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The Ringer's Julio Jones longform is a must-read

Bill Simmons' new site, The Ringer, features a lot of interesting stories, including a great longform on Julio Jones.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Julio Jones doesn't have the personality you might expect from a player who is absolutely in the conversation for being the most talented receiver in the NFL. He's not cocky. When he's asked if he's the best receiver in the league and he says yes, it's not arrogance. It's confidence. He knows what he's capable of, and he knows that he works hard enough to maximize his potential.

Jones isn't loud, isn't a diva. He's a soft-spoken player who leads by example. After having been around him quite a bit, I'd describe Jones as humble. In Robert Mays' longform piece on Jones on The Ringer, Jones says he doesn't see it that way.

"It wasn't about being humble," Jones says. "It's just how I am."

It's an in-depth look at a player whose stoic personality means every detail of his personal life isn't available for public consumption, and it's fascinating.

Some highlights:

Jones talent as a freshman at Alabama was so evident that it was instantly clear that he would elevate that storied program to never-before-seen heights.

"He changed the way everybody on the team felt about Alabama football," [then-quarterback John Parker] Wilson says. "He's the no. 1 recruit in the nation, and he comes and works harder than everybody else. Now we've got senior guys looking at this true freshman, 18 years old, and thinking, ‘Damn, I better get my shit together quick.'"

For the Falcons, to say Jones made a strong impression at the NFL Combine is severely understating things

"He went through the combine, kicked its ass, and was one of the best showings we've ever seen at that position," [Falcons GM Thomas] Dimitroff says. "And he did it with a broken fifth metatarsal."

Jones came into the league during the offseason of the lockout as the NFLPA and the league worked to establish a mutually agreed upon Collective Bargaining Agreement. Jones was also coming off of foot surgery, but once he was cleared to participate in workouts arranged by the players at nearby Buford High School, his teammates quickly understood the scope of his talent.

"I'd never seen anybody move the way that he did," [Matt] Ryan says. "He's so explosive. He's so physically gifted. Right away, I knew that we had a game-changer on our team."

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn recognized Jones' talent right away, also.

On the way home from his first practice, Dan Quinn called his wife, who had yet to move to Georgia, and told her, "Julio Jones is a beast." Quinn recalls: "She laughed and said, ‘That's good.' But I was like, ‘Seriously.'"

It's a must-read, and it's a fascinating look at a player who should go down in history as one of the best to ever play the position.