The NFL Draft is behind us, rookie drafts are taking place, and as dynasty owners, we are looking ahead to the upcoming season. In the Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Update series, we break down all the incoming fantasy-relevant rookies, looking at their profiles and where they fit.
Name: Velus Jones
Position: Wide Receiver
Pro Team: Chicago Bears
College Team: USC/Tennessee
Draft Status: Round Three, Pick 71
You can find more videos right here on Jones’s DLF player page.
- Run-after-the-catch ability
- Speed, vertical threat
- Decent hands and concentration with good body control
- Good blocker, strong athlete
- Sub-par route running with limited technique
- Not a fluid runner, usually runs with choppy steps
- Limited production given age and years in college
- Breakout age of 24.3 (that has to be some kind of record)
Jones landed in possibly the perfect situation for himself to be able to produce year one and potentially earn a sizeable workload. The Bears’ wide receiver group remains one of the weakest in the league, despite the presence of Darnell Mooney. Given good draft capital was utilized on Jones, there is a chance the team gives him the opportunity to beat out Byron Pringle for the WR2 role this season. Will he?
Father Time. Get this: Velus Jones is a 25-year-old rookie. The following three-plus-year veterans are younger than him: Marquise Brown, DK Metcalf, AJ Brown, Mecole Hardman, Parris Campbell. DJ Moore is only a month older than Jones.
Jones spent six seasons in college yet only had one season over 300 scrimmage yards, and it was his very last season at Tennessee (822 yards). It remains to be seen if he will truly be productive at the next level given his overall lack of production early on in his college career. He may be better suited as a kick or punt returner. Byron Pringle and Equanimeous St. Brown are both veterans who have learned from great offensive minds in each of their respective former offenses, so it is not a lock that Jones will step right into a starting role.
The short-term expectations should be relatively low. There is a very decent chance that he produces solely as a kick or punt return specialist while seeing minimal snaps lined up as a receiver. By all accounts, the majority of fantasy analysts are projecting very little to come from the Bears’ offensive playmakers outside of Mooney, Cole Kmet, and David Montgomery. Jones is purely a late-round stash at this point.
The main thing going for him is the fact that he received day two draft capital, although that should be considered with a grain of salt given this is new general manager Ryan Poles’ first year in the position. Realistically, Jones is an old rookie prospect who did not produce in college until his sixth and final season in college, which is typically largely frowned upon for future prospects as a fantasy producer. Again, he is a late-round stash that you are likely hoping hits this year or next so that you can sell for a net gain in fantasy assets.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON
It is tough to come up with a comparison for Jones, so I will go with Ty Montgomery for the purpose of considering a player who had more strengths in the return game and on special teams than he did lined up as a receiver or running back.
PROJECTED ROOKIE DRAFT RANGE
In DLF’s May 2022 Rookie Dynasty ADP Jones is going off the board as the WR15 and 27th pick, likely due to draft capital and perceived opportunity. According to this ADP, he is being picked before Khalil Shakir, Romeo Doubs, Tyler Badie, Tyquan Thornton, and Danny Gray. I would not recommend picking him this high, and instead you should take a dart throw on one of those younger prospects.
Even though he went undrafted, I would rather consider drafting Justyn Ross than taking Jones in the early third round. Call me an ageist if you want, but I simply cannot trust this Bears offense or front office just yet over trusting younger prospects who had far more overall production and are more refined in their skillset by age 21-22.