Atlanta Falcons Year in Review: Julio Jones
In the 2011 draft, the Atlanta Falcons made a big move giving up a handful of draft picks so they could the sixth overall pick and draft Julio Jones. After only two seasons in the league, it seems like the Falcons made the right move to do whatever they could to get their star receiver.
In his rookie year, Jones had a big impact with the team catching 54 passes for 959 yards and eight touchdowns in just 13 games. Jones showed right off the bat that he had the speed, strength and hands to be the best receiver on this Falcons team. Quarterback Matt Ryan developed trust with him from the very beginning and is the biggest deep threat on the team.
This season Jones improved on his numbers and helped the Falcons get their first win in the playoffs under head coach Mike Smith. With Roddy White playing opposite of him and tight end Tony Gonzalez up the middle, it is hard for defenders to double team any receiver on this team giving Jones a lot of one-on-one opportunities. Jones caught 78 passes this year for 1,1198 yards and 10 touchdowns. Jones might have saved his biggest game of the season for the playoffs where he stepped up under the lights and the pressure. In two games this postseason, Jones had 17 catches for 241 yards, including 11 catches for 181 yards in the NFC Championship game.
It is clear that Jones is the future of this franchise with Ryan throwing him the ball. In 2013, expect Jones to have an even bigger role with the team and could become the team’s number one target. White is entering his 10th year in the league and Jones is only entering his third. The explosiveness of the second-year player gives the Falcons an opportunity to score on any given play.
Jones has proven to be the best wide receiver on the team and if he continues to improve his game he may just become the best wide receiver in the league.
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