The Chicago Bears draft Velus Jones in April looked like a typical situation. The team evaluates the player. The team meets the player and then decides that they like the player. Then the team works to select a player in the draft. Simple and a little routine. Except it wasn’t like that for the 3rd round pick. Her odyssey began in 2020. He could never have known back then how a chance connection with a QB hundreds of miles away would become what she has.
The rookie catcher appeared on The sick podcast with Adam Rank to discuss his college career and how he ended up in Chicago. It’s quite a story. Not everyone plays six seasons, but a unique set of circumstances made it happen for him. That’s why he entered the NFL at the ripe old age of 24. He saw the development as positive. This allowed him to obtain two university degrees and to refine his fundamentals as a receiver. Jones considers himself better prepared than most first-year players.
This is where the story gets interesting.
In most cases, a rookie receiver meets their quarterback for the first time at the draft. Unless they were teammates in college. Jones is an ultra-rare case. It seems that he had already developed a relationship with Justin Fields long before he arrived in Chicago. Its origin goes back much further than we think.
It’s pretty crazy. Two guys who are hundreds of miles apart at different schools connected online. They developed a decent relationship, and then Fields left for the NFL. It probably should have ended there. A year later, general manager Ryan Poles asked his new quarterback to watch a film about potential draft prospects, discussing who he might like to play with. Fields put a good word on Jones. Sure enough, a few days later, the catcher was a bear.
Velus Jones can’t wait to finally play with Fields.
It’s unclear whether Fields or Jones will make it in the NFL. Football is an unpredictable sport. That said, chemistry can go a long way in laying the groundwork. The fact that the two men already had strong communication should ease their transition on the pitch. Whispers from OTAs and minicamps suggest that Jones is already turning heads. This connection should only grow as they get more reps in training camp.
Expectations remain uncertain. The Poles said the Bears are very hopeful that Velus Jones will be an immediate contributor this year. That’s not to say they have visions of what JaMarr Chase did last season in Cincinnati. It’s more of a situation where they want to see steady progress in his operation and show off that talent. Somewhere along the 400-500 meter lines is the likely stadium.
Anything more would be icing on the cake.
It’s been a big year for Fields. Quarterbacks are expected to make a huge leap in Year 2. It’s going to be tough in a new offensive system. It will need significant contributions from its supporting cast. Jones is eager to help his friend do just that. It would make an inspiring story.
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