WATCH: Velus Jones knifes through Vikings defense, shows off elusiveness to score first NFL touchdown
Velus Jones is officially in the Chicago Bears history books, scoring his first NFL touchdown in Week 5 against the Minnesota Vikings.
The former USC Trojans and Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver showed why the Bears were so high on him after the 2022 NFL Draft, taking a nine-yard carry to the pylon and into the end-zone on an exciting play. Check out the video below, one that will always be special to the rookie wide receiver.
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Speed, strength and elusiveness all on display, Jones can be a special player in Chicago if they continue to manufacture touches for him.
Moreover, Jones played six seasons of college football, including the past two with the Volunteers after he began his career at USC. Last year, the versatile wide receiver and kick returner helped lay a foundation for first-year Tennessee coach Josh Heupel, finishing with a career-high 62 catches for 807 yards and seven touchdowns. In addition, he was named the SEC Co-Special Teams Player of the Year after averaging 27.3 yards with one touchdown on 23 kickoff returns and 15.1 yards on 18 punt returns.
Jones entered the 2022 season as one of 11 rookies selected by the Bears in the draft, as well as being the only receiver. He’s joined a passing attack led by second-year quarterback Justin Fields, as well as a receiving room that features an up-and-comer in Darnell Mooney.
Most importantly to the Bears, Jones also brings an innate ability in the return game with him to the NFL. Even when the former Tennessee star was finding receiving opportunities tough to come by, the special teams game allowed him a chance to shine.
Over five seasons of college football, he returned 142 kickoffs and punts combined, accumulating 3,245 total return yards and two touchdowns.
Todd McShay on Velus Jones: ‘He is a threat any time the ball is in his hands’
Moreover, ESPN analyst Todd McShay was especially high on Jones post-draft, naming him the Bears’ best draft selection.
“I love Jones’ upside,” McShay wrote. “He’s a tad under 6-foot and is still refining his route running, but look at his speed and contact balance. He is a threat any time the ball is in his hands, with instincts and elusiveness in the open field and the breakaway speed to take the top off the defense. Jones’ 4.31 in the 40 ranked fourth among all participants at the combine and second among receivers, and he’s built like a running back.
“Chicago can get the ball in his hands on quick slants and let him pick up extra yards. They can target him on deep shots. They can get him involved on sweeps. And they can use him in the return game.”
On3’s Chandler Vessels contributed to this article.