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WR Julio Jones - Atlanta Falcons

6-2, 220Born: 2-3-1989College: AlabamaDrafted: Round 1, pick 6

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Recent Stats and Projections

17 vs NO 58 0 0 0 11 9 149 0 0 14.9

Recent Game Summaries

2015 Week 17 vs NO (11 / 9 / 149 / 0 rec)

Matt Ryan overshot a wide-open Jones on a play-action pass on a deep cross against the safety and it had a good shot to go for a touchdown. On the second series, Jones caught a crossing route for a first down. Later, he dropped a deep comeback on a play-action roll out on 2nd and 8 that hit the receiver in the hands but for added context, he had to dive opposite his momentum for the target. Two plays later, Jones reached the Saints' 29 on a naked boot to the right. Jones got inside the two yard line from a trips set with Jones finding the shallow hole in the Saints' zone. Late in the half, Jones left the field for the locker room after the Falcons scored with 0:26 left in the second quarter to have his ankle taped. Early in the third quarter, Jones made a quick catch at the left sideline for a first down on a short out. He let a curl at the left sideline go through his hands on 2nd and 20 during this first drive of the second half, but the Saints roughed Matt Ryan on the play and the Falcons got the first down. Jones ten caught a crossing route with 5:00 in the third quarter, but left the field after this 20-yard catch because he aggravated that re-taped ankle. Jones limped back in after a few plays and made some pivotal plays despite playing with the injury. He caught a deep corner route at the sideline for a 29-yard gain and caught his ninth ball on the following play, a deep dig to get past midfield with 4:02 left for 27 yards. Jones had an incredible season. If Atlanta can improve its pass protection and get a second receiver capable of beating man coverage routinely, Jones might see fewer receptions but also more vertical routes in 2016.

2015 Week 16 vs CAR (11 / 9 / 178 / 1 rec)

His first catch came on 2nd and 9 of the opening drive for five yards in the left flat. He then caught the deep out with a great break to beat Josh Norman. Ryan later found Jones on a pivot route to get the first down on a third down after two straight sacks. Later in the drive, Jones dropped a 3rd and 12 target in the short zone to end the series. He caught a comeback on 3rd and long for a 24-yard play, including yards after the catch where he broke a tackle attempt of Josh Norman's for another 7-8 yards. Jones dropped a crossing route in tight coverage that was placed high and in stride but Jones had to stretch and Norman knocked it loose as Jones tried to secure it--a tough play to make. Then Norman stuffed Jones later in the drive on a screen, but Jones followed with a punch of Norman at the line that got him open on a quick hitch for a couple of yards. The biggest play was a 70-yard TD where he got deep on cross against LB Luke Kuechley and Ryan threw Jones open. The receiver leaped above the defender, high-pointed the ball and turned up field for the remaining 20-25 yards. At this point, Carolina reinforced its cautious approach on Falcons receivers, playing the safety too deep and putting the corners in outside position to allow Atlanta to hit inside routes at will between 5 and 20 yards down field.

2015 Week 15 vs JAX (13 / 9 / 118 / 1 rec)

The veteran earned a steady diet of crossing routes off play action. He did get a deeper target up the left sideline but the target led him a step too far. Jones also drew a pass interference penalty on Telvin Smith on a deeper crossing route later in the game that helped Atlanta answer Jacksonville's comeback attempt. Jones' two best plays in the game came earlier in the contest. The first was a crossing route on third down that extended a drive by breaking a Telvin Smith tackle attempt and getting inside the Jaguars 11. He followed that play up with a drag route off a read-option fake by Matt Ryan that resulted in a score.

2015 Week 14 vs CAR (10 / 7 / 88 / 0 rec)

The receiver fumbled his first target, a short hitch in the left flat from the slot where Thomas Davis tackled and stripped the ball loose. The ball tumbled out of bounds. Josh Norman successfully screened the ball from Jones on a 2nd and 8 slant from trail position. Norman covered Jones tightly in most matchups with the big receiver, even on completed passes like a 3rd and 7 hook route for a first down. His best play was a 46-yard gain in the second half where Jones ran through a tackle after the catch in the fourth quarter and put a hurting on CB Bene Benikere, who left the game after that play. It was the first route not against Norman where he had some room to run. Curiously, Jones was not in the game for a fourth quarter pass inside the six on 4th and goal, but with Atlanta down 38-0 it probably wasn't a major issue.

2015 Week 13 vs TB (17 / 8 / 93 / 0 rec)

Once again, the Falcons failed to target Jones deep. The biggest plays came on skinny posts off play action or deep slants. It was enough for Jones to have a reasonable fantasy day, but nowhere near what he's capable if the offense could take advantage of his deep speed and skill to win the ball in coverage. Jones is a rebounder of a wide receiver and one of the best at it, but the offense is more precision-based than rebounding based. The best opportunity Jones had to score was an improvised route to the end line after the Buccaneers flushed Ryan right, but the coverage trailing Jones knocked the ball loose and Jones couldn't haul in the rebound.

2015 Week 12 vs MIN (7 / 5 / 56 / 0 rec)

The Falcons' primary receiver didn't see a deep target this week, but he had multiple catches in the intermediate range of the field on dig routes against tight coverage. The Vikings risked drawing multiple penalties in this game when they opted for physical coverage of Jones not just at the line of scrimmage, but well into his routes. The risk paid off because Atlanta didn't test Jones deep where officials could have made Minnesota pay. Instead, Jones had to deal with good coverage from Xavier Rhodes, who knocked away a hook during the first quarter. Jones was able to power through a Rhodes tackle for a first down up the right sideline. But later in the half, Jones had a reception knocked away by the safety on a target that was thrown towards his back hip on a play-action rollout. Although the dig routes had success, Jones wasn't featured enough in the deep passing game to help this offense sustain drives.

2015 Week 11 vs IND (15 / 9 / 160 / 0 rec)

Ryan found Jones on a sideline fade against Vontae Davis for 36 yards early in the game and then followed up with a deep dig to the inside for 29 yards to get Atlanta inside the 20. These field-stretchers helped Jones find room on crossers and slants for gains between 9 and 20 yards throughout the half. Although Jones had a strong day statistically, Ryan and Jones faced more difficult targets later, thanks to the fact that Atlanta could not run the ball, Roddy White couldn't get separation, and Leonard Hankerson dropped multiple passes. The Colts knew Jones was the only reliable threat and did not let the receiver get behind them or work deep without two defenders glued to the receiver.

2015 Week 9 vs SF (17 / 10 / 137 / 0 rec)

The Falcons' primary receiver caught a steady diet of crossing routes, dig routes, and slants. The most promising thing he did this week was show off the deep speed he lacked during his month-long bout with a leg injury, catching a deep post. He broke the route from the left seam late in the first half. If Atlanta's offensive line can get healthy soon, Jones has a chance to resume the torrid start to his season.

2015 Week 8 vs TB (13 / 12 / 162 / 1 rec)

The Falcons involved Jones early and he delivered, earning 47 yards on his first 3 targetes, including a quick screen for 9, a backside slant for 17, and then a deep out for 21. Ryan also underthrew Jones on a curl during this series. Jones was caught holding on a toss play to Devonta Freeman that nullified a positive gain early. Jones earned another long gain on a quick slant, but the Buccaneers LB Kwon Alexander ripped the ball free and returned it 21 yards. This ironically happened after Alexander had intercepted a Ryan pass in the end zone for a long return with a chance to score if not for Jones running Alexander down from across the field. The play was nullified due to a Tampa penalty, but it's notable that Alexander got some revenge in the context of the game, even if the interception didn't count in the box score. Matt Ryan wasn't deterred by the turnover and continued hitting Jones on backside slants and by the third drive, Jones had 99 yards. Jones caught the late touchdown in the back of the end zone after a Ryan pump fake that helped send the game to overtime. He also broke a tackle on a short out for a longer gain. Jones' burst and staying power with his long speed seems much closer to 100 percent than previous weeks. The deep game should follow soon.

2015 Week 7 vs TEN (17 / 9 / 92 / 1 rec)

The Falcons did some nice work to get Jones open during the first half of this game by aligning Jones in trips formations with Devonta Freeman motioned to the single side late to distract the defense. This first gain in this look resulted in a 21-yard play and Jones physically looked sharper in terms of his acceleration. The deep speed still isn't there, but he didn't appear labored this week as a runner. Most of the routes remained shallow crossers, slants, and check-downs and Jones delivered mixed results this week. Some of the throws were off-target, but the majority of Jones' drops came after contact against tight coverage where he took a hit or when Jones was forced to get low on a target and couldn't hang on. His best catch was an out that Ryan had to throw high with pressure coming fast and Jones made the rebound on the 3rd and 5 catch with 8:50 left to set up a first and goal. A short pass to Jones to the right pylon resulted in a 2nd and goal from the one when Jones couldn't get the ball over the pylon before his toe hit the boundary and the Falcons failed in the red zone series, throwing an interception. Jones scored earlier in the game paired with Freeman on a twin alignment to the right in the red zone where Freeman's route worked deeper against the corner and Jones drew edge defender Derrick Morgan in nickel coverage for an easy out route and score. If Jones can avoid any setbacks, he's probably 1-3 weeks away from returning to his dominant physical form and more deep routes will come.

2015 Week 6 vs NO (10 / 6 / 93 / 0 rec)

Atlanta adjusted its offense to Jones' injury and ran more crossers and drag routes to give Jones opportunities to earn separation and catch shorter passes in wide open zones. His target count continues to remain strong, but the number of deep targets has diminished greatly. It keeps Jones out of the elite tier of fantasy options until he gets healthy.

2015 Week 5 vs WAS (10 / 5 / 67 / 0 rec)

Atlanta tried to challenge the Washington pass defense with Jones early, but the first pass went through Jones' hands and then Matt Ryan overthrew Jones high and Washington ended the first drive with an interception deep in their own territory. Jones had a chance to make a play on the ball, but it was a bad throw in addition to a mishandled target. From the first drive onward, Jones was consistently stretching his hamstring between series and began missing snaps to stretch the leg. Jones drew an illegal contact penalty on a deep corner route during the third series. Ryan was then on-target on a play action slant to Jones, but the receiver slipped and dropped the pass in tight coverage. Once again, he was clearly stretching between plays and shaking his head while taking snaps off on the sideline and one must wonder if Jones slipped due to his muscle strain. Later, Ryan missed Jones over the middle near the goal line. Ryan later hit Jones on a slant for a first down and more, but Jones could not open his stride. On a 20-yard gain on a slant to open the second half, Jones fumbled the ball and nearly failed to recover it. Although gimpy, Jones got open on a deep route but Washington pressure forced Ryan to check down and Jones was clearly not at full speed. Jones scored in the fourth quarter on a fumble recovery on a Devonta Freeman run stuffed inside the five and stripped loose by defensive end Chris Baker. He made some additional catches late in the game under a soft zone, which padded his stats, but didn't mitigate the concern that his hamstring is getting worse, not better.

2015 Week 4 vs HOU (6 / 4 / 38 / 0 rec)

Jones had a small stat line because he didn't get a target in the second half. This game was put away early, and Devonta Freeman was finishing drives, giving Jones no chance to even get a red zone target. JJ Watt disrupted a few of Jones' early targets, but in a runaway like this, he wasn't going to have a big game unless he was the one doing the early damage.

2015 Week 3 vs DAL (20 / 12 / 164 / 2 rec)

Jones had another monster game, but he and the Falcons got off to a slow start. Ryan hit Jones on a hitch early I the game but then had a slew of low throws that were too inaccurate for Jones to corral in between some completions along the sideline on quick throws. Jones faced physical coverage from Mo Claiborne early, including a red zone slant where Jones failed to finish the route and Claiborne jumped for a near-interception. Jones also dropped a touchdown on a difficult target in third down red zone target with 2:23 in half. Ryan forced Ryan to highpoint the ball into the path of a safety aiming his forearm into Jones' chest to break up the completion. Jones then dropped a play action pass to begin the second half. From that point forward Jones and Ryan got on the same page. Ryan found Jones for 14 on 3rd and 3 late on in this first drive. In the next series, Jones had a diving catch for 22 on a deep crossing route. Although he limped off the field on that play he returned a play later and twoplays later scored on a 49-yard deep cross on 3rd and 3 after getting an easy release off the line and out ran defense across the field before and after he caught the ball. Although still favoring his leg slightly for the rest of the game, Jones got open on multiple look-ins with Ryan for first downs to keep the offense off balance. As long as Atlanta runs the ball effectively, Ryan and Jones will have multiple ways to gouge a defense.

2015 Week 2 vs NYG (15 / 13 / 135 / 0 rec)

Julio Jones had a very strong performance with Matt Ryan on Sunday and made some very difficult catches look easy. Jones started off this game in dominating fashion as he routinely picked up first downs on slants and quick patterns over the middle of the field, beating his defender soundly each time. The Giants did not have a great answer for Jones who converted a lot of 2nd/3rd downs into first downs by beating his man to the football with his speed/size talent. On one bizarre looking play, Jones was open down field for Ryan but was unable to catch the pass as he was previously forced out of bounds by the Giant defensive back and wisely avoided the penalty by letting the pass fall incomplete. Jones made a spectacular catch deep over the middle of the field in the second half. Ryan threw late over the middle from his own endzone and Jones made a huge diving catch with one hand to secure the ball for the first down. Jones showed off his incredible catching radius along with size to dominate smaller defensive backs. Jones continued to pick up first downs with clean catches in tight windows throughout the game. Jones beat his man one on one on a fade pattern on the final drive for his team and hauled in a well thrown pass in stride before falling over the goal line. Unfortunately for Jones owners, he was ruled down by contact at the one yard line and the score did not count. Regardless, Jones continues to show he's one of the NFL's most complete receivers and can be big for fantasy owners this year.

2015 Week 1 vs PHI (11 / 9 / 141 / 2 rec)

The receiver had a huge night, including two passes over 20 yards up the sideline--a 44-yard gain and a 22-yard score--against single coverage where Jones beat the press like he was swatting a fly. Ryan also found Jones repeatedly on quick-hitting adjustments up the seam where the Falcons were set to run the ball, but the quarterback changed the play at the last minute. Jones might have had closer to 180 yards in this game if not for three nullified pass plays where Jones' teammates blocked too early and were called for interference or straight-up held their opponents. The play call was a quick drag route to the flats where Jones looked great weaving through the defense, but nullified each time. It was mentioned on the broadcast that Chip Kelly lobbied the officials prior to the game about this play and the tendency for the receivers to block too early. Even so, it was a great start to the season.


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