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Will the Atlanta Falcons be able to take advantage of Julio Jones' prime?

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Fact: Julio Jones collects elk antlers

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones isn't lacking in the talent department. In fact, Jones may be the best offensive threat in the NFL right now. He's producing at a record-setting pace, basically putting the entire offense on his back. But Julio can't singlehandedly defeat every team the Falcons face, no matter what Kyle Shanahan thinks.

Julio's current role begs a serious question about longevity. Really, how long can we go on like this? I know what you're thinking: "James, he's under contract for the next 5+ years! Put down the haterade." Look, five years is a long time. A lot can happen in five years. What's more, the Falcons, while definitely in a slump, aren't at rock bottom. If you're an undeterred optimist, you may even think they can get this ship turned around over the next 7 weeks.

This is a philosophical issue fueled largely by a personnel issue. What is the franchise's offensive philosophy? And would it be different if there was more depth at the offensive skill positions? The answer to the first question is "run and throw it to Julio." The answer to the second question is a resounding "Yes!" I have only anecdotal evidence to back this up, but from my perspective, the best teams have a variety of cheap, viable options on offense. It's the product of good scouting, drafting, and player development. In an ideal world, the Falcons' roster would resemble that of the Green Bay Packers. This, of course, is not an ideal world.

Here's where I get to the point. While the Falcons can't do much between now and the end of the season to diversify Matt Ryan's options, they certainly need to make that a priority going forward. Sure, the team needs some additional offensive line depth and pass rushers. But they also can't rely almost exclusively on Julio for the rest of his career. In doing so they may just squander his prime. Sure hope that doesn't happen, but without a decisive philosophical shift, it's a real possibility.

Your thoughts?