We had all heard the rumors build to a fever pitch, but it was still hard to believe the Falcons would give up so much to move up into the top ten. Now we have our confirmation.
The Atlanta Falcons gave up 2011 and 2012 first round picks, a 2011 second round pick and both 2011 and 2012 fourth round picks. It's an audacious move, one that flies in the face of everything the team has done in its careful quest to build a championship team over the last three years. It's a move that will define Thomas Dimitroff's tenure in Atlanta, fairly or not.
Let's tackle Julio Jones first. A big (roughly 6'3') wide receiver, an excellent blocker and a phenomenal physical specimen, Jones could make a case for the most electrifying offensive threat in the draft outside of Cameron Newton. The knocks on the guy are his hands--Roddy White showed us you can overcome that weakness--and some concerns over injuries. If he can answer those, he's going to be an awesome pro.
The Falcons saw the need to upgrade their offense and have unquestionably done it. Moving Jenkins and Douglas into a timeshare in the slot gives the team situational versatility while putting two extremely talented wideouts on the outside in White and Jones. They're going to be a nightmare for opposing cornerbacks, and Jones has the potential to be an all-time great. I truly believe that.
The drawbacks? The Falcons gave up way too much to get Jones. Those picks could have been used to get multiple quality players, and the team may regret it in the next draft if players they want are available in the first round and they're not there to pick. Given Thomas Dimitroff's penchant for making great picks in every round, the fact that the Falcons gave up a huge bounty scares me more than a little bit.
In short, Dimitroff has balls of steel, the Falcons gave up way too much, but Jones is a potentially elite talent who may could transform the team's offense. With its blank eyes and steady hands, time alone can tell us whether it was the right move.
Weigh in on Jones.