When Mr. Goodell announced the biggest draft deal in years for the Atlanta Falcons, I had mixed feelings about it. Lets be honest here, giving up 2 first round picks, 2 second round picks, and 2 fourth round picks, for one player is a hefty price. Being a little bit nervous about Julio to start, I didn’t like that trade at all. While I still think they over payed, Julio has proved me wrong. Julio is what I never thought he would be- A game changer.
In his rookie year, we definitely saw some struggles. I saw him uncomfortable with the NFL for the first few games of 2011. But what impressed me so much was his maturity and willingness to learn. With this, Julio really became more comfortable. We really saw his comfort show against the Colts last season. Julio went beast mode, with 131 yards, 2 TDs on only 3 receptions.
Julio’s combination of speed and hands makes him such a threat this season. Although, he didn’t always have the sure hands he does now. That was the biggest concern for Julio coming out of the draft. He answered that question much like Roddy White did. This showed me the Julio was for real, and that he was going to be another hard-worker for the Falcons. He has also always had that break away speed, so that was something I always loved about Julio. Being a 6′ 3″ man is never going to hurt you either.
Julio’s rookie performance surprised me a lot. I thought it would take Julio a season to really be productive, but it didn’t take him more than a game. Being a threat really helped the rest of the offense. He finished the season with 959 yards, 8 TDs, and 54 receptions. Those numbers are as solid as any WR of his caliber. However, those numbers were way more impressive than I thought they’d be. Of course, this only put a big smile on my face.
Is there a concern for a Sophomore slump? Personally, I don’t think so. With Julio’s work ethic, his drive, and his freakish athletic ability, he is destined for another great season. I expect 1,100 yards and 7 TDs. I really love Julio this season, and I expect the picks they gave up for him will pay off. If you would like to read about what I saw with Julio at Training Camp, click HERE!
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