History proves the age of Chicago Bears WR Velus Jones Jr. is irrelevantRyan Heckmanon May 6, 2022 at 2:00 pm

When the Chicago Bears selected wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft, opinions and hot takes grew like wildfire.

The Tennessee product is coming into the league as a 25-year-old rookie, and many people are concerned about his age. Although he projects to be a key weapon for the Bears, some are curious just how long he will be able to play in Chicago.

The majority of rookies come into the league around the age of 21, so the Bears essentially drafted a guy who should technically be coming off his very first 4-year, rookie contract. Again, this is a huge concern for a lot of folks out there.

However, it shouldn’t be.

There is much history on the side of Chicago Bears rookie wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. when it comes to the age question.

If you take a look at some recent examples of wide receivers who played well into their 30’s, there are plenty of names who should instill more faith into Jones’ situation.

The first example is a very similar type of weapon to Jones, in terms of skill set: Steve Smith Sr. The longtime Carolina Panthers wide receiver was as fast as they come, and his ability to gain yards after the catch was essentially second to none. He excelled in moving the chains, just like Jones projects to.

Smith played his last season at age 37 with the Baltimore Ravens, and in that year he caught 70 passes for 799 yards and five touchdowns. His last career year with 1,000 or more receiving yards came at the age of 35, when he caught 79 passes for 1,065 yards and six scores.

After Smith turned 30, he still went on to have three more seasons going over 1,000 yards and even earned a Pro Bowl bid at age 32.

Other recent examples (recent, as in the past two decades) include Anquan Boldin who played until the age of 36, Larry Fitzgerald (37), Derrick Mason (37), Donald Driver (37), Reggie Wayne (36Wes Welker (35), Danny Amendola (36), Emmanuel Sanders (35) and DeSean Jackson (36),

As long as Jones stays healthy and wants to continue playing, there’s no reason why he couldn’t play a minimum of 10 years in the NFL. If the above guys have anything to say about it, Jones has a very, very long career ahead of him as a pro.

The narrative that the Bears shouldn’t have drafted an “old” rookie is one that should be immediately put to rest.

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