Velus Jones Jr. is not a young NFL rookie
Chicago Bears rookie wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. turned 25 years old in May. That makes him about two years older than the Bears’ second-year quarterback Justin Fields who will be slinging the ball to him this season.
Being drafted at 25 in the NFL usually comes with question marks and red flags to both team organizations and fans. Questions like, ‘Why wasn’t he good enough to go by 22?’, or ‘how long can he last at his age?’ are typically followed.
This is especially true for Jones, as his position will be at wide receiver. The average NFL wide receiver peaks by age 27. That’s only two years away for Jones.
Velus Jones Jr. will bring speed to the Bears’ offense
Velus Jones Jr. spoke with NFL Network’s Adam Rank on “The Sick Podcast” this week. Jones told Rank that he doesn’t care if people talk about his age. Here are Jones’s quotes transcribed by Grant Gordon for NFL.com:
“I’m a baller at the end of the day. I know what I can do. Me being 25 years [old] is not going to stop me from running past people to score touchdowns and stuff like that. I’m going to be fast for a long time, strong for a long time and making plays for a long time. So, it’s really irrelevant.
I never did give up on myself, And it took me six years, red-shirted and then I took a COVID year. But through that process, it wasn’t for nothing. I got an undergrad at USC and I also got a Master’s. So I took, fully advantage. And also perfected my craft, also. If I can go back and do it over, I would change nothing.
So, with my situation and how I was raised, I grew up in a church and everything, God-timing is perfect timing. I went through a lot of obstacles, you know I had to beat a lot of odds, to get where I’m at to this day. Everything happens for a reason, I always say that in every interview. So how I feel about it is, if I was at a young age, Year 3, and I went to the league. I wasn’t as mature as I am now.
And I can also say I never had any major injuries in college. Only thing I had was like a boxing fracture and a high ankle sprain. Never broke a bone, never had surgery in my life. So, honestly, I have the body of like a 21 or 22-year-old. Then some guys that have a lot of injuries in college and that you know are going to take punishment in the NFL, but I’m healthy as, like a baby horse. I’m healthy as all get-outs. That really is irrelevant, you know people gonna talk about it. I only can control what I can control, so they can just stay tuned on that.”
Velus Jones Jr. will need to prove his age doesn’t matter in September
All of those quotes Velus Jones Jr. gave are great for the press. Jones shouldn’t be in the NFL if he lacks the confidence to think he belongs with the Bears. Players don’t get drafted into the NFL unless they’re physically gifted.
Jones will have every opportunity to prove his doubters wrong this fall. The Bears’ wide receiver room is a meal you’d make with the ingredients left in your refrigerator two days after you were supposed to go to the grocery store for the new week. If Jones can step up and fill the void the Bears need at wide receiver, fans will be sure to heap praise quickly.
The age concern for Jones will not vanish quickly. Especially with where Bears general manager Ryan Poles drafted Jones. Jones was rated as a 4th or 5th round draft pick. The Bears took him in the third round. It’s a terrible choice on paper. There’s no way to defend the value of taking a 25-year-old a round or two early. That’s called overcooking the board.
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