Julio Jones- 2011 Draft Scouting Report


Our next scouting report is Julio Jones. Jones skyrocketed up some draft boards after his impressive combine, even being considered as the #1 WR by more than a fair share of people. What makes Jones so desierable? Let’s take a look after the jump at Mackneize’s thoughts.

Alabama receiver Julio Jones got into my favor after an excellent junior season. During sophomore year, I though he was pretty overrated, but he really produced for Alabama in 2010.

Jones has solid physical tools. He has good height, solid bulk, and above average speed. But Jones doesn’t really possess those same long arms that Green has, he clearly lacks athletic ability to go up and get the ball, and on film it’s totally obvious that he is way slower than Green.

Jones seems to put up a good effort onto the field, With the ball in his hands, he shows excellent toughness and he plays with good intensity, and he is a solid run blocker. I definitely have seen better run blockers, but Jones definitely is in the upper tier.

Jones definitely doesn’t possess the same athletic ability that Green has, but he has enticing upper body strength. Jones doesn’t usually make defenders miss in the open field or outrun them, but one thing Jones does well is power through safeties like a tight end, probably because of his excellent bulk. He also does an excellent job of using his strength to separate from defenders in his routes.

Jones has mediocre hands. He will drop some passes. He frequently traps balls against his frame. But he is very good at catching the ball at it’s highest point with outstretched arms, but he doesn’t possess the athletic ability to go up and get the football like Green does.

Jones is an average route runner. That’s pretty much expected from a guy his age, but I don’t think he has natural change of direction skills that will allow him to ever become an amazing route runner. Of course, being quick in and out of breaks isn’t all there is to route running, but it’s about half the battle, and vital against corners that have natural route recognition skills. Jones did learn how to incorporate head fakes into his routes and read coverage schemes, but I don’t think he’ll ever provide true quickness. He makes up for it by providing the size and strength to separate from his man.

Jones had very underwhelming numbers sophomore year. 43 catches, 596 yards, 4 touchdowns. I have always been high on players who produce statistically, and Jones wasn’t been able to produce last season simply because of his lack of separation skills and average hands. However, in 2010, he fell into my favor after getting 1133 receiving yards on 78 catches. He was great during his junior year.

Ultimately, I used to think Jones was overrated. But he really improved his game this year, adding a lot more speed and really improving his hands. He got better and stopped dropping passes. He became a solid player.

NFL Comparison: Braylon Edwards, but Jones has better character.

Grade: 98 (worthy of top 6 pick)

Projection: 96 (will be drafted in the top 12)

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