Julio Jones will never be the greatest Atlanta Falcons player of all time


Julio Jones might be the most beloved Atlanta Falcons player of all time. Even though his numbers say otherwise, he will never be considered the greatest Atlanta Falcon of all time and it’s not his fault.

Atlanta Falcons franchise quarterback Matt Ryan, while the most controversial for some reason, will go down as the greatest Falcons player of all time. The NFL is a quarterback-driven lead and nine times out of ten, the quarterback will always be considered as the most important player on the team and maybe in all of sports. That’s just the way the team is wired.

People will say that Julio Jones is mostly responsible for the success of Matt Ryan. While he is certainly one of the main reasons why he isn’t the only reason.

Ryan was doing pretty well for himself before Jones joined the team, with season averages of 22 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. In his rookie season, he did have Roddy White, but his number two receiver wasn’t some like Calvin Ridley or Mohammad Sanu, it was Michael Jenkins.

When Jones was injured for the majority of the 2013 season, Ryan turned number three receiver, Harry Douglas, into a 1,000-yard receiver, the only time he would reach that milestone in his career.

If the presence of Jones had the same effect that Randy Moss had with Tom Brady when he went from throwing 24 touchdowns to 50 touchdowns, Jones would get a lot more consideration for the greatest Falcon ever.

The Atlanta Falcons aren’t the only franchise this pertains to. Jerry Rice is considered to be the greatest wide receiver of all time. If you were to ask any 49ers fans who the best player in the history of the franchise, more than likely you would hear Joe Montana before you hear Jerry Rice. That’s not throwing any shade on Rice, but the NFL is a quarterback-driven league.

Larry Fitzgerald will have the distinction of being the best player in the history of the Cardinals because he hasn’t always had an elite quarterback to throw him the ball. That’s not the case with Julio Jones.

If the conversation was about the most talented player in the history of the franchise, Julio Jones and Deion Sanders would be in a class all by themselves. The Atlanta Falcons have been fortunate to not have experienced Jones playing without Matt Ryan for an extended period of time. If we had instances like that in which Jones had to play without an elite quarterback.

Next. Falcons need to draft Chase Young by any means necessary. dark

There’s no doubt that Jones ranks among the best to ever play for the Atlanta Falcons. He’s top three and to some, he might be the top two. Those who are biased against Matt Ryan will have Julio at the top of the list and that’s not a problem. Some of those people may think Ryan might not be who he is without Jones, but just remember, we don’t know if Jones would be who he is without Ryan.