Dear A.J. Green,
Watch out. Julio Jones is coming for you.
Quarterbacks Cam Newton and Ryan Mallett may have been the prospects who came into today with the most questions to answer, but it was Alabama WR Julio Jones who came up with the most answers.
Jones officially became the talk of Indianapolis with his performance on day four of the NFL Combine.
We got to see most of the big-name quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers work out today, but it was Jones who came away with the most buzz.
The 6’3’’ 220-pound junior wowed scouts in the 40-yard dash, running a 4.39, the fifth-fastest time recorded this weekend.
Jones also put up 17 reps on the bench and jumped 38.5 inches in the vertical leap. Maybe the most defining example of Jones' pure, raw power was his second broad jump, an astonishing 11’3’’ mark.
His performance today could propel Jones into the top-10-pick conversation and it may even have a few scouts contemplating whether he’s a better pure receiver than Georgia’s A.J. Green, who came into the weekend as the consensus top WR prospect of the 2011 class.
Jones, who finished with 78 catches for over 1,100 yards in 2010, looks like the type of receiver who can not only make an instant impact but also develop into a true No. 1 option for an NFL offense. There are a lot of teams picking in the top 10, such as Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Washington, that could use some receiver help.
Even if A.J. Green comes off the board first, there’s definitely room for Julio Jones to fit in somewhere.
Personally, I’ll admit I wasn’t a very big Julio fan back in August; I thought he was too talented to be underachieving like he did in his first two seasons.
However, after seeing all Jones had to offer as a junior, my perception completely changed and today’s workout only hammered home the change.
To put it in simplistic, Schlereth terms: Julio Jones is a player.
He’s a player in every sense of the word. He’s a guy I’d want in my uniform, making plays for my team.
If he learns how to beat jam coverages and ends up on a team with a good quarterback situation, Julio Jones could be one of the five best receivers in the NFL sooner rather than later.