We continue our top ten countdown of the best players on the 2012 Atlanta Falcons roster with a man that was a controversial addition last season. So far we've featured Tyson Clabo (#10), Michael Turner (#9), Asante Samuel (#8), Tony Gonzalez (#7) and Brent Grimes (#6). Now it's time to talk about one of the players that will be critical for the Falcons offense this season.
Jones showed some of his explosiveness last season
The Falcons went a little crazy last year when they played riverboat gambler and sold the farm to trade up and snatch Julio Jones in the NFL Draft. That decision is still being debated to this day. In thirteen regular season games Jones caught 54 passes for 8 TDs and 17.8 yards per catch. Jones also had five 100 yard receiving games. Julio will be a key to Dirk Koetter's new offense and to the future of the Falcons. Here is what the guys had to say about Julio:
Eric: He would be higher on my list if he'd been healthier. A full season of what we saw vs. Seattle and Indy, and at New Orleans, and he'll be Top 5 for me.
Joe: One of the NFL’s overall great natural talents. Jones is the complete package of extreme athleticism and ability to play his position at a high level. He is far and away the best player on the Falcons roster.
Matt: I hated the trade for Julio Jones but his performance his rookie year turned me into a believer. Jones has a good shot at being a top-10 wide receiver this year after showing elite ability in 2011. More than anyone, I want to see what Jones can do in the new season.
Mike: Julio is the future of the franchise...explosive and strong, He will continue to push Roddy to play at an All-Pro level or simply, take his place.
Zach: Roddy White is the best WR Atlanta has ever had, at least for the next couple of years. Julio Jones is a different kind of special, his rookie year was plagued by a hamstring injury which made him miss the majority of 5 games, and his off-season was drastically shortened by the NFL lockout. He still had nearly 1000 yards. 959 yards on 54 catches to be exact. This year Julio will have a full off-season, and I'd expect huge numbers out of him this year.