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.”
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