work — college coaches don't (yet) have the same influence over grad programs that they have over undergrad.

Jones isn't on the same level as Hester athletically, but then Hester isn't on the same level intellectually either.

Most of the sources I trust had a 6th round grade on him, but that's only tangentially relevant to individual team ratings, so I get that.

Further, the only other guys with similar speed in the draft — at least who have draftable grades, in my view — are Bo Melton (<- crush alert) and Calvin Austin Jr, neither of whom has the frame Jones has. (Know who does have a frame like that? Byron Pringle.)

I am still unhappy with the player, but there are strands that weave together a rationale.
Last edited by thunderspirit on Sat Apr 30, 2022 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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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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Sure it's objectively a reach, but that stops mattering the second after the pick. I do like the player and we'll have to see how the whole deal comes together. I get the fit, even if I wish they had made a bigger push for a true X WR.
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The Cooler King wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 10:57 am Sure it's objectively a reach, but that stops mattering the second after the pick. I do like the player and we'll have to see how the whole deal comes together. I get the fit, even if I wish they had made a bigger push for a true X WR.
I like the player but the value was what I took issue with. Then again, if they thought he’d go in the 4th, there’s nothing wrong with taking him a round earlier if you have conviction about him.
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IE wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 9:48 am Well first, that video is not really "analysis", guys - it asks a few questions but instead of trying to answer them just spins his USC experience a bit negatively, ignores the obvious context that he clearly wanted to be more than KR at USC and ended up leaving because of it. If someone wants to wallow in trepidation, that's a great video. In fairness they did mention he was the best WR at the senior bowl and also his speed and good body.

I'm surprised seeing folks act like he's the only 24 year old who was ever drafted, or that he's horribly old. Nobody mentions Hester's draft age of 24, and he was even more of an positionless "athlete" pick and a round higher. Unlike Hester, Jones earned a Master's degree at Tennessee. Jones isn't a development project - he is going to get immediate opportunity. Isn't it incredibly obvious that Poles wouldn't have picked Jones without buy-in from Flus and Getsy? No way he'd do that out of the gate. This was a consensus pick in the new room that includes Cunningham and a lot of other top notch personnel personnel. I also just read that Poles watched tape WITH JF1 last weekend to get his input on their candidates. Poles is building a culture and a team and wants to make sure they're all seeing the same thing and picking players that fit what they want to do (not reaching for names). Jones is exactly the sort of "shoulder chip guy" that Poles likes.

It is driving me crazy that people are saying the Bears drafted a KR. I feel bad for Jones because he had to burn years trying to avoid that pure label. Labels don't come off easily. He's still pigeonholed even after a really nice season in '21. Jones isn't a slot receiver either. He can play on the inside OR out. Both he and Pringle have the bodies to play the X for this year if we have to wait until next year for our stud alpha guy. But honestly (and I'm guilty too) longing for that big X is just fans saying what the Bears need, with very traditional mentality. Poles never said that - he said he wanted explosiveness and play-making ability - and with this kid he got it in spades. I agree with CK we're probably going to see him in the backfield as well.

Lastly, on the average age of draft picks lower... it is NOT that players are always better when they're 21-22 than when they're 24. It is guaranteed money and opportunity to secure it that is driving the trend. Before the rookie wage scale in 2012 the average first round draft pick age was closer to 23 (22.6) than what it is now around 22. One of the reasons guys need developmental time in the NFL is BECAUSE they come out too early chasing security and they just aren't ready. Jones is ready. Sure, his role will expand over time. But Getsy is going to use him immediately and hopefully to great effect.
I am damn glad Velus Jones did not go to GB, Detroit or Minnesota.

Now please fix the OL...
Last edited by pus on Sat Apr 30, 2022 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Cooler King wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 10:57 am Sure it's objectively a reach, but that stops mattering the second after the pick. I do like the player and we'll have to see how the whole deal comes together. I get the fit, even if I wish they had made a bigger push for a true X WR.
I think it is subjectively a reach. I really the consider "he was ranked as __" to be a function of timing and slow reaction in some quarters. Rankings for these guys start EARLY... most of them are mostly baked and guys laddered even before the guys play in their last season. Especially for upper classmen, who for the most part are not unknown quantities. But some guys DO shake their reputation and the going-in projections in one final year. THE best example of that is Kenneth Walker. He had exceptional opportunity and took advantage of it - then cemented his position with a good combine. Jones also had *good* opportunity and did very well with it. Enough to move the needle on his grade? Not much because he was more pigeonholed, as a KR. But then he showed well in the senior bowl as a WR and then killed it at the combine ... and some evaluations of him hockey-sticked. The narrative about maybe being a Deebo/Curtis/CPatt type and being a sought after commodity resonated in many places. Especially with that speed. Not all though - so you see 5-6th round projections and also then a lot of commentary and other projections showing him going in the 3rd/4th.
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Here we all are bitching about the pick, or where he was taken, me included. Watch him become the next Deebo Samuel or some shit like that. I'll take a stout frame, smarts, and the will to be great over college stats every day of the week.
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I think his best bet on offense early is as a slot or coming out of the backfield.

Good hands, serious speed, hasn't taken a huge beating in college which is a plus to his limited career as a starting WR.

Deebo or Tyreek light would be my vision of him in the offense.
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IE wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 10:37 am For as long as I can remember, the Bears have had WRs that caught the ball and then fell down. Or the Arob move I always hated of jumping to catch the ball (seriously what was Furrey doing?).
I made the mistake of pointing that out while watching a game with my kids, and now they do it all the time as a goof. The seven-year-old even does it in baseball. Curse you, ARob!

Following up on that point and some other good ones you made, I wonder if coaching didn't play a big part here. Jones was stuck behind a bunch of good WRs at USC, then transferred to a pretty unstable situation at Tennessee. My biggest worry is that he doesn't have the route-running chops to get off the line and get open in the league, but what if he's been specifically coached not to worry about silly little details like that, and just to haul ass on every play? He seems sharp and self-disciplined, so it's all down to the wiggle and habits of mind whose absence turned John Ross into a stiff and Marquise Goodwin into a sidebar.

Furrey was the Nagy of WR coaches, so there's plenty of room for growth here. If Jones turns out to be Mega Cohen, that'd work just fine. Still a lot of what-ifs for my blood at 71, but we're, y'know, dwelling in possibility as famous Bears fan Emily Dickinson said way back when.
Last edited by karhu on Sat Apr 30, 2022 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bears Whiskey Nut wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 12:14 pmWatch him become the next Deebo Samuel or some shit like that.
From your keyboard to reality.
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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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karhu wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 12:44 pm
IE wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 10:37 am For as long as I can remember, the Bears have had WRs that caught the ball and then fell down. Or the Arob move I always hated of jumping to catch the ball (seriously what was Furrey doing?).
I made the mistake of pointing that out while watching a game with my kids, and now they do it all the time as a goof. The seven-year-old even does it in baseball. Curse you, ARob!

Following up on that point and some other good ones you made, I wonder if coaching didn't play a big part here. Jones was stuck behind a bunch of good WRs at USC, then transferred to a pretty unstable situation at Tennessee. My biggest worry is that he doesn't have the route-running chops to get off the line and get open in the league, but what if he's been specifically coached not to worry about silly little details like that, and just to haul ass on every play? He seems sharp and self-disciplined, so it's all down to the wiggle and habits of mind whose absence turned John Ross into a stiff and Marquise Goodwin into a sidebar.

Furrey was the Nagy of WR coaches, so there's plenty of room for growth here. If Jones turns out to be Mega Cohen, that'd work just fine. Still a lot of what-ifs for my blood at 71, but we're, y'know, dwelling in possibility as famous Bears fan Emily Dickinson said way back when.
Yeah I think he bided his time and hoped to get WR opportunity at USC - but it is just plain too big a pipeline and I'm guessing he got passed over again & again and then finally concluded if he was ever going to play WR it had to be elsewhere. Who knows - at USC he may not have even gotten a lot of serious WR coaching if they just considered him their star KR.

I just learned that Furrey was Nagy's roommate in the arena league. I mean - that's the resume. OTOH now we have to remember the Bears have brought in one of THE most well-respected WR coaches in the league & one who is thought to have potential HC future. Coaches matter. A LOT.
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I can understand not liking the pick but the player is intriguing. The Bears have never had the kind of offensive speed to threaten with that we do now and we have a QB who can actually benefit from that. With Jones versatility he's far more of a comprehensive weapon than a core offensive tool. He's the kind of player a good OC can use to produce points.

And if Poles who was an OL himself is passing over supposedly higher graded OL who or what does he see on Day 3 or otherwise. Is he less unhappy with his OL than has often been said? Poles is far more subtle than Pace so we need to follow along with the decisions he makes and the moves that result. It's definitely a curious draft so far.
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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.
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Jones is outstanding with YAC. I think they will scheme to get him the ball quickly to take pressure off of Fields and the OL.
Maybe down the road he will become a more polished route runner. If not he is still a weapon, probably went a half round too high but he may not have lasted into round 5.
It looks like Poles was trying lever as many play making options as possible into one pick.
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I'm wondering if it is possible to spin Jones more negatively and avoid actual context more thoroughly. Sure, you don't care Mike - that's why you went out of your way to express your dissatisfaction on the guy. ROFL
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IE wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 2:12 pm I'm wondering if it is possible to spin Jones more negatively and avoid actual context more thoroughly. Sure, you don't care Mike - that's why you went out of your way to express your dissatisfaction on the guy. ROFL
To be clear, it's not MY dissatisfaction, exactly. I'm not the one who does draft profiles and rated him as a 4th or 5th. It's just that I've found so many of those reviews to be ultimately unreliable that it's not worth getting all worked up over such evaluations when it's other people's opinions, not really mine. But that's just me.
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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.
When was that? For at least 15 years, in at least two forums, you've been saying "I'm not one of those draftniks like the rest of you, but...."

Got an opinion? That's why we're here. No need to wrap it in that other jazz.
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I just don't get the consternation about Jones from anywhere. He's not a KR he's a WR. And he's not a diminutive speedster like they brought in last year- he's a rare big solid guy who can really play football fast. They didn't have the opportunity to draft a first round guy this year, so they were always going to roll with Mooney, Pringle, ESB and a draft pick that would end up being the 3rd/4th WR. So one way to really get the most value in that context is to grab the fastest most useful guy in that context. Then this guy made his case and showed the exact explosiveness and shoulder chip they covet. Unless he has total stone hands (he doesn't) he's going to be an instant contributor. I can't wait to see what they do with him on the run & screen game.
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Just speaking for myself, it's a lot easier to like the Jones pick now that we've made some very educated stabs at bolstering the o-line. I still wish we'd have cashed in a bit of equity here and positioned ourselves to take my guy, but Jones, Thomas, and now Carter are legitimate late-round investments worth developing.
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karhu wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 4:58 pm Just speaking for myself, it's a lot easier to like the Jones pick now that we've made some very educated stabs at bolstering the o-line. I still wish we'd have cashed in a bit of equity here and positioned ourselves to take my guy, but Jones, Thomas, and now Carter are legitimate late-round investments worth developing.
Agreed. I guess it was always implicit that an OL or two later would come. But once Poles started trading back I figured he'd grab a whole bunch of guys they liked (and traded back because they liked so many).
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There’s a reason prospects get ranked. It weird that people are suddenly so dismissive of that as soon as they emotionally attached themselves to a player.

For every DeeBo there’s a Tywan Taylor that flames out. I don’t love the value but if the Bears thought he’d be gone by their next pic, it’s whatever. There’s no issue with the pick at that point.
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wab wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 5:10 pm There’s a reason prospects get ranked. It weird that people are suddenly so dismissive of that as soon as they emotionally attached themselves to a player.

For every DeeBo there’s a Tywan Taylor that flames out. I don’t love the value but if the Bears thought he’d be gone by their next pic, it’s whatever. There’s no issue with the pick at that point.
I get it the point I've been making is the rankings *changed* and were not consistent. I've heard people saying projections for the guy were all over the place, ranging from the 2nd (after the senior bowl and combine) to 5th-6th. That sort of thing and especially recent-changing information causes confusion. And that inconsistency of takes results in a guy both simultaneously being thought of as a 3rd day pick while also being a guy some where predicting to rise up into day 2 and be considered a good pick at that point.

Let's call him Schrodinger's WR. He's both a good pick, and not. :)

Hey wab - without going too far off topic why is this Jojo Domann guy slipping so far. Super slow? Seems like a mini Kwit type guy that would be useful in Flus' frequent nickel.
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IE wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 5:19 pm
wab wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 5:10 pm There’s a reason prospects get ranked. It weird that people are suddenly so dismissive of that as soon as they emotionally attached themselves to a player.

For every DeeBo there’s a Tywan Taylor that flames out. I don’t love the value but if the Bears thought he’d be gone by their next pic, it’s whatever. There’s no issue with the pick at that point.
I get it the point I've been making is the rankings *changed* and were not consistent. I've heard people saying projections for the guy were all over the place, ranging from the 2nd (after the senior bowl and combine) to 5th-6th. That sort of thing and especially recent-changing information causes confusion. And that inconsistency of takes results in a guy both simultaneously being thought of as a 3rd day pick while also being a guy some where predicting to rise up into day 2 and be considered a good pick at that point.

Let's call him Schrodinger's WR. He's both a good pick, and not. :)

Hey wab - without going too far off topic why is this Jojo Domann guy slipping so far. Super slow? Seems like a mini Kwit type guy that would be useful in Flus' frequent nickel.
JoJo was a sloooooowwwwww safety that moved to LB. He’s tough as nails, but pretty physically limited.
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