3 Falcons Standouts Named to NFL 2010s All-Decade Team

Julio Jones

Getty Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons.

It’s a new decade. The NFL and Pro Football Hall of Fame released their 2010-19 All-Decade Team on Monday, which included two current and one former Atlanta Falcons players.

Atlanta’s wide receiver Julio Jones and center Alex Mack, who are currently on the Falcons’ roster, made the cut, along with former return specialist Devin Hester. All three are deserving athletes.

According to their website, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee was tasked with choosing who makes the National Football League’s All-Decade Teams. The first four All-Decade teams were picked retroactively in 1969 with the celebration of the NFL’s 50th Season.

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WR Julio Jones (Present)

Julio Jones is an obvious pick and clearly a future Hall of Famer, so it’s no surprise. Jones, who spent nine seasons with the Falcons, is regarded as the most talented and physically gifted receiver in the NFL next to Larry Fitzgerald, Antonio Brown and Calvin Johnson.

The Falcons’ 7-9 record last season didn’t stop Jones from balling out and breaking personal records that made him an even more notable player.

Jones did what a lot of people thought he wouldn’t do by the end of last season: He broke Jerry Rice’s record in receiving yards. Jones set a new benchmark having 12,000 receiving yards in fewer than 17 games. He recorded 99 catches for 1,394 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns last season and provided exciting touchdowns each week. Jones ranks 35th all-time with 797 receptions and 25th in league history with 12,125 receiving yards. Not to mention he’s a Pro Bowler, 2x First-team All-Pro and 3x Second-team All-Pro. Easy.

C Alex Mack (Present)

The Falcons added Alex Mack to the squad in 2016. He played a crucial part in helping the Falcons head to the Super Bowl.

Even after suffering a broken leg in the NFC Championship game, Mack suited up to block for Matt Ryan during Super Bowl LI. He’s demonstrated tough character and has proven to be reliable and loyal.

Since entering the NFL as a first-round pick in 2009, Mack has started 165 games. 2014 was the only year as a Cleveland Brown when he didn’t play an entire full season.

RS, WR Devin Hester (From 2014-2015)

Devin Hester spent only two seasons with the Falcons, but he made them memorable.

The former wide receiver and kick returner broke Deion “Prime Time” Sanders’ NFL record for combined punt and kickoff returns for a touchdown during a Thursday night blowout against the Tampa Bay Bucs. Sanders had a front-row seat to watch it all go down. Hester tallies 14 punt return touchdowns and five kick return touchdowns in his NFL career.

This wasn’t Hester’s first time being named to the NFL All-Decade Team. He also made the prestigious list in the 2000s for being a 4x Pro Bowler, 3x First-team All-Pro, Second-team All-Pro and NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.

The NFL All-Decade Team is just reassurance that we’ll see these names again as they’re inducted into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

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