In a recent ESPN poll, 50 NFL coaches, executives, and players ranked their top 10 choices for each NFL position in 2020. Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones landed at No. 1 on the wide receiver list.
One NFL coordinator gave his thoughts on Jones:
“He’s an avatar,” the coach said per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. “There’s only one of him.”
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Jones is Project to Lead 2020 in Receiving Yards
Julio is entering his 10th season in Atlanta and is still Matt Ryan’s No. 1 option.
Jones stands at the very top of the list with no surprise there. Jones hasn’t finished out of the top three in receiving yards in the past seven seasons. PFF has Jones receiving for 1,628 yards, 234 yards more than he finished in 2019.
The Julio Jones Stat
He is the king of yards per route and many analysts have suggested the stat be named in honor of his enormous success.
“The efficiency metric of yards per route run may as well be named after Julio — he has led all WRs in that category in five of the last seven years and never ranked outside the top five,” Pro Football Focus said. “Jones and [Michael] Thomas were the only players to have more than 40 catches of at least 15 yards last season. Book it.”
The Falcons finished with a 7-9 record last season, but that didn’t stop Julio from setting his own benchmarks. In 2019, Jones started all 15 games he played catching 99 passes for 1,394 yards (14.1 average) and six touchdowns.
The 31-year-old became the fastest receiver in the league to reach 12,000 yards and having six 1,300 yards-plus seasons (only one behind Jerry Rice).
Madden 21 Snubbed the Falcons
So, maybe EA Sports did it as a marketing strategy? After all, people have been talking about the new Madden almost every day since the ratings were released.
Thomas isn’t even better than Hopkins. Last season when the Falcons played the Arizona Cardinals one of the best receivers to ever play the game, Larry Fitgerald, warned his teammate that Julio was the GOAT and the best he’s ever seen. That should have ended the debate right then and there. But of course, the Falcons lost tragically to the Cards that day.
If Atlanta had a better record the Jones would get a lot more attention. Instead, people turned there focus in the NFC South to Drew Brees and Thomas.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan received a rating of 87 in this year’s Madden and most people are in agreement with that one. However, when the season begins his rating could increase with the solid offense around him this season.