Brandt’s opinion is widely respected in the NFL, having successfully served as the VP of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys from 1960 to 1988. In terms of Jones, Brandt says, “I just think the whole package, I like Julio a little better than Johnson.” One of the reasons Brandt says he likes the former Alabama standout is because he sees Jones’ hands as stronger and more reliable in conjunction with his overall fluidity.
Jones caught 79 balls for 1,198 yards and 10 touchdowns. Meanwhile, Johnson had a monster season as he raked in 122 catches for 1,964 record-breaking yards and five TDs. Statistically speaking, Johnson had the better season for those who are into catches and yards. However, Jones did catch more touchdowns. Consequently, his team won more games as well.
Obviously Johnson has great hands, but a nice chunk of those catches and yards came in junk time of games the Lions had no chance of winning. Jones, on the other hand, played in a ton of close games, was great even in losses, and his speed is definitely game-changing. It must also be considered that Jones plays alongside Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez. Does Detroit even have a number-two receiver?
Johnson is impressive, his size is imposing, and his athleticism is phenomenal. However, he is well on his way to being the next Barry Sanders if the Lions do not turn it around in a hurry.
Another reason to agree with Brandt is because of the impact Jones made to the Falcons roster. He gave the Falcons something they sorely needed in a speedy deep threat, someone who could take the pressure off a White and is another target for Matt Ryan. Moreover, his talent has translated to wins for the Falcons – records are great, but winning is everything.