Chicago Bears Rookie Receiver Velus Jones Jr. Not Worried About Age Criticism: ‘I’m A Baller’

by Dustin Schutte

Age is only a number. You’re only as old as you feel. Young at heart. Use any timeless adage about age you’d like and it probably applies to Chicago Bears rookie wide receiver Velus Jones Jr.

When the Bears selected the 25-year-old receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft, the team caught a little bit of heat. Jones is older than your typical draft selection, leading many to wonder if Chicago made the right decision in attempting to re-stock its wide receiver room.

The skepticism doesn’t bother Jones, though. He told NFL Network‘s Adam Rank on The Sick Podcast that his age doesn’t affect his speed, strength or stamina.

“People talk about it, but it don’t matter,” Jones said. “I’m a baller at the end of the day. I know what I can do. Me being 25 years [old] is not going to stop me from running past people to score touchdowns and stuff like that. I’m going to be fast for a long time, strong for a long time and making plays for a long time. So, it’s really irrelevant.”

One attribute that proves to be a huge commodity in the NFL is durability. Over the course of his six-year college career (starting at USC and ending at Tennessee), Jones said he never sustained any major injuries.

“And I can also say I never had any major injuries in college,” Jones said. “Only thing I had was like a boxing fracture and a high ankle sprain. Never broke a bone, never had surgery in my life. So, honestly I have the body of like a 21 or 22 year old.”

Jones might not be one of the younger rookies the NFL has seen, but he certainly is one of the most confident. Joining a Chicago team that needs serious help at receiver, that’s a great characteristic to take into the locker room.

Velus Jones Jr. Enters Rookie Season With Momentum

Let’s set aside the fact Velus Jones Jr. is a 25-year-old rookie. Clearly, that’s not something bothering him as he hits the NFL for his first season in the league.

Chicago selected Jones in the third round of the NFL Draft for a reason. He’s coming off a tremendous senior season with Tennessee and posted an impressive time in the 40-yard dash at the combine. The rookie can make an immediate impact for the Bears.

During the 2021 season at Tennessee, Jones racked up 807 receiving yards and seven touchdowns on 62 receptions. He also accounted for 628 yards on 23 kickoff returns for the Volunteers. During the combine, he clocked a 4.3-second time in the 40-yard dash.

Jones brings the versatility and speed NFL teams are looking for and the Bears desperately need. If he’s able to produce on the field using those skills, who cares about age?