Julio Jones is one of the greatest receivers in NFL history, something that has long been apparent but grows more irrefutable with every passing year. In his 10th season in the league, the only name that consistently shows up ahead of Julio when it comes to pace and production is Jerry Rice.
Here’s another way in which Julio is making history: With eight games to go, he needs just 467 yards to surpass Rice for the most yards by a receiver in his first 10 seasons. Rice is currently sitting at 13,275 yards, and Julio’s at 12,709. Julio also has 35 games with 125 or more receiving yards, which ties him with Randy Moss for second-most ever in that particular category, behind (guess who?) Jerry Rice, who has 49 such games.
There are only 21 players in front of Julio on the all-time yardage list right now, 28 in front of him for receptions, and 90 players for touchdown receptions, while he’s tops all-time in yards per game and a full 9.9 yards per game in front of the next closest player, Michael Thomas. It’s hard not to be jaded about the Falcons this year and to get frustrated that most of the positives we have to talk about are personal accolades, but Julio’s excellence really should be appreciated while he’s here. If he can stay healthy and effective for a few more years, there aren’t going to be many players in front of him on any of these lists.
For now, get ready to see if Julio can catch Rice the rest of the way, and whether he can get the 700 yards or so over the final eight games he’ll need to jump all the way up to 15th on the all-time receiving yards ranking, just ahead of Henry Ellard.