3 Bears Draft Picks Who Are Officially Busts Following 2023 Season

As the Chicago Bears decide what to do with the 1st overall pick in April, it's officially time to labgive the "bust" label to these three former draft picks.

WR Velus Jones Jr. is officially a draft bust.
WR Velus Jones Jr. is officially a draft bust. / Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2024 NFL Draft is just over two months away and all eyes are on the Chicago Bears. It's not too surprising given that the Bears hold the first overall pick in April, marking the sixth time since 2015 that the franchise will be making a top-10 selection (barring any potential blockbuster deals).

Although it's fun to theorize about the new faces the Bears could add at the draft, it's always interesting to look back at past picks, too. Not every prospect develops at the same speed, meaning it might take two or more years to declare whether a player is a success or bust.

When it comes to the failures, here are three former Bears picks who are officially busts following the 2023 campaign.

1. WR/KR Velus Jones Jr. — 2022 Round 3, Pick 71

Bears fans had every right to be excited about Velus Jones Jr. when the Bears drafted the wideout 71st overall in 2022. The Mobile, AL native was coming off a fantastic season that saw him rack up 822 scrimmage yards and seven touchdowns on 63 touches while also returning 23 kicks and 18 punts for a total of 900 yards and another TD.

Jones put his versatility on display as a rookie. He caught seven balls for 107 receiving yards and a touchdown while also turning nine carries into another 103 yards with a score across 12 games with two starts. Additionally, he averaged 27.6 yards on 22 kick returns, which included a season-high 63-yarder in Week 16.

Unfortunately, the former Tennessee Volunteer showed zero improvement as a sophomore. Despite playing two more games than the previous season, Jones saw 59 fewer offensive snaps in 2023, resulting in 71 scrimmage yards on 12 touches. He dropped from 8.6 yards per carry to 3.6 while his 62.2 passer rating on eight targets was nothing short of embarrassing.

The 26-year-old still averaged 27.2 kick return yards on 16 attempts, however, he failed to record more than 37 yards on any return.

Considering how he was already an older prospect when he was drafted, it's hard to imagine Jones living up to the Day 2 hype. He's a solid returner, but his lack of receiving production makes him a one-dimensional player. He'll likely still be in the league for the next few seasons, but it's looking more and more like he was more suited to be a late-round selection.