Dec 9, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) makes a catch in the second half at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Too Early for Predictions: Julio Jones

Julio Jones is one of the most explosive young players in the NFL.  After only two years as a pro, he secured his spot as one of the top receivers.  I have had many debates on how good Julio Jones is.  Most people try to compare him to A.J. Green and most are in agreement that Green is better.  That’s just simply not true.  Some people don’t want to put Julio as a top 5 receiver in the NFL.  But I implore you to come up with five receivers that are legitimately better than Julio.  Green, the one most commonly compared to Julio has more receiving yards.  Of course he does.  He’s the number one guy and the Bengals don’t have a lot of receiver behind him.  Look past the receiving yards and you see that Julio leads him in just about every category.  Throw to Julio as many times as Green is targeted and I guarantee you that Julio will be known as the better receiver with no argument.

I can really only think of two players in the entire NFL that can be thought of as better and that is Calvin Johnson and Roddy White.  A case can be made for Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, but they are aging.  Having two of the top five receivers in the NFL on one team and one of the best tight ends in the history of the NFL is great for a quarterback.  But I digress; I just get so hyped up on these receivers.

Last year, Julio Jones caught 79 passes for 1,198 yards, 15.2 yards per catch and 10 touchdowns.

Those are impressive numbers for a sophomore season.  Those are even more impressive for the number two receiving option for a quarterback.  Even more impressive than that is that Matt Ryan has five reliable targets.  Julio is progressing beautifully and will someday be a top pass catcher.  He still needs a little work on his rout running, but we all see his capabilities and with a little work, that won’t even be an issue.  Sometimes he does drop the occasional ball, but his hands are so great, that’s hardly a factor.  He’s also one of the fastest guys on the roster and one of his biggest talents is just flat out beating a defender in a foot race.

Julio Jones is the future of Atlanta’s wide receivers.  He’s making strides to becoming the number one option in Atlanta and even possibly the best receiver in the league at one point.  But I don’t think it’ll be this year.  I do, however, think he’ll make another push to being the go-to option.  I’ll cut to the chase and predict another amazing season.

I believe that 2013 looks like this: 85 receptions at 15.3 yards per catch and 1,300 yards.

I think Roddy White will still have a slightly better season, but Julio is on his way to stardom.

What are your predictions?

Tags: A.J. Green Atlanta Falcons Julio Jones Larry Fitzgerald Matt Ryan Roddy White

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