When it comes to having an electrifying offense in the NFL in this day and age, it is almost a requirement to have multiple wide outs with monster playmaking ability. Without a doubt, this thought was at the forefront of the minds in the main office of the Atlanta Falcons in the 2011 Draft when they paid a high price to move up and select Julio Jones with the 6th overall pick. The move paid off big with Jones setting Franchise records for a rookie in both receiving yards and touchdowns in a season while still only playing in 13 games. Even with this fact in addition to the shortened offseason in 2011, he was still able to perform above and beyond the expectations as a rookie and is set for a huge campaign this upcoming season.
Although Julio and Roddy White have to share looks from one QB, both have the potential to fill in the WR1 spot on any roster. Currently, ESPN Fantasy Football has the two ranked side by side as the number 9 and 10 in the WR position for the Draft. Depending on if your league is PPR or not, White could go higher and would make Julio a steal at a later draft pick. If your league is not PPR, then Julio is arguably as good of a value as White if he stays healthy. They found the end zone the same amount of times, but Julio was able to do it with half as many opportunities.
In the glorious world of Fantasy Football, the statistics matter most when it comes to player performance and player potential. Given that Julio only played 13 games (including the 2 games where he injured himself early and only caught a total of 3 catches for 25 yds), many of his stats are comparable or better than that of Roddy White. The most impressive stat being that Julio had an average of 17.8 yards per catch compared to Roddy’s mediocre 13. This goes to show that Jones is the deep threat, big play, speedster that the Falcons were missing in the previous years. He also outdoes Roddy by having twice as many average yards after the catch, which is another example of how Julio has greater big play ability than his counterpart.
Yes, some will point out that Roddy had the most targets in the league and had almost twice as many catches as Julio, but Jones was able to make more out of each catch and opportunity he was given. Not only that, but if you look at the yardage per target and also the catches per target, Julio comes out on top in both of those categories, further proving that if Julio was given as many opportunities as Roddy, he would be outdoing him in every possible statistic. That being said- Julio Jones has greater value and is an overall better pick in this year’s draft due to his raw talent and speed. You can bet that the Falcons will look to get the ball in his hands more often this year and that will pay huge dividends for those who choose Julio over Roddy.