PRO 2022 Rookie Spotlight: Velus Jones Jr., WR Tennessee

Rookie Spotlight: Velus Jones Jr., Tennessee Photo via Tennessee Athletics
Height: 6-0
Weight: 203
Hands: 9 3/4″
Arm: 31″
40 yard dash: 4.31
NFL Comparison: Devin Duvernay, Brandon Aiyuk

College Production (Final Season)
26% team receptions
24% team receiving yards
21% team receiving TDs

Breakout Age: 24

-Great open field vision
-Elite change of direction skills
-Savvy route runner
-Accelerates to top speed quickly
-Tracks ball well in air
-Balanced blocker

-Lets balls into chest too often
-Only one year of solid production
-Not great catching through contact
-Limited route tree
-A 6th-year college player in 2021, will be 25 years old as a rookie
-Didn’t break out until age 24

Scouting Notes:
Sure to be one of the faster WRs at the Combine this year, Jones is fast in every aspect of his game. Watching his tape you might think the film is being sped up, as he accelerates quickly through his routes and turns upfield in a blink to explode downfield and fall forward at the end of his runs. He’s a savvy route runner, though his route tree was somewhat limited at Tennessee, and he tracks the ball well through the air, but his eyes are even better after the catch. Jones displays superb openfield vision, calling his blocks and adjusting to the shape of perils to come downfield. He isn’t great at catching the ball through contact, but he does possess good contact balance after the fact, and he often avoids it altogether through his elite change of direction abilities. Jones stops and starts in an instant, maintaining his speed throughout the process. He runs with joy and aggression, so much so that it’s hard to watch him without getting fired up. Jones takes that aggression and his balance into his blocking as well, which is good to see in a mid-sized WR. Jones has strong hands, but he often lets the ball into his body. That’s something he’ll need to work on to secure the ball at the next level.


Fantasy Outlook:
Jones only had one super solid year of production at Tennessee, but that’s partly because he was a transfer from USC, where he wasn’t getting adequate playing time. This particular year was his Super-Senior season, when Josh Palmer and Brandon Johnson had left for the NFL by that point, and Jones was the focal point of the passing offense. At the Senior Bowl, we’d like to see Jones display more nuance in his routes and not rely on his impressive speed to create separation, as a guy who’s now played in college for 6 years, he should have that down. He has the skill set to be a productive slot in the NFL, one that can pose a vertical threat in addition to improvising with intermediate catches. His track-star speed alone has the potential to take him far, and he’ll likely be a kick returner as well, as he played the role often in college. With as age-centric as dynasty drafting has become, it will take one heck of a pre-draft process and an advantageous landing spot to get your average dynasty league player super-interested in a player with Velus Jones’ profile any time earlier than the 4th round or so of traditional 1QB leagues. As with all rookie profiles, this one will be updated through the process with these sorts of pertinent details when the RW staff deems them necessary to communicate.


Versatile wide receiver and dynamic return specialist in his sixth year at the collegiate level … Spent his first four seasons at Southern Cal from 2016-19 before transferring to Tennessee in the spring of 2020 … In his second season in Knoxville and elected to return for the 2021 campaign … Played in 60 career games with 20 starts (22 games and 14 starts at Tennessee) … For his career, has hauled in 110 passes for 1,349 yards … In his three seasons on the field at USC, logged 36 receptions for 347 yards to go along with 1,947 kickoff return yards on a school-record 81 attempts … The FBS’ active career leader in kickoff return yards with 2,851 … Averages 24.4 yards per kickoff return … Finished his USC career second all-time in school history in kickoff return yards, 194 behind record-holder Adoree’ Jackson … Has scored 13 touchdowns three different ways at the college level – receiving (10), rushing (1) and kick return (2) … Owns three 100-yard receiving games … Earned his undergraduate degree from USC and completed his master’s in agricultural leadership, education & communications in December 2021.

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