Julio Jones Ranks 13th in NFL Top 100: Analysis


The final Atlanta Falcon has appeared on the NFL Network’s Top 100 players of 2015 list. Many fans were anticipating where Julio Jones would end up following a stellar season, finishing third in receiving yards with 1,593, second for yards per game and had the most catches of 20 or more yards by a wide margin (31; Demaryus Thomas was second with 25).

In total, four wide receivers made an appearance on the list between numbers 20-11 on Wednesday, with two more yet to be revealed in the top 10.

Peyton Manning’s right hand man Demaryius Thomas kicked things off at No. 20; Jordy Nelson’s good work didn’t go unnoticed as he came in at No. 18. Catch or no catch, the charismatic Dez Bryant was deserving of No. 15, and the humble Julio Jones rounded things out at 13.

Bryant didn’t seem to agree with his ranking, as he voiced his displeasure on Twitter.

It’s a debate that will undoubtedly happen as a result of the list: who should be ranked higher, Dez Bryant or Julio Jones? You could make a case for both.

On one hand, Dez led the league with 16 touchdowns last year, while Julio had a meager 6. However, it also needs to be pointed out that Bryant’s team boasted the best run game in the NFL last year along with the best offensive line, making things a lot easier for him.

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On the other hand, Jones’ quarterback never had much time to get his star wide receiver the ball, but despite that, Julio still finished with more yards in one fewer game played.

Both are top tier wide receivers without a doubt, and in the end it’s all a matter of preference. In this case, the players who determine the rankings preferred Julio slightly more.

Jones ends up being the top ranked player from the very good 2011 draft class, which features names such as Cam Newton (No. 73), AJ Green (No. 37), and Patrick Peterson (No. 19).

No. 13 will also be the highest rank for an NFC South player. Luke Kuechly of the Panthers just missed out on that distinction as he was ranked 14th. You could say that the debate between Jones and Kuechly for best player in the South is also a toss up, as this ranking showed.

Last week, Drew Brees was revealed at No. 30, representing the highest ranked (and only) Saint on the list; and Gerald Mccoy was revealed as the highest ranked Buccaneer at 28.

The Atlanta Falcons (Jones; Matt Ryan) and Carolina Panthers (Newton; Kuechly) each boasted two players on this year’s top 100 list. New Orleans had one (Brees), although Jimmy Graham was also on the list.

This year’s division cellar dweller Tampa Bay surprisingly had the most players on the list from the division, with three (Mike Evans; Lavonte David; Gerald Mccoy).

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In the end, Jones was fairly ranked. Many are in agreement that he is the third or fourth best wide receiver the game. The top two receivers, who will deservedly be in the top 10, are going to be Antonio Brown of the Steelers and Calvin Johnson of the Lions.

Matt Ryan was the other Falcon in the top 100: he was ranked 77th. Both Jones and Ryan were undeservedly snubbed from last year’s list due to the team’s struggles, so it’s good to see them make a reappearance.

What do you think the list should have looked like? Should Jones be ranked ahead of Bryant and Kuechly? Should he be ranked in the top 10?

Are there any other Falcons that should have been in this year’s edition of the top 100 (Trufant)? Have your say and tell us in the comments.

Next: Who will be the Falcons' leading rusher in 2015?