Former Tennessee Vols wide receiver Velus Jones Jr wowed draft scouts this week at the Senior Bowl with an impressive body adjusting catch against his former UT teammate Alontae Taylor.
Tennessee WR Velus Jones Jr. getting a TD on his teammate Alontae Taylor pic.twitter.com/2wMzr7q8MO
— Talkin’ Giants (@TalkinGiants) February 2, 2022
Jones has also concerned scouts, though, with numerous drops during Senior Bowl week practice.
Draft expert John Ledyard, of The Pewter Report, detailed some of the concerns he has about Jones during an appearance on The Buck Reising Show on 104.5 The Zone this week.
“He’s a really tricky player to figure out,” said Ledyard of Jones. “You’re talking about a guy that’s clearly fast, his MPH speeds were clocked, he looks fast. You have that returnability, obviously, and that may be where he makes his money in the NFL.”
Ledyard’s biggest concern about Jones is his age and whether or not that factored into his solid 2021 season at Tennessee.
“Highly unusual and very uncommon — in fact, I don’t know if it’s even happened [before], for a receiver, he’ll be 25 years old in May. A receiver that’s 25 years old at draft time that’s never had a 1,000-yard season in college football to become this really productive, consistent NFL player, it seems like a longshot.”
Ledyard isn’t completely out on Jones. He’s just skeptical.
“There’s talent there, there’s no question about that,” added Ledyard. “I’m excited to see how he tests.
“I don’t think he’s going to be a top 100 pick. But I’m curious to see how teams evaluate him…you get later in the draft and you think he can help you, ok. But how much of last season’s 800 yards — which was the first time he had gone over 280 yards in a season before — how much of that was because he was playing against 19-year-olds and he’s 24?”
Jones could be extremely dangerous as a returner in the NFL — he had just under 3,000 kick return yards during his college career — but it sounds like draft scouts are unsure if he can stick as a wide receiver.
There are worse gigs than landing on an NFL roster as a returner. Maybe a team takes Jones primarily as a returner with the hope that he can develop into a dependable wide receiver.
Featured image via Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK