Velus Jones Jr. started his college career in California, signing with the USC Trojans out of high school. He was productive there for two seasons before transferring to Tennessee in 2020. Last year, as a receiver, he caught 62 passes for 807 yards and seven touchdowns. Where he really stood out was on special teams as a kick returner. He returned 23 kick for 628 yards, an average of 27.3 yards per return, and took one to the house. That and his punt return work, also excellent, earned him a nod as the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year in 2021.
WR Velus Jones Jr.: Scouting Report
Jones was under-the-radar until last season, which makes him more intriguing as an NFL prospect, thought it probably means a late pick on day two or even day three. In the passing game, teams will be drawn to his acceleration and ability to get down the field fast. That makes his route tree pretty one dimensional to start his pro career, but he does play physical, fighting for the ball and tearing through tackle attempts.
Mock Draft landing spots
Mel Kiper/Todd McShay (ESPN): No. 90, Tennessee Titans
“Tennessee doesn’t have its second-round pick because of last year’s Julio Jones trade, so it could use this pick to add a playmaker for Ryan Tannehill. Jones, who will be 25 years old when the 2022 season begins, is lightning quick (4.31 40 at the combine) and will help in the return game.” -Kiper
Chris Trapasso (CBS Sports): No. 255, Los Angeles Chargers
Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News): No. 209, Cincinnati Bengals
Fantasy impact: Rookie year
Jones could step right in and make a difference as a return man. His limitations in the passing game mean that he probably won’t see the field much, but he could pull off a few big plays to help his team.
Fantasy impact: Career
The best hope for Jones is to establish himself as a blue chip special teams player with the speed and physicality to be a solid role player in the passing game.