Scouting Report: Julio Jones
The argument of Julio Jones vs. AJ Green has been going on since the end of the college football season and quite frankly, it comes down to a matter of preference and team need. Jones is the complete package and has all the tools to become a Pro Bowl receiver in the NFL. Big, physical, excellent leaping ability and has a knack for making plays. Jones also surprised everyone with the a 4.39 40 yard dash at the Scouting Combine, which really boosted his draft stock. Jones has been compared to Anquan Boldin and his physical style of play warrants it. While he may not be as elusive as AJ Green, Julio Jones will still make whichever team drafts him very happy and he’ll be able to contribute immediately in any system. I don’t expect Jones to make it out of the top 10 and wouldn’t be surprised if he was taken before AJ Green, based on offensive scheme and need.
Separation isn’t Jones’ strong suit. His timed speed is very good but Jones doesn’t necessarily have the ability to consistently shake defenders in man coverage. Though he doesn’t create great separation, Jones still uses his body well to shield the defender from the ball. Jones has struggled at times getting off press coverage at the line but has the speed to recover. His route running is relatively crisp as he sinks his hips well coming in and out of breaks. Knows how to find the open spots in zone coverage. Excellent running hook, curl, out and crossing routes. Jones is very effective in the redzone and can be deadly on back-shoulder fade routes and jump balls. Has the speed and ability to be a legitimate deep threat for an NFL team.
Jones can have some lapses in concentration, allowing the ball to get into his body and at times, dropping some easy passes. However, Jones usually does an excellent job snagging the ball at it’s highest point and tucking it away. His hands are strong enough to fight for the ball with any defender. Jones isn’t afraid of contact and has made some fantastic catches while taking a big hit. Does an excellent job catching while on the run and maintaining speed.
After the Catch
Jones isn’t overly elusive with the ball in his hands and won’t shake any defenders out of their cleats. However, he’s physical and can run through defensive backs that are weaker or have poor tackling fundamentals. Not afraid to work the middle of the field. Jones has the body size and mass to take the big hit and hold onto the football. Has shown an effective stiff arm. Jones has been effective making a single cut after the catch and adding big yards to the play.
Excellent leaping ability and overall athleticism. Jones has made some tremendous leaping grabs and has has very good awareness while on the sidelines. For a receiver weighing 220 lbs, Jones is very quick and fluid. Appears to have solid balance on film.
Blocking ability is one of the areas that separates Jones from other wide receivers. Partially due to his size, bulk and long arms (33 3/4“), Jones does an excellent job walling off defenders and maintaining blocks long enough for the ball carrier to get by. More than anything, Jones is a willing blocker, which is sometimes hard to find in a star receiver.
Jones has had his share of injuries during his time at Alabama, but they’ve all been relatively minor. Jones participated in the Scouting Combine with a broken foot which required surgery. Clean on and off the field, Jones isn’t the typical “diva” receiver.
Began starting during his freshman season and has only missed one game due to injury (North Texas, 2009) in his college career.
Unknown major at Alabama.
Awards & Honors
2010: 1st team All-SEC (coaches, media). 2nd team All-American.
2008: SEC Freshman Player of the Year (AP). 1st team Freshman All-American (multiple media outlets). 2nd team All-SEC (coaches, media).
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