The Godfather blesses the trade, pick of Julio Jones

Gil Brandt, the Godfather of the NFL, at the NFL scouting combine. He spent time with Julio Jones in New York and came away impressed with the young man. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Gil Brandt, the Godfather of the NFL, at the NFL scouting combine. He spent time with Julio Jones in New York and came away impressed with the young man. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

BIRDLAND –  I checked in with the Godfather of Football, the legendary Gil Brandt on Sunday afternoon for a story on the trade to get Jones.

Brandt is in charge of the green room at the draft. He helps  to coordinator the players the league invites to the function.

He had a really cool story to report about Julio Jones.

“Jones is a quality, high-character person,” Brandt said.  “To show you just what I mean about the kid, he sat in the back room with the running back (Mark Ingram) until he got drafted. Now, most guys get drafted, they do their (media) duties and they want to run to the party. This guy sat back there all that time until Ingram got drafted.”

Alabama's Julio Jones (8) makes a catch for a touchdown as Georgia's Bryan Evans defends during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Athens, Ga., Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Alabama's Julio Jones (8) makes a catch for a touchdown as Georgia's Bryan Evans defends during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Athens, Ga., Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Brandt spent three days with Jones.

“The guy has got a great demeanor,” Brandt said. “The players all love him. We had the guys and when you have them for three days, you get a pretty good feel for them. The guy was always ahead of time. If he was supposed to be some place at 1 p.m. he was there at a quarter til 1. . .

“I think you see what kind of a good guy he is. When he had the same injury that (Michael) Crabtree had and he completed his workout [at the NFL scouting combine]. He ran a [4.34] and had a 40-inch vertical and so forth.

“I’ll tell you what, if you want to look at him, look at what he did against supposedly the best player in the draft [Patrick] Peterson. He caught nine passes for Alabama against LSU. I don’t see any holes in this guy at all.”

Brandt believes the Falcons must be comfortable with the starting defensive ends they have or they’ll address the position in free agency.

“You just hope the kid from Montana [Kroy Biermann] plays a little bit better,” Brandt said. “The one surprise was that they drafted the middle linebacker (Akeem Dent). That was kind of a surprise to me because I thought their middle linebacker played pretty darn good.”

Brandt, the former personnel executive with the Dallas Cowboys, is impressed with how the Falcons have turned things around in recent years.

“[Head coach Mike] Smith is really, really good,” Brandt said. “They made a great move with him. They made a great move with the GM [Thomas Dimitroff.] Their scouting department is very efficient. Everybody says they gave up too much, but I disagree with that. You can recoup that choice like nothing.”

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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78 comments Add your comment


May 2nd, 2011
11:29 am


May 2nd, 2011
11:32 am

Gil Brandt is still The Man.

I like what I hear about Julio, but I still would not have traded so many high picks for him.

Maybe that’s why I’m here, and TD is where he is.


May 2nd, 2011
11:43 am

So, there you have it.


May 2nd, 2011
11:45 am

at least someone outside of Atlanta and its fans likes this trade. It seems every reporter out there wants to poke holes in the Falcons strategy. You should’ve heard Doug Gotlieb on the dan patrick show


May 2nd, 2011
11:45 am

I had been saying all along that they need to draft speed, speed , and more speed. We will score fast and frequently with our new additions.

Trust me when I say our defense will look better when we score at will. I used the GB analogy before. No one was talking about GB defense till they got healthy on offense. Their defense did not look as good during the season when we played them and beat them.

Yes our defense could not force a punt during the playoffs but that was because they scored fast and had us running around chasing our tails. Our defense was tired because we could not score enough, field goals were not gonna do it.

Now we can score and cut up the other teams playbook. I like the JJ pick.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 2nd, 2011
11:49 am

I think I can take Doug Gottlieb off the dribble still. I know I can beat him in H-O-R-S-E!


May 2nd, 2011
11:50 am

TD and mike smith have made great moves for 3 years. This year isnt any different, the falcons needed speed and thats just what they got. Look for us to get Charles johnson from carolina in FA. The guy is a GA natuve and will fit nicely into our system. Falcons are going all the way!


May 2nd, 2011
11:52 am

D-Led, I hated the pick initially because Mike Jenkins is similar to Jones. I would suggest the Falcons not trade Jenkins and convert him to Tight End. He is 6′4 and better suited to play inside. He is a reliable receiver without elite speed. He is faster than Gonzalez and he is under contract for two more years. Linebackers can not cover jenkins. He is too big. This move would eliminiate the need to find Tony Gonzalez successor through draft picks.

If the Falcons truly want to be explosive on offense they need to consider Mike Jenkins at TE when Gonzalex retires and sub packages this season. Imagine White and Jones WR, Jenkins Slot and Gonzales TE with Turner and Ovie in the backfield or White and Jones WR, Douglass Slot and Jenkins TE. Total mismatch with Linebacker.


May 2nd, 2011
11:57 am

Draft grades the day after the draft, while amusing, are utterly useless. Gil’s assessment is more on-target. I applaud the boldness that our front office has demonstrated here.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 2nd, 2011
11:58 am

Falcons Jersey numbers for the draft picks — 11 Julio Jones. 43 Akeem Dent. 22 Jacquizz Rodgers. 5 Matt Bosher. 69 Andrew Jackson. 93 Cliff Matthews.


May 2nd, 2011
12:01 pm

BirdFanscout, fantastic deduction. I believe a potent offense always improves the defense. Our D is young and aggressive, looking to get better this year.

Football Ken

May 2nd, 2011
12:12 pm

We Falcons fans will cherish this pick in the future, this kid(Jones) will be special. But I see Dent playing the Strong side LB, I think he replaces Peterson by mid -year…and thank God Dimitroff and crew can see through the facade that is Micheal “tip-toe” Turner. Quizz Rodgers mite not be the every down guy, but at least i think they see wht I see too. Wht u think?


May 2nd, 2011
12:12 pm

opie – Nice call on Jenkins, let him add 15 lbs and he would be very nice TE.

Falcons can easily make up a couple of 4th round picks by signing your average F/A.
Falcons can make up the 1st round pick by going out a getting a top tier F/A, say like Chicago did with Petters.
In the end they gave up little to move up and pick Jones, the gave up the value of owning the picks which could have been used later to make other moves for this year or next years draft, but at some point you have to cash in on that value. Example if Ryan gets hurt, now that don’t have the value of the first round pick next year or 4th round pick to work deal to move up to draft Andrew Luck. But they could still sign a FA QB.

Falcon Devil

May 2nd, 2011
12:22 pm

Jacquizz Rodgers will be the steal of this draft!


May 2nd, 2011
12:57 pm

Do you know if Andrew Jackson requested #69 or was it assigned?


May 2nd, 2011
1:13 pm

Nice picture of Julio blacking out Sanford. I left that game in disgust shortly thereafter. He’s a playmaker. Him and White are going to challenge a lot of defenses.

Old Flatulent Dawg

May 2nd, 2011
1:58 pm

DOL……if the Falcons believed they needed a punter so bad, how come they didn’t draft the nations best in Chaz Henry instead of the number 3 at punter position?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 2nd, 2011
2:03 pm

Old Flatulent Dawg – Their guy was their No. 1 rated punter/kicker. He can punt and handle kickoffs like Koenen.

Mike Jay

May 2nd, 2011
2:08 pm

Jenkins a TE? HAHA I just spit coke all over my laptop. 15 more lbs? Try about 30 and then spend about 4 years teaching him how to block coming out of 3 -4 point stance. LOL that is priceless.


May 2nd, 2011
2:12 pm

Ask yourself this question, all you people who think so lowly of getting this kid? Would you rather have Julio on your team with Roddy White or playing against him? Myself, I think this was a great move that will benefit this team for many years to come.


May 2nd, 2011
2:25 pm

HEY Y’aall:



This is a SECRET from a FALCON FAN. TELL EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!

……………………..”ONE HEARTBEAT, BABY!!!”………………..


May 2nd, 2011
2:47 pm

From what I understand, Julio was one of very few Tide players that stayed in the hotel while the vast majority of his teammates were out partying before the Sugar Bowl game vs. Utah. The young man has his head on right.


May 2nd, 2011
2:59 pm

Julio sounds like the model of a falcons player. Tough, loves to block, initiates contact, big, fast, and a team player… As a falcon fan, what else could you want???


May 2nd, 2011
3:01 pm

I’m not opposed to the Jones pick. He sounds like he has both talent and good character. I just ask how do we stop GreenBay?


May 2nd, 2011
3:20 pm

JB you don’t stop Green Bay you outscore them………………………….Hence this draft……………………IBC11


May 2nd, 2011
3:55 pm

they did not draft Julio to be their #2 receiver. When Roddy has a couple of more years and is a step slower. guess who the # 1 is going to be.


May 2nd, 2011
3:56 pm

Love the Deal..Jones is Special but wait till you see Jacquizz Rodgers run the ball. That was a steal. What he don’t have in height he makes run for with smarts, speed, cuts and Heart! Love both Jones & Jacquizz…Go Falcons. Now get a good DE in free agent.


May 2nd, 2011
4:03 pm

word icebird


May 2nd, 2011
4:04 pm

Thanks big D for all the good info……..


May 2nd, 2011
4:05 pm

Hey DL,

Know it’s a long shot, but any guess of what undrafted players we might be looking at whenever the lockout ends?


May 2nd, 2011
4:06 pm

I like the Dent pick because it gives the Falcons the flexability to move Lofton to the weak side and use Dent on rushing downs. Solid draft from top to bottom.


May 2nd, 2011
4:20 pm

jp, Those talking head morons never give any respect to an Atlanta team. Screw them! This trade was made willingly by guys who are much smarter than them. Personally I cannot wait to see Julio in action in a Falcons jersey.

wdwj, I think you are right Rodgers was a steal–I;m looking forward to seeing him cross the line. Not the fastest guy to hit the field but he cuts and moves like a gazell running from a lion.

JB, I think the answer to Green Bay will be partially found in free agency when that finally happens. I’m sure Arthur Blank knew he would have to get the checkbook out for the free agency market when they were trading for Julio rather than taking a DE as everyone expected.

I am glad to see Akeem Dent staying close to home. I’m sure he will develop into a first class NFL LB.


May 2nd, 2011
4:28 pm

If Jones turns out to be the horse that I think he will be, then these pundits who are saying Atlanta paid too high a price will have to eat their words…again. The great thing about Mel Kipper and his ilk is that they don’t have to go to war with their picks or their mistakes. They trash a pick in the draft and 3 years later when the draftee makes the pro-bowl no one remembers what Mel & his minions said at draft time.

Mr. Don Leeburn

May 2nd, 2011
4:31 pm

How dare you confer my title “Godfather” on Gil Brandt.

And, watch what you write about MY athlectic association in the Classic City.


May 2nd, 2011
4:55 pm

Julio Jones was the right pick but it won’t make a bit of difference when you don’t have a qb who can get him the ball. 40 yards is not a deep pass.


May 2nd, 2011
5:38 pm

My Mom always told me not to wish my life away, but I can’t wait until next season!


May 2nd, 2011
5:50 pm

i see aj green choose the number 18 for the bengals. he hasn’t said this but im guessing that is because he wore 1 in high school at summerville, and 8 at georgia. now 18 (both) for the nfl


May 2nd, 2011
5:58 pm

You know what? We go further than we did last year, which you got to admit is possible, the draft pick situation is completely forgotten. We do some horse-trading for some D players, we gonna be set just fine. Mr. Jones sounds like a quality addition to our program, on and off the field. Welcome to the ATL, Julio! RISE UP, FALCONS!


May 2nd, 2011
6:06 pm


Who cares?

I’m a Dawg fan but Green is a Bengal and this blog is about Jones and the Falcons.

Good and bad

May 2nd, 2011
6:28 pm

We had some great picks in Julio and Quizz.
We had some bad picks in the special team LB with limited upside Dent, and P Matt Bosher.
We had some value picks for depth with Jackson and Cliff Matthews.

I give the draft a B. A on offense, but a C on defense.

As long as we go for a DE in free agency, possibly a CB and trade Harry Douglas or Norwood for a 4th/5th next year….we’ve done well.


May 2nd, 2011
6:30 pm

DLed, thanks for the information.

Folks the truth is it does not matter what the so-called experts say about the trade, that is their opinion which they are all entitled to. It won’t mean jack anyway when Julio is in the red zone!!

The other thing is if New England ever did something like this, ESPN and all the talking heads would be lauding the genius of the Patriots’ brass. Anyway it is what it is, no need to concern ourselves about what they say.

Go Falcons!!!


May 2nd, 2011
6:39 pm

40 yards is deep enough. besides most deep passes come from the run after the catch. and Julio and Roddy are both good at that.


May 2nd, 2011
7:00 pm

What do you think the Falcons are going to do when/if free agency rolls around? I think they are happy with Kroy’s production. He’s only in his 3rd year. What about a solid corner or a linebacker? Akeem is an athlete, but does the front office expect him to play OLB?


May 2nd, 2011
7:11 pm

I guess that Green Bay debacle was the major cause for the Falcons hitting that panic button with this trade for Julio. I agree that this was Blank’s decision rather than Dimitroff’s, because Dimitroff knows better than to mortgage like this. I can guarantee that none of the Falcons rivals are boo-hoo-ing over this five for one disaster. And how did that so-so defense get any better? Well, at least the Falcons can fix that defense with all of those draft picks they’ve stockpiled for the future. LOL! I wouldn’t be surprised if this trade becomes the springboard for a free fall for the Falcons. Time will tell ,but that free fall may have already begun when the Packers blew the lights out on the Georgia Dome scoreboard. When the time comes to place blame, it should be placed 100% on Blank!


May 2nd, 2011
7:32 pm

Stop your whining wimps. The Falcons had the best record in the NFC. They’ll handle Green Bay. Believe it candy ass.


May 2nd, 2011
7:42 pm

So I guess the Falcons decided they join the other 2 franchises of ATL and have their own JJ. After all the Braves and the Hawks have their own.

This brings me to my question, are the Thrashers a franchise?

Go Falcons!!!


May 2nd, 2011
7:43 pm

StatMan, you the man!!!


May 2nd, 2011
7:43 pm

as long as we get rid of norwood….and as long as finnerman is gone….free up that money…matter of fact trade both of them for a DE.


May 2nd, 2011
7:44 pm

reality check you will see. you sound like a punk azz….new orleans stanks fan…shouldnt you be partying up in the gay district of bourbon street right now…


May 2nd, 2011
8:05 pm

SN: the trade up wasn’t FOR julio jones. It was for an explosive player that included Patrick Peterson, AJ Green and Julio…Julio just so happened to be the player left of the three. Either way it would have gone one of those guys would have been a falcon and I personally like the trade… A great defense is a great offense and adding julio opens up roddy on the edge, tony g in the middle, and lanes for m. turner….looking forward to a super bowl run :)