Atlanta Falcons: Rookie Julio Jones Brings Explosiveness to a Team in Need

Will BrownContributor IAugust 3, 2011

Julio make a nice over-the-shoulder grab
Julio make a nice over-the-shoulder grab

The Atlanta Falcons traded five picks to move up in the 2011 draft to select wide receiver Julio Jones from the University of Alabama.

They drafted Jones because they wanted to become more explosive on offense, along with getting another receiver for defenses to worry about opposite Roddy White, who led the league by a wide margin in targets.

Well, he seems to be already doing that. said that Jones had a 40-yard grab in yesterday's practice where he caught it over the shoulder with a corner draped over him.

Mike Smith has said that Jones has made several nice catches over the first few days, and that's a good sign. Jones' athleticism stands out compared to anyone, we just needed to see him come in and look good right from the start. It appears that he has.

Jones has the potential to be the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year, and probably has the league's best shot. He has loads of talent around him and won't be asked to do too much.

Jones may be the key in Matt Ryan truly becoming the focal point of this offense. Michael Turner is starting to wear down a bit at tailback, and Ryan has showed that he can make plays when we need him to. The offense was at its best, in my opinion, in no-huddle situations where we let Ryan call the plays and make adjustments.

To be sure, the Falcons will still rely heavily on the running game to wear down opposing defenses, having Jones just gives us a big play-making wide receiver on the outside.

Also, Jacquizz Rodgers, another draft selection, has also looked good from all indications and could provide a spark in the backfield. 

With Jones providing a few big plays here and there, the Falcons' offense has the potential to be one of the league's best.

“It looks good out here, I can’t lie to you,” White said on Monday. “I come out here every day and it looks really, really good. I want to go out there and get on the field and see what we can do against other guys. Right now we’re doing a pretty good job of moving the ball. We’re doing good things on offense. The pace is quicker. Matt’s getting us in and out the huddle real fast. I like the way we’re going.”