This post is not an indictment of people overvaluing the Atlanta Falcons' Julio Jones, as he is definitely one of the NFL's most electrifying wide receivers and one who is deserving of a high draft pick.
No, this is about the lack of love Roddy White is getting.
It seems so many pundits and prognosticators are taking potshots at White while trying to hype up Jones. Here’s a thought: Why can’t they coexist and thrive together? What we could be looking at here is the modern-day version of Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne.
Folks say that in order for Jones to thrive, White’s production has to drop. I’m not buying that theory.
When talking about White, we are talking about a receiver who is in his prime physical condition at 30 (about to turn 31 in November), with many more years of productivity left in his tank.
We are talking about a receiver who has posted two straight seasons of 100-plus receptions, five straight years of 80-plus receptions and five straight seasons of at least 1,100 yards receiving.
Oh, and White has also been good for nearly double-digit touchdowns for the last three years, averaging 9.6 in that time. Not to mention, White is a four-time Pro Bowler.
Why are we now pushing that production aside and thinking White will automatically take a back seat to Jones? Sure, White went on record to praise Jones when he said his targets should be reduced due to Jones' presence (via Sports Illustrated).
However, I think that’s a testament to how much of a team player White is, and what he said should not be perceived as gospel. Matt Ryan has been relying on White for years, and that rapport will not be pushed aside just because Jones may hold more upside and big-play ability than White.
White is all about winning at the moment, as the Falcons have a solid all-around team.
White thinks he and Jones can do special things together (per the Associated Press). "Together" is the key word. White and Jones should thrive in the Falcons' high-octane offense.
While White is doing and saying all the right things, that's just him being humble. In order for the Falcons to get to the next level, White and Jones will both need to be at the top of their games.
While assembling your fantasy team, don't forget White is a Pro Bowl-caliber player and arguably a top five wide receiver.
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