As everyone has heard, probably numerous times by now, the Atlanta Falcons are moving on from Julio Jones.
As sad as this is, it is a fact. Julio Jones said that he is done with the team, and the Atlanta Falcons have no choice but to move on.
One thing that may lessen the impact of losing one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history, is by getting another player in return for him. It could promote some excitement for fans, as it is one thing to receive future draft picks, but another to get an instant return by receiving a player who can suit up for the team come September.
The Atlanta Falcons should demand a player and some draft compensation for Julio Jones. It allows for a balance of adding instant impact, and future impact from newly drafted players.
Some positions that the Falcons should look to receive are wide receiver, running back, defensive lineman, and defensive backs. defensive lineman and defensive back are some of the biggest holes currently on the roster, no doubt they could use a little more talent among those positions.
As for the wide receiver, it is certainly not an emergent need with Julio Jones, but without him, it becomes another story.
You would obviously have Calvin Ridley slotted as the lead receiver, but after that, it is a little murky. Russell Gage would presumably attempt to play outside, but that is an ideal place for him, as he is best suited as a slot receiver. The team would need to find another good outside receiver, you cannot be leaning on Russell Gage, Olamide Zaccheaus, and rookie Frank Darby to fill that gaping hole.
Of course, you also have Kyle Pitts, but it would be most beneficial to keep him inside, where he seemingly is most comfortable, for his rookie season as he learns.
A trade will likely happen next week, as it is the beginning of June, so expect Julio to be a member of a new team a week from now.
Here are some players at those three positions, that the Atlanta Falcons should target in a Julio Jones trade.