Velus Jones, Jr., WR: University of Tennessee – The Steel Study 2022 NFL Draft Prospect Cheatsheet

By Jeremy Hritz

Velus Jones, Jr.

Height: 6’0
Weight: 190
40 (est.): 4.4
College: University of Tennessee
Career Stats
– Receiving: 120 receptions, 1434 yards, 12 yards per reception, 11 touchdowns
– Rushing: 15 carries, 59 yards, 3.9 YPC, 1 TD
– Kick Returns: 122 returns, 2973 yards, 2 touchdowns, 24.4 yards per return
– Punt Returns: 18 returns, 272 yards, 15.1 yards per return
– Can contribute to teams in both the receiving and return game, with explosiveness, acceleration, and agility aplenty
– Is a true deep speed threat who can stretch defenses
– Competitive and possesses excellent hands
– Is outstanding after the catch and can create unseen yardage; noticeable in the return game as well 
Areas for Growth
– Not a combat catcher, struggles to make receptions in traffic 
– Somewhat of a one-trick pony, limited experience running diverse routes
– Will be 25 at the start of the NFL season
– At times will body catch instead of using hands (despite their effectiveness)
Best-Case Scenario
Having played 6 years of college football, Jones, Jr. is able to come into an NFL camp and contribute immediately as a kick returner, while providing some snaps as a 4th or 5th receiver. Is able to add the deep threat element to a team’s passing game, opening up space for other receivers and keeping defenses honest.
Likely Reality
Quality kick return man who provides depth at receiver but does not contribute with any consistency in the passing game. 
Projected Round
5th/6th round
Potential to Land with the Steelers 
The Steelers are in the market for a speedy, deep threat receiver, and Jones, Jr. is definitely that. In addition, he is highly explosive in the kick return game, which increases his value and ability to make contributions to the team immediately. While Ray Ray McCloud has been the return man for the Steelers in recent seasons, a selection like Jones, Jr. could be appealing because of what he can provide as a vertical target, something McCloud is not. At 25 years old when the season will begin, Jones, Jr. is a mature guy who could come to the Steelers and have an opportunity right away. And more than likely, you can grab him in the 5th round or even later. Someone to keep an eye on. 

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