How Much Impact will Julio Jones Have?

The Million Dollar Question

All Smiles! (J.Crawford/AJC)

The story is well-known and the reasons are well-documented on why the Falcons gave up 4 picks to move up and grab one of the best wide receivers, and overall players, in the draft. Two words: explosiveness and impact. Many in the media and some fans have denigrated the pick as giving up too much and not addressing the defensive pass rush. John Clayton from ESPN credited Dimtroff and Co. as being bold, but also compared it the 49ers giving up picks to get wide receiver JJ Stokes. Some believe that the Falcons are way more than one player away from reaching the big game and the move was foolish. Others think it was the perfect strike to what had become an overly conservative team that couldn’t keep pace with the Packers and Saints of the world. Assuming he stays healthy, there’s almost no doubt that Jones will have some impact, but the million dollar question is: how much?

Few Precedents

As Clayton mentioned in his article, there aren’t very many examples of teams trading up so high to grab an impact player. The most noted one is where Mike Ditka traded away almost the entire franchise to get one player in Ricky Williams. Ditka gave away his entire draft that year and a 1st round and 3rd round choice to get Williams. Even though it turned out to be a very bad deal and Ditka received deserved criticism, the Redskins, Bears, and Broncos didn’t muster much with those picks either. The only player of significance was La’var Arrington to the Redskins in 2000. In 1977, Dallas traded 4 picks to the Seattle Seahawks to grab Tony Dorsett and went on to win the Lombardi Trophy. The Indianapolis Colts traded 4 players, including Andre Rison, to the Atlanta Falcons to select Jeff George. The Colts QB was then traded himself only 4 years later to the Falcons.

1st Round Rookie Receivers

Research could go on here forever in many different ways, but since this is a fan blog we’ll focus only on receivers who were selected in the 1st round since the year 2000:

GS – Games Started; REC – Receptions; YDS – Yards Receiving; QB – Starting Quarterback

2000

(4th) Peter Warrick – Bengals – 16 GS – 51 Rec – 592 yds – 4 TDs

(8th) Plaxico Burress – Steelers – 9 GS – 22 Rec – 273 yds – 0 TDs

(10th) Travis Taylor – Ravens – 8 GS – 28 Rec – 276 yds – 3 TDs

(21st) Sylvester Morris – Chiefs – 14 GS – 48 Rec – 678 yds – 3 TDs

(29th) R. Jay Soward – Jaguars – 2 GS – 14 Rec – 154 yds – 1 TD

2001

(8th) David Terrell – Bears – 6 GS – 34 Rec – 415 yds – 4 TDs

(9th) Koren Robinson – Seahawks – 13 GS – 39 Rec – 536 yds – 1 TD

(15th) Rod Gardner – Redskins – 16 GS – 46 Rec – 741 yds – 4 TDs

(16th) Santana Moss – Jets – 0 GS – 2 Rec – 40 yds – 0 TD

(25th) Freddie Mitchell – Eagles – 1 GS – 21 Rec – 283 yds – 1 TD

(30th) Reggie Wayne – Colts – 9 GS – 27 Rec – 345 yds – 0 TDs

2002

(13th) Donte Stallworth – Saints – 7 GS – 42 Rec – 594 yds – 8 TD

(19th) Ashley Lelie – Broncos – 1 GS – 35 Rec – 430 yds – 1 TD

(20th) Javon Walker – Packers – 2 GS – 23 Rec – 319 yds – 1 TD

2003

(2nd) Charles Rogers – Lions – 5 GS – 22 Rec – 243 yds – 3 TD

(3rd) Andre Johnson – Texans – 16 GS – 66 Rec – 976 yds – 4 TDs

(17th) Bryant Johnson – Cardinals – 8 GS – 35 Rec – 438 yds – 1 TD

2004

(4th) Larry Fitzgerald – Cardinals – 16 GS – 58 Rec – 780 yds – 8 TD

(7th) Roy Williams – Lions – 14 GS – 54 Rec – 817 yds – 8 TD

(9th) Reggie Williams – 15 GS – 27 Rec – 268 yds – 1 TD

(13th) Lee Evans – Bills – 11 GS – 48 Rec – 843 yds – 9 TD

(15th) Michael Clayton – Bucs – 13 GS – 80 Rec – 1,193 yds – 7 TD

(29th) Michael Jenkins – Falcons – 0 GS – 7 Rec – 119 yds – 1 TD

(31st) Rashaun Woods – 49ers – 0 GS – 7 Rec – 160 yds – 1 TD

2005

(3rd) Braylon Edwards – Browns – 7 GS – 32 Rec – 512 yds – 3 TD

(7th) Troy Williamson – Vikings – 3 GS – 24 Rec – 372 yds – 2 TD

(10) Mike Williams – Lions – 4 GS – 29 Rec – 350 yds – 1 TD

(21st) Matt Jones – Jaguars – 1 GS – 36 Rec – 432 yds – 5 TD

(22nd) Mark Clayton – Ravens – 10 GS – 44 Rec – 471 yds – 2 TD

(27th) Roddy White – Falcons – 8 GS – 29 Rec – 446 yds – 3 TD

2006

(25th) Santonio Holmes – Steelers – 4 GS – 49 Rec – 824 Yds – 2 TD

2007

(2nd) Calvin Johnson – Lions – 10 GS – 48 Rec – 756 yds – 4 TD

(9th) Ted Ginn Jr. – Dolphins – 9 GS – 34 Rec – 420 – 2 TD

(23rd) Dwayne Bowe – Chiefs – 15 GS – 70 Rec – 995 yds – 5 TD

(27th) Robert Meachem* – Saints – 3 GS – 12 Rec – 289 yds – 3 TD

(30th) Buster Davis – Chargers – 1 GS – 20 Rec – 188 yds – 1 TD

(32nd) Anthony Gonzalez – Colts – 6 GS – 9 Rec – 37 Rec – 576 yds – 3 TD

2008

No Wide Receivers Selected in 1st Round

2009

(7th) Darius Heyward-Bey – Raiders – 4 GS – 11 Rec – 124 yds – 1 TD

(10th) Michael Crabtree – 49ers – 11 GS – 48 Rec – 625 yds – 2 TD

(19th) Jeremy Maclin – Eagles – 13 GS – 56 Rec – 773 yds – 4 TDs

(29th) Hakeem Nicks – Giants – 6 GS – 47 Rec – 790 yds – 6 TDs

(30th) Kenny Britt – Titans – 6 GS – 42 Rec – 701 yds – 3 TDs

2010

(22nd) Demaryius Thomas – Broncos – 2 GS – 22 Rec – 223 yds – 2 TD

(24th) Dez Bryant – Cowboys – 6 GS – 2 Rec – 45 Rec – 561 yds – 6 TD

Observations

  • Wide receivers selected in the first round averaged starting 8 games a season (7.9)
  • Averaged 36 receptions per year (35.9)
  • Averaged 498 yard receiving (498.6)
  • 27% of the WR’s taken have made the Pro Bowl (30% if you consider Santonio Holmes earning Super Bowl MVP)
  • Averaged 3 TDs (3.04)
  • 41% (40.9) of the receivers had 500 or more receiving yards
  • Only 4 started all 16 games as a rookie
  • Having a good-to-great quarterback didn’t necessarily mean a good season
  • Conversely, not having a good-to-great QB didn’t mean having a bad seaso
  • Very few, if any, had a Pro Bowl #1 receiver or Quarterback already on the roster when drafted

Who Will Julio Help the Most?

The question seems easy when first posed, because surely the answer will be that he will help everyone involved, even OC Mike Mularkey. Jones size, speed, and toughness should provide Matt Ryan a true deep threat and be someone that can finally free Roddy White of all the double coverages. The brackets that teams love to play against Tony Gonzalez should be now be nixed. The running backs should benefit as much as anyone. Even though the Falcons didn’t give up 4 draft picks to get another “blocking” receiver, he is one of the better blocking receivers to come out in some time. Turner, Snelling, and new draftee Jacquizz Rodgers should have a chance to hit the edges much more often. Not only that, but the running lanes should definitely be wide and open for the RBs since teams shouldn’t be able to put 8 or 9 in the box anymore. Whoever the slot receiver is, Jenkins or Douglas, should benefit greatly with all the space underneath. In summary, the entire offense should radically be changed with this draft pick. Much pressure lies with Mike Mularkey (and with Coach Smith as well) to finally dial up the aggressive play-calling since there should be no more excuses in terms of what this offense can achieve. Even the defense should prosper since, like the 2009 Saints, they can be aggressive and take chances themselves knowing that their offense can strike quickly to keep pace or get back in the game.

Your Turn to Analyze Julio’s Impact

  1. What should we expect from JJ as a rookie?
  2. Will he be a playmaker as a rookie or more of a decoy?
  3. Worried about what was given up to get Jones?
  4. What defines success for Jones as a rookie?
  5. How many games will Jones start?
  6. How many receptions will Julio snag?
  7. How many yards will JJ haul?
  8. How many TDs will he grab?
  9. As a rookie, will JJ be Andre Johnson, Kenny Britt, or R. Jay Soward?
  10. Will Mularkey and Smith finally put the pedal down?
  11. Who benefits from Jones THE MOST?
  12. What will a Julio Jones Falcons offense look like?

228 comments Add your comment

Archie

May 13th, 2011
4:09 pm

1. Modest start, hot streak mid season, cools off late in the year
2. Playmaker in the early to mid season, as attention and hype follows he gets covered tighter.
3. No, there’s enough young talent on this team that needs time to develop, if they can’t get it done then they’ll be replaced in 2-3 years time.
4. Stays healthy, handles the “rookie wall” after 12 games.
5. If he stays healthy, all of them. I doubt he will, so I say 13 games.
6. 4 per game or so, 55-65 catches.
7. 700 or so.
8. 6
9. Kenny Britt
10. Not as much as we want, but more than in the past.
11. Tony Gonazez and the other TE’s
12. Hard nose running between the tackles, timing and precision passing routes, it’s still going to be ball control and physicality.

AtlJbo

May 13th, 2011
4:16 pm

Julio Jones 2010 highlights http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLbwjgbSHVo

I think Julio will have a pretty big impact… I saw Jenkins receive a lot of single man coverage and he could not gain separation… Julio should be able to do that.

I think the Julio drafting helps Jenkins, HD, and Tony G out the most…. The middle should be open more… Jenkins can run seam routes Colston style…

JB FALCON

May 13th, 2011
4:18 pm

18 GS, 61 Recs, 737 yds, 8 TD. considering RW will get his share also.
What can I say, I’m an optimist and JJ is not average. Him and RW are going to have fun competing against each other, all at the expense of our opponents!

ToccoaBird

May 13th, 2011
4:20 pm

This all depends on how JJ’s foot heals.

ClevelandThanksYou

May 13th, 2011
4:24 pm

The biggest problem is giving away the #2 pick this yr and the #1 pick next yr. For a #2 WR….its just illogical,…Theres a reason teams like the Patriots collect draft picks and compete for a title every yr. The Steelers sit in their high draft slot yr in and year out and take the best players on the board. They just went to their 3rd superbowl in 5 yrs, with all starting WR drafted in the 3rd rd or higher. So the falcons acquired a good WR. Wonderful, so next yr are they going to trade away 5 picks for someone on defense when they learn that that is what keeps them out of the Superbowl this yr? Build for the long haul, Matty Ice has a long career ahead of him, theres no 4 yr window here, more like 14 yrs. If the Falcons want to be one of the premeir franchises (which they can), they cant make moves like this EVER AGAIN. Cant do it. Its a WR. One more time. Its a WR….

chem

May 13th, 2011
4:33 pm

The biggest flaw is that this type of statistical analysis is that it doesn’t take into account that Julio was a high first round draft pick taken by a GOOD team. All of the other names listed were high picks on bad teams or low picks on good teams. Expect Julio to have around 650-800 yards and 3-5 TD’s his rookie year. After that, who knows?

TampaDawg

May 13th, 2011
4:47 pm

The Falcons didn’t give up all those draft picks thinking Jones will be a number 2 receiver. Just because Roddy White is a legit number 1 doesn’t mean Jones can’t be as well. A few years ago when Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne were tearing the league up would you have said Wayne is a number 2 receiver? I don’t think so, just like when ATL had Peerlis Price and Dez starting as their starting WRs, would you have considered either of them a legit number 1? Def not, the point is if Jones is as good as TD and CMS think, then he is well worth it. The bigger issue to fill the holes from giving up those picks in FA whenever that happens

RobbE33

May 13th, 2011
4:56 pm

A lot depends on being lucky by staying healthy. Hopefully, Gonzo will show him a few things in that area. Meanwhile, like you said, much has been put on Murlarkey and Smitty. The Falcon’s front office has proven to be smarter than your average NFL organization, so I have faith.

waynester

May 13th, 2011
6:36 pm

I concur with those who opine “it all depends on his health”. If healthy, I expect him to play in every game and put in above-average performance. He’s a tough guy and a hard worker. Gonzalez should be a role model for all our guys in terms of preparedness, physically and otherwise but would be a much more reliable mentor(IMO)than Roddy, who doesn’t always display the best decision making off the field….

Paddy O

May 13th, 2011
6:45 pm

The only flaw on this analysis is comparing #1 draft picks. Drop all the guys drafted outside the top 10 (perhaps top 20). We all knew at this point our #27 would NOT have provided a lot of DE help. I am ecstatic about the pick, only caveat is the injuries. Plus, if we don’t alter our offensive scheme, we will not see the most benefit out of the pick. I’d love to see double stacked receiver sets (Seattle in playoffs where I saw this). People seem to think Jenkins was a BAD #2 guy. He was not. He has the last four years pretty much gotten 50 catches and 600-700 yards. I would say he replaces Fin, which should give us more flexibility/productivity from this roster spot. I am eager to see Roddy & Julio line up on the same side of the field, with Tony G in tight, Jenkins and HD on the other side with Ovie & Turner as stay at home blockers, and see how much chaos we can create with that kind of a challenge for the opposition D. If Meier grows into the Welker role, we could really be dynamite. I’d be disappointed if Julio does’nt have 60 catches and 800 yards, with at least 6 TD’s (really leaning toward double digits on TD’s if he plays injury free).

Paddy O

May 13th, 2011
6:47 pm

Cleveland can thank us all day long. They still suck. Have sucked for a decade, will continue to. They are the Pittsburgh Pirates of the NFL.

Paddy O

May 13th, 2011
6:51 pm

I still have a personal goal of 40 points a game. That would be 3 touchdowns a half, if our kick off squad scores once every 3 games, that should be doable with our crew of ass kickers.

Paddy O

May 13th, 2011
6:51 pm

it looks like the blog monster has been banned.

Ken Strickland

May 13th, 2011
6:54 pm

Everyone acts like JJones will only be used as a bombs away receiving option. He can also use his speed, quickness, size and athleticism to make big plays, and have an impact, running slants, end arounds and bubble screens, much like he did at Alabama.

The more he’s involved in the OFF in various ways, the greater the impact he’ll have on the overall OFF. When it comes to how JJones should or will be utilized, some of you seem to share OC MMularkey’s conservative, predictable and one dimensional approach.

JB FALCON

May 13th, 2011
7:07 pm

PO, don’t forget about Jaquizz! This is going to be like a kid in a candy store. What flavor would you like?

Paddy O

May 13th, 2011
8:06 pm

Ken: I support the Al Davis/Cliff Branch type of reputation for our team. They (opposition defense) should always be expecting us to go deep every play – if we properly utilize our TE’s & Jaquizz, we should be able to open up the middle of the field to allow Meier to make 8 yard crossing/slant routes into 25 yard gains. Once we push their LB’s back to adapt, Turner should be able to pop for 10 yard runs. If we are correct and our LB, S & DE improve their play (remember, we still have a real young team at these positions – hell, our QB is entering his 4th year – I look forward to a lot of progress from Ryan & all these guys), the QB pressure should be good. Our season was remarkable up to the 2:25 mark of the 2nd GB game. As I’ve indicated, if we can win 11+ games, our franchise will be over the hump of elite. IF we can get to the Super Bowl, people will need to start looking at us like folks look at Indy, GB & Pitt. A nice atmosphere to look forward to. However, I’d still NOT support an outdoor stadium, but that is up to the owner!! Finally, TD has a reputation for addressing one glaring need via FA. I see him signing someone – either a DE, LB or CB. GO FALCONS

Paddy O

May 13th, 2011
8:12 pm

dang. blog monster got my response – and it was pretty decent! I like the notion that Roddy can start honestly stretching the field. Our play calling demanded that he, Tony & MR2 be precise on 3rd down to guarantee we keep the chains moving. That resulted in little YAC, as Roddy ran off the DB and camped. The fact that we did is successfully all season long is a testament to the quality & excellence of our players. If we can start reeling off 15 yard pass gains on 1st down, then we’ll be finally realizing our potential. Our 2010 philosophy was grind it out, win by 25-17. We really need to start looking to score on our 1st possession, experiment with some plays, then roll those plays out in earnest the 2nd half. Should be an exciting 2011!!!!!

Wabe

May 13th, 2011
10:13 pm

ClevelandThanksYou

May 13th, 2011
4:24 pm
“The biggest problem is giving away the #2 pick this yr and the #1 pick next yr. For a #2 WR….its just illogical,…Theres a reason teams like the Patriots collect draft picks and compete for a title every yr. The Steelers sit in their high draft slot yr in and year out and take the best players on the board. They just went to their 3rd superbowl in 5 yrs, with all starting WR drafted in the 3rd rd or higher. So the falcons acquired a good WR. Wonderful, so next yr are they going to trade away 5 picks for someone on defense when they learn that that is what keeps them out of the Superbowl this yr? Build for the long haul, Matty Ice has a long career ahead of him, theres no 4 yr window here, more like 14 yrs. If the Falcons want to be one of the premeir franchises (which they can), they cant make moves like this EVER AGAIN. Cant do it. Its a WR. One more time. Its a WR….”

-

Maybe this is because you’re looking at this team from the outside, but, you’re logic is a bit illogical here.

Truth is, you mentioned that there isn’t a short-term window, you seem to think that the Falcons have a relatively large window. But, that’s really not true. The Falcons have major peices in key areas that don’t have years upon years left. For instance, guys like Abraham, Turner, Gonzalez, Roddy White – these guys aren’t getting any younger. White is still just entering his prime, but you want the Falcons to capitalize on these guys talents now, because they’re integral parts of this team. Should the Falcons end up short with these guys fading out of the picture, you’re talking about rebuilding.

So, in order to capitalize on the talent that’s in place, the Falcons are going for it. Picking up Julio Jones bolsters the offensive firepower. Defensively, the Falcons need proven players. The truth is, people will assume that Falcons defense is at terrible, but really, it’s just young. It doesn’t make sense to add more youth to an already young unit. The developmental process for young players will shrink the window of opportunity the Birds have with this group. The Birds need proven talent to bring the entire unit together a bit quicker.

Bottom line though, there is a window. There’s always a window. When the Falcons started this process, they were building for the long haul. They essentially replaced the entire defensive unit with young talent. Other than maybe 3-4 guys, most of that defense is full of guys the Falcons have drafted in recent drafts. Nobody expected the Falcons to be in the position they find themselves in only 3 years removed from being at rock bottom. You don’t play it timid. You don’t ignore what’s in front of you. This was a 13-3 team last season. They’re already good now. Why would they be building for 5-6 years from now? It’s about winning, and winning is something they can do now.

This is a win now league. And that’s what this 13-3 team from a season ago is equipping itself to do.

Enjoy your Cleveland Browns.

marko

May 13th, 2011
10:32 pm

Our offense was the main reason we won thirteen games last season. Our defense was at best respectable. Why give up so much to bolster an already imposing unit while ignoring a defense that seemed to be our greatest weakness? I think It’s because our defense is young and improving, and our offense is getting older. Gonzalez and McClure are Likely in their last season. We have three free agents on our offensive line. Running backs Don’t have very long careers, and the Burner has had a lot of carries over the the last few years. A lot of us, myself included, misread where the Falcons were headed in the last draft. Dimitroff looks seasons ahead, and evidently felt that he was filling our greatest need. I believe that he expects improvements from the defense and diminishing returns from strong but ageing offense.
So what should we expect from our shiny new Julio? I don’t know. I’d think that his primary role is to be our number two receiver, and last I checked we had a pretty decent receiver at number one. I think year one It would be crazy to expect The Jones kid to be among the league leaders. There’s only one football after all. I think that Roddy will have a monster season because even as a rookie Julio will make any defensive coordinator that tries to double Roddy sincerely sorry. I expect a solid rookie season and little more than that. After all thanks to the leagues brilliant off field maneuvers, He won’t even get normal training. I wish the owners would read a little story that I used to read to my little girl. It’s called the fisherman’s wife.

Hamad Meander

May 13th, 2011
10:45 pm

Chem – I think you made one of the better points on this subject. Usually a receiver taken so early is by a bad team without a great QB. I think Atlanta’s talent level makes this pick so much more impactful.

Clevelandthanksyou – and we thank you for not staying at #6 and taking Julio. I doubt all of those draft picks, including #32 next year, aren’t going to help you get to the Superbowl, and that’s exactly what the Falcons are aiming for. Your team is simply trying to have winning seasons, which the Falcons are making a habit of now.

TambaBaydog – thanks for reminding us what it was like having #1 and #2 be Peerless Price and Dez White. Ugh. Compare that to what we have now!

Paddy O – 40 points a game would be unbelievable, but it should be the expectation that the Falcons score 24-35 every game, which would win us a lot of games. If drafting Julio and Jacquizz doesn’t produce a prolific offense, we should be VERY disappointed.

Hamad Meander

May 13th, 2011
10:45 pm

Forgive me – it seems I always make one grammatical or spelling error per post. I will try to proofread more thoroughly before posting. It’s really hard to see them in this little box!

falcon21

May 13th, 2011
11:36 pm

Well said and agree Wabe!!!!

Ken Strickland

May 13th, 2011
11:46 pm

I just don’t understand how some of you can still be all bent out of shape over some draft picks. You act like any player we would have drafted would immediately and automatically resolve all of our issues. No team has to address all of its needs and issues through the draft alone, there’s always FREE AGENCY.

How can anyone say with any degree of certainty that anyone we could have drafted with the 27th, 2nd and 4th rd picks we relinquished would have outperformed anyone we’ll get through free agency. In this draft, we went after QUALITY over QUANTITY, and it was a smart move. Some of you act like we didn’t draft anyone at all in this draft.

Wabe

May 14th, 2011
2:46 am

“In this draft, we went after QUALITY over QUANTITY, and it was a smart move.” – Ken Strickland

Big co-sign on that one. That’s the best way of putting it.

#1 falcoholic

May 14th, 2011
4:48 am

Dribble Dribble Dribble, I am so glad that you all in here (nay sayers) are not running my falcons FO. they way that you all view the team would cause us to be 3-13 ever year until i return to once i came. Once again for all you experts (1) we did not trade away a first pick this year we swop. (2) the second and fourth that we traded there was not impact player that would have fit our system (3) the way that our gys our playing next years first pick will probably around pick 28-32 a high second round pick (4) there is still FA that we have to contend with and Arthur at least to me has showed that he has no problem loosening the purse strings to achieve the ultimate goal and finally yes even though i still have a sour taste in my mouth over the greenbay shambles. you cannot erase what the fellows accomplished last season yes they are young, but we were all young once and this year they will be seasoned. it is not all about JJ, it is about the whole team concept. was he and the rest of the draftees a good addition i say hell yes. but it is going to take the whole (53) man roster to get it done and i know that is what the FO is thinking about. GO TD, MS AB and yes even you RM. Bring ATLANTA that trophy.

geno

May 14th, 2011
7:45 am

its a proven fact that a badass WR squad can win a superbowl….

IceFan

May 14th, 2011
8:58 am

Offensive Rookie of the Year

waynester

May 14th, 2011
9:06 am

It may just be coincidence(if you believe in that sort of thing) but almost every team in the league has TONS of FA’s this year, hardly any next year—as if owners league-wide were preparing for this for quite a few years. The next several years will(if the rules of FA remain the same) be extremely slim pickings on the FA market. If UFA is moved back to 4 years, this could change, but the owners seem to be banking on it remaining the same….

Anderson

May 14th, 2011
9:19 am

I expect a solid,if not spectacular,rookie season from Julio Jones. Though it would not surprise me if he wins the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

If there is a full 16 game season and JJ is healthy,I can envision 50-55 receptions,750-800 receiving yards,and 5-6 touchdowns (at least one coming on a reverse run) from Jones in 2011.

I also think JJ’s overall value will not show up on his personal stat sheet but the team’s as a whole. I think the players who will primarily benefit from JJ’s presence are Matt Ryan,Roddy White,and Tony Gonzalez . The running backs will also benefit to a certain degree as well.

Jone’s presence alone opens up the entire offense. JJ is a physical and effective run blocker who will open up the edge in the running game. JJ has the speed to run reverses like the Philadelphia Eagles like to do with WR DeSean Jackson. JJ can operate out of the slot position from time to time.

With JJ,the Falcons may finally achieve success with that one play they love to call. The one in which Ryan takes 1-2 steps and quickly throws to the WR (usually R White) near the sideline with the intent to gain yards after the catch.

The Atlanta Falcons as a team are not be one player away from winning the Super Bowl but I do believe Julio Jones is the one player who can take their offense to another level. A level that is more explosive and prolific.

crabapplejoe

May 14th, 2011
10:23 am

I’ve heard that the Dos Equis’ marketing folks are going to replace their current “Most Interesting Man in the World” character with Julio Jones this Fall….stay thirsty my friends…..

tony

May 14th, 2011
11:08 am

I think he will have a successful career but I still believe the falcons will lose 8 games in 2011. Had they taken Muhammad Wilkerson-DT/DE in the 1st round, Randall Cobb-WR in the 2nd round and moved up in the 3rd round to get Justin Houston-DE believe we had a chance to get to the sb.

Arno

May 14th, 2011
11:45 am

Julio benefits Matt Ryan the most. Ryan’s comments after the probowl, and his comments after the Jones pick, showed that having a choice of excellent receivers should help bring his game to the next level. Dimitroff gave Ryan the best available talent to work with, an excellent investment in the almost elite QB. The Falcons held nothing back, went for it, and deserve credit.

A.J. Green

May 14th, 2011
12:35 pm

Darn, I wish you would have traded up for me instead of JJ. I would have caught at least 80 passes as would Roddy. That said, I know Julio is spectacular too and that he will do just as well as I would have. Georgia fans need to let go of that fact that the Falcons got Julio and not me and get with the program. Falcons are going to be unstoppable this season (assuming we play the season.)

waynester

May 14th, 2011
12:40 pm

Dear AJ,
We tried to trade up for you, to no avail. We got a better deal.
Love,
The Falcons

D3

May 14th, 2011
1:39 pm

Great Saturday Bird Cage Family Members! — Beautiful day out today and this coolness sure is nice after the mini-hot wave we just had. Hope you all are having a good weekend.

Archie — All great points and Welcome to the Cage! The thing I like so much is that TD almost put Coach Smith and Mularkey in a box by giving up so much to get Julio. No longer conservative even if they want to. You think the TE’s or the slot will benefit more?

ATLJBO — How goes it my friend? As you probably know I hadn’t been on twitter in a while. Got a 2 year old and another one on the way within a month so twitter had to take the fall. Great vids BTW. Do you think Jenkins stays on as a Falcons in the slot?

JB — Very good and reasonable projections. Do you think Roddy will get jealous if his catches go down?

Toccoa — Ah the foot. Said he was 100% ready to go today, just waiting to get cleared. If the foot heals fine, what do you expect?

chem — Good point and Welcome to the Cage! Totally agree with you. I was going to go through all the teams selections previous draft records, current QBs, and current WR’s but just ran low on time. Agreed that this is kind of a special circumstance. Any chance you think he goes upwards towards 1,000 yards?

Tampa — Good comparison with Harrison and Wayne. They were torching teams for years and years. Neither were necessarily considered a #2 and it should be the same here. Julio would’ve been a #1 for at least 70% of the teams in the NFL and he’ll be our #1 when Roddy declines. Where should the Birds go in Free Agency?

RobbE33 — Good to see you back in the Cage. We soon forget that TD was named Executive of the Year twice in three years, so he gets the benefit of the doubt and then some. Who gets more pressure: Ryan, Mularkey, or Smith?

waynester — Superb point on Roddy’s off the field stuff. Overall he’s done much better, but that comment about New Orleans just gave too much ammo to the Saints and guess who won? He came out with a kind of negative tweet about the JJ trade at first (jealous?), but then realized his error and was very welcoming. He’s gotten better, but still needs to put the cell-phone/Twitter away.

Be back in a little while Cage. Until then enjoy the new post and the weekend!!!!

The Real Falcon

May 14th, 2011
2:21 pm

So we we looking for Clayton numbers? That would be a great start.
First year WR are not normally that impactful.

John Waynesworld

May 14th, 2011
2:49 pm

All right, enough all ready with the “vaunted” drafting teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the first place they rarely draft defensive players in the first round, in fact in the last 12 drafts the Steelers have only drafted 4 defensive players in the Round One. They create a great defense year after year simply and effectively through coaching, namely Hall Of Fame Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau. Try these facts. LeBeau has had two stints with the Steelers, between 1992-1996 & 2004 to the present. In the span of time between 1992 and 2010 Pittsburgh has won 8 AFC Division Championhips (’92, ‘94, ‘95, ‘96) & (’04, ‘07, ‘08, ‘10), 4 AFC Championships (’95) & (’05, ‘08, ‘10), and 2 Superbowl seasons (’05 & ‘08). In LeBeau’s tenure the Steelers have been in the Top 5 defensively every year except 1992 & 2006. During the timeframe LeBeau wasn’t with them in 1997-2003 the Steelers were only in the Top 5 defenses once, in 2001, and missed the playoffs entirely in ‘98, ‘99, & ‘00. In that entire time there were only two GMs, Kevin Colbert and Tom Donahoe, and neither of those 2 geniuses got anything out of their teams between 1997 through 2003, coincidentally the time that Dick LeBeau was not on their payroll. Go figure.

And don’t get me started on the “Disheveled One” in Foxboro and his gift from the heavens, Tom Brady, a quarterback so talented he could have taken the 2007 Falcons to the playoffs.

John Waynesworld

May 14th, 2011
2:53 pm

D3 can you please free that entry for me. I don’t want to go off on the blog crapper. thx.

ymmotretsof

May 14th, 2011
3:18 pm

I didn’t see where the number of games played was limited because of an injury.I thought it was time to check out what my little blog geeks were up to.I hope you all missed me! As for this Jones guy,I don’t watch collage ball so I have no idea what his worth is. I’m glad to see that the players are working out on their own it shows they care.If any of them need some extra cash I have a ton of yard work that needs to be done.

D3

May 14th, 2011
3:23 pm

Posts are in.

John Waynesworld

May 14th, 2011
3:59 pm

By the way, thanks D3 for another topic to hold us over.

“Very few, if any, had a Pro Bowl #1 receiver or Quarterback already on the roster when drafted”

That statement may be the whole difference. You can also add a Pro Bowl RB, Pro Bowl FB and the greatest Tight End of all time. Let’s throw in an offensive line that was 3rd in the league in 2010 in sacks allowed, and a Quizz cherry on top.

Ken Strickland

May 14th, 2011
4:01 pm

I don’t expect JJone to have more than 45-50 receptions, which is just about what we’ve gotten from MJenkins. However, Jones’ receptions will be entirely different from those of Jenkins. He’ll be used as an OFF weapon all over the field, much like he was at Alabama. He did a lot of his damage in college after the catch on bubble screens, quick hitting slants and end arounds.

He’s going to change the entire dynamics of our OFF with his versatility, not just by catching long passes. I don’t expect him to come out of the blocks on fire, because the lockout prevents him from learning and experiencing the plays that will be added just for him. Therefore, we’ll have to force feed him OJT style as we go during the season by adding specific plays designed for him.

While no one can say for certain how successful he’ll be as a rookie, there’s no doubt DEF’s won’t risk leaving him isolated one on one with their #2 CB. With MJenkins, teams would cover him one on one, double RWhite, and roll their safeties to blanket TE TGonzalez.

JB FALCON

May 14th, 2011
5:27 pm

WTF, good to see you back. Google Julio Jones and Jaquizz Rogers and we’ll see if maybe you will share the excitement going around. Gotta warn ya’, it contagious!

JB FALCON

May 14th, 2011
5:36 pm

McNasty

May 14th, 2011
6:05 pm

Rookie of the year. High touchdown ratio to recieving yards. Two or three rushing touchdowns. Pick not intended as a superbowl fixall but more as a serious team upgrade with high character and superior work ethic, in a ultra elite athelete. The positive team synergy resulting from this addition will be quite visible after three games. He will stay healthy all the way. Matty gets the most benefit because his TD pass numbers are going up by 35% with Roddy, JJ and Gonzo. He will be like Larry Fitzgerald but with 10′ hands, amazing leaping ability and excellent speed. The offense will still be run heavy but more aggressive in trying to get the ball into open space. It will be a true test for the OC that will be a pass/fail examination.

ymmotretsof

May 14th, 2011
7:41 pm

I just want to see this whole mess done before training camp.Right now it doesn’t look good.J B Falcon blog geeks wasn’t meant to be harsh.

JB FALCON

May 14th, 2011
8:16 pm

Tommy, no problem. You used to be very active in the blog and your comments were interesting. So, where you been? Seems like you dropped off before the draft even. Anyway, everyone is hoping, in spite of realty, that we will play football this season and, if we do, Atlanta is going to be a team to be dealt with.

Big Ray

May 14th, 2011
8:34 pm

falcon21

May 14th, 2011
9:23 pm

Big Ray, I read that today. He is a smart kid.

John Waynesworld

May 14th, 2011
9:36 pm

What’s up, ymmot? Fresh off watching the Hawks bandwagon flame out? Welcome back.

Collage ball, that’s funny. You didn’t miss much with the 2010 college football circuit. The local teams sucked and it was a Cam Newton lovefest/witchhunt/Heisman/National Championship/NFL draft bash-a-thon. Very similar to the Tebow saga.

Don’t worry, ymmot, the guy we got is a good player straight from a pro style offense. He should help us alot if he can stay away from injury.