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Julio Jones

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Julio Jones
refer to caption
Jones with the Atlanta Falcons in August 2015
No. 11 – Atlanta Falcons
Position: Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1989-02-08) February 8, 1989 (age 29)
Foley, Alabama
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight: 220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school: Foley (Foley, Alabama)
College: Alabama
NFL Draft: 2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 3, 2018
Receptions: 605
Receiving yards: 9,383
Yards per reception: 15.5
Receiving touchdowns: 43
Player stats at NFL.com

Quintorris Lopez "Julio" Jones[1][2] (/ˈhli/; born February 8, 1989)[3] is an American football wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Alabama, and was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons sixth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft.

During his sophomore season with Alabama in 2009, Jones helped lead the Crimson Tide to an undefeated 14–0 season, including a victory in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game. With the Atlanta Falcons, Jones has been invited to five Pro Bowls and was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2015 after leading the league in receiving yards. His career average of 95.3 receiving yards per game is the highest in NFL history.[4]

High school career

Jones attended Foley High School in Foley, Alabama, where he played wide receiver and defensive end for the Lions high school football team.[5] During his high school career, Jones quickly achieved recognition from outstanding statistics. In his junior year, he caught 75 passes for 1,306 yards and had 16 touchdowns.[6] He participated in the High School Under Armour All-America Game[7] and ran a 4.55-second 40-yard dash at the Baton Rouge Nike camp in May 2007,[8] where he also recorded an event-best 38.6-inch (980 mm) vertical jump.

In addition to football, Jones was a starter on the basketball team and was a standout track athlete. He was the state champion in the long jump (24-2 or 7.40m) and triple jump (47-5 or 14.52m) in both 2006 and 2007. He was named the 2006-07 Gatorade T&F Athlete of the Year in the state of Alabama.[9] He was the state champion in the high jump (6-6 or 1.98m) during the 2007 indoor season. He was named All-county selection in 2005, 2006, and 2007. He won Mr. Alabama Track & Field athlete of the year in 2007. He also competed as a sprinter in 2008, and posted a personal-best time of 11.13 seconds in the 100-meter dash at the Class 6A Section 1 Meet, where he placed second.[citation needed]

Considered a five-star recruit by Rivals.com,[10] Jones was listed as the No. 1 wide receiver in the nation in 2008.[11]

On February 6, 2008, Jones committed to the Alabama Crimson Tide on National Signing Day, announcing his decision live on ESPNU.[12]

College career

Freshman season

In the first of three years on the Crimson Tide, Jones quickly became an impact player and a fan favorite under head coach Nick Saban. Jones became the first true freshman wide receiver to start in a season opener for the Crimson Tide,[13] as he started against the Clemson Tigers in the 2008 Chick-fil-A College Kickoff. In the game, Jones caught four passes for 28 yards and a touchdown in a 34–10 rout.[14] In a 41–30 win over the #3 ranked Georgia Bulldogs, Jones had a breakout performance as he caught five passes for 94 yards, including a 22–yard touchdown reception from John Parker Wilson.[15][16] His first 100–yard receiving game occurred in the annual rivalry game versus Tennessee, as Jones had six receptions for 103 yards en route to a 29–9 victory.[17] However, two weeks later versus #16 LSU, Jones topped his previous performance with seven catches for 128 yards.[18] His 23–yard reception in overtime set up a game-winning touchdown by John Parker Wilson,[19] giving Alabama a 27–21 victory.[20] In the 2008 SEC Championship Game, Jones caught five passes for 124 yards versus a talented Florida Gators secondary.[21] In the first quarter, Jones caught a 64–yard pass which set up the Crimson Tide's first score of the game.[22] However, Alabama fell to #2 Florida by a score of 31–20, giving the Crimson Tide their first loss of the year.[23]

On December 8, the Southeastern Conference announced the annual All-SEC first team, second team, and individual awards, as voted by the Associated Press. Jones was named to the second team All-SEC, SEC Freshman of the Year,[24] and the SEC Coaches' All-Freshman Team.[25] Jones finished the regular season with 58 receptions, 924 yards, and four touchdowns.[26] His performance in only his freshman year drew comparisons to NFL greats. ESPN.com reported, "This guy is a unique, rare prospect for the wide receiver position with his supreme blend of size, power, speed and agility. He reminds us of a high school version of Michael Irvin, but at this stage Jones is more explosive and faster."[27] An NFL scout put Jones in the same category as Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who at the time was the second-leading receiver in the NFL.[28]

Sophomore season

Preceding the 2009 football season, Jones was voted to the All-SEC Coaches' Football Team (first team), one of only four players to be voted such unanimously (along with Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, Tennessee safety Eric Berry, and LSU offensive lineman Ciron Black).[29]

Jones in a game against Arkansas in 2010

Jones and Alabama again opened their season at the Georgia Dome, this time facing Virginia Tech for the 2009 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. However, the Crimson Tide's rushing game dominated the game, led by eventual Heisman Trophy winner and teammate, Mark Ingram. Jones finished the game with four receptions for 46 yards,[30] with Alabama winning the game 34–24.[31] His first touchdown of the season would not come until the end of September, as the Tide routed the Arkansas Razorbacks 35–7 in Tuscaloosa.[32] Jones caught a 50–yard touchdown pass from quarterback Greg McElroy, coming from a trick play, to put Alabama up 14–0 midway through the first quarter.[33] He would finish the game with two catches for 65 yards.[33]

After experiencing what some writers called a "sophomore slump",[34][35] Jones's production increased during the second half of the 2009 season. In a rivalry game against LSU, Jones had his first 100–yard performance of the season.[36] He finished with four catches for 102 yards, including a 73–yard game-winning touchdown in Alabama's 24–15 victory.[37][38] In the annual Iron Bowl game against rival Auburn, Jones was instrumental in capping a come-from-behind victory, catching three crucial third-down passes in an 8-minute, 80-yard drive that fans call "The Drive" to set up running back Roy Upchurch's game-winning touchdown in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter.[39]

Alabama continued through the regular season undefeated at 12–0, working their way to a SEC Championship matchup with the Florida Gators. Jones made the first catch of the game, an 18–yard catch from McElroy.[40] The Crimson Tide won the game 32–13,[41] earning a chance to play for the BCS National Championship in the 2010 title game against the Texas Longhorns.[42][43] His 23 yards receiving led the Tide in the title game, as the passing game struggled.[44] However, the running game again took over, and led Alabama to a 37–21 victory.[45][46]

Junior season

Jones started his junior season with a solid performance against San Diego State. In the victory, Jones had six receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown.[47] Two weeks later, Jones had five receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown in a victory over Duke.[48] On October 9, in a conference game against South Carolina, Jones had eight receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown in the Crimson Tide's loss to the Gamecocks.[49] On October 23, Jones torched the Tennessee Volunteers for 221 yards on 12 receptions in a victory at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee.[50] On November 6, Jones had 10 receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown in a loss against LSU at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.[51] One week later, Jones was held to only three receptions for 41 yards against Mississippi State, but he had a 56-yard rushing touchdown in the victory.[51] On November 26, in the Iron Bowl against Auburn, Jones had ten receptions for 199 yards and a touchdown, but the Crimson Tide lost to the Tigers.[52] The Crimson Tide reached a bowl game, which was Jones's final collegiate game. In the 2011 Capital One Bowl against Michigan State, Jones had three receptions for 49 yards and 36 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.[53]

Jones ended his junior season with an Alabama record 78 catches and 1,133 yards along with seven touchdowns (fourth in school history). In addition, he had eight rushes for 135 yards and two touchdowns along with five punt returns for 44 yards and five kickoff returns for 129 yards.[54] Jones ended his Alabama career second in career receptions (179) and yards (2,653) in school history and fourth in touchdown catches (15).[55] He had eight career 100-yard receiving games (second in school history). Jones was a first-team All-SEC selection in 2010.[56]

College career statistics

Year GP–GS Rushing Receiving Punt Returns Kick Returns
Att Gain Loss Net Avg TD Long Avg/G Rec Rec–Yards Avg TD Long Avg/G No. Yards Avg TD Long No. Yards Avg TD Long
2008[57] 14–14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 58 924 15.9 4 64 66 2 11 5.5 0 10 1 21 21 0 21
2009[58] 13–13 2 5 1 4 2 0 5 0.3 43 596 13.9 4 73 45.8 5 75 15 0 33 1 12 12 0 12
2010[59] 13–13 8 135 0 135 16.9 2 56 10.4 78 1,133 14.5 7 68 87.2 5 44 8.8 0 41 5 129 25.8 0 36
Total 10 140 1 139 13.9 2 56 3.5 179 2,653 14.8 15 73 66.3 12 130 10.8 0 41 7 162 23.1 0 36

Professional career

Jones playing for the Atlanta Falcons against the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round of the 2012 NFL playoffs

On January 7, 2011, Jones decided to forego his senior season of college football. Instead, he chose to declare eligibility for the NFL Draft with teammates Mark Ingram, Greg McElroy, and Marcell Dareus.[60][61] Jones was later invited to the "All-Star Football Challenge", a skill contest shown by ESPN on February 4.[62] He excelled at the 2011 NFL Combine, posting the longest long jump and the third fastest 40-yard dash among wide receivers,[63] despite having a broken bone in his foot.

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 2 34 in
(1.90 m)
220 lb
(100 kg)
33 34 in
(0.86 m)
9 34 in
(0.25 m)
4.39 s 6.66 s 38 12 in
(0.98 m)
11 ft 3 in
(3.43 m)
17 reps
All values from NFL Combine[64]

The Atlanta Falcons selected Jones with the sixth overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft. Atlanta traded five draft picks to the Cleveland Browns to move up into their spot and take Jones, giving up their 27th, 59th, and 124th picks from the 2011 Draft, and their first and fourth round picks from the 2012 Draft.[65] He was the second wide receiver to be taken in the 2011 NFL Draft, behind only A. J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals, who was selected fourth overall. In addition, he was one of five Alabama Crimson Tide players to be selected that year.[66] Jones wears #11 with the Falcons.[67]

2011: Rookie year

Jones came to terms with the Atlanta Falcons on July 28, 2011, signing a four-year contract worth $16.2 million, all of which was guaranteed.[68] His NFL debut came against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. In the 30-12 loss, he had five receptions for 71 yards.[69] He recorded his first two NFL touchdowns on Week 9 of the 2011 season, against the Indianapolis Colts in a 31-7 victory. Jones's first touchdown was a 50-yard reception from quarterback Matt Ryan in the first quarter, and the second touchdown was a 80-yard reception from Ryan in the second quarter.[70] After having quiet games against New Orleans[71] and Minnesota[72], Jones bounced back against Houston. Against the Texans, he had four receptions for 68 yards.[73] Jones finished his rookie season strong by combining for 393 receiving yards and six touchdowns over the last four games of the regular season.[74] He finished the season leading all rookies in touchdown receptions with eight, while his 54 receptions for 959 yards ranked him second among rookies in yards and touchdowns, behind A. J. Green, of the Cincinnati Bengals and third in catches behind Green and Greg Little, of the Cleveland Browns.[75] He was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team for the 2011 season.[76]

The Falcons made the playoffs in the 2011 season.[77] In his playoff debut, Jones had seven receptions for 64 yards in a 24-2 Wild Card Round loss to the New York Giants.[78]

2012 season

Jones started his second professional season with a great outing against the Kansas City Chiefs. In the game, he had six receptions for 108 yards and two touchdowns.[79] On October 28, against the Philadelphia Eagles, Jones had five receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown.[80] The following week, he backed up his performance against the Eagles with five receptions for 129 yards against the Dallas Cowboys.[81] On October 25, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jones had six receptions for 147 yards and a touchdown.[82] On December 16, against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, Jones had six receptions for 74 yards and two touchdowns.[83]

The Falcons finished the season with a 13-3 record and earned the top seed in the NFC for the NFL playoffs. In the Divisional Round against the Seattle Seahawks, Jones recorded his first career interception on the last play of the game defending a Hail Mary pass attempt from quarterback Russell Wilson. In addition, he recorded six receptions for 59 yards in the 30-28 victory.[84] In the NFC Championship against the San Francisco 49ers, Jones had 11 receptions for 182 yards and two touchdowns. However, the Falcons would lose to the 49ers by a score of 28-24.[85]

In the 2012 season, Jones had 79 receptions for 1,198 yards and 10 touchdowns.[86] As a result of his successful season, he was selected for the 2013 Pro Bowl, which was his first Pro Bowl nomination.[87] Jones and fellow wide receiver Roddy White were the first 1,000-yard receiving tandem the Falcons have had since 1998 (Tony Martin and Terance Mathis).[88] He was ranked 26th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2012.[89]

2013 season

Jones started the 2013 season with a solid performance against New Orleans. In the game, he had seven receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown.[90] The following week, Jones had 11 receptions for 182 yards and a touchdown against St. Louis.[91] Over the next two games, Jones continued his hot streak with a 115-yard performance against the Miami Dolphins[92] and a 108-yard performance against the New England Patriots.[93] However, on October 7, 2013, Jones fractured his foot in the Week 5 Monday Night Football loss to the New York Jets and would be out for the season. In that last game, he had eight receptions for 99 yards.[94][95] Despite only playing five games due to injury, Jones still managed to finish 76th in receiving yards among 458 qualified players for the 2013 season.[96]

2014 season

On April 29, 2014, the Falcons accepted the fifth-year option of Jones's rookie contract, extending his obligations with the team through the 2015 season.[97]

Jones started the 2014 season with a seven-reception, 116-yard performance against the Saints at the Georgia Dome.[98] He caught his first touchdown of the season the following week against the Cincinnati Bengals.[99] In the next game, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football, Jones had nine receptions for 161 yards and two touchdowns in the 56-14 victory.[100] Over the next few weeks, Jones would string some solid performances together, but no touchdowns. However, on November 30, Jones set a new personal high with 189 receiving yards on 10 receptions against the Arizona Cardinals.[101] The following week on Monday Night Football, he once again broke his single game receiving record, recording 259 yards on 11 receptions against the Green Bay Packers.[102] He finished the season with 104 receptions for 1,593 yards,[103] first in the NFC in both categories and third in the entire NFL.[104] He was named to the Pro Bowl for the 2014 season.[105] He was ranked 13th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2015.[106]

2015 season

On August 29, 2015, the Falcons signed Jones to a 5-year, $71.5 million extension with $47 million guaranteed.[107]

Jones started the 2015 season with a strong performance against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football. In the 26-24 victory, Jones had nine receptions for 141 yards and two touchdowns to earn his first NFC Offensive Player of the Week honor.[108][109] After a career-high 13 receptions for 135 yards against the Giants in Week 2,[110] Jones recorded a 164-yard and two-touchdown performance against the Dallas Cowboys.[111] On November 1, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jones had 12 receptions for 162 yards and one touchdown.[112] After recording a 137-yard performance against the San Francisco 49ers the following week,[113] Jones recorded a 160-yard performance against the Indianapolis Colts.[114] In Week 15, against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Jones had nine receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns.[115] The following week, Jones had nine receptions for 178 yards and a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers to earn NFC Offensive Player of the Week.[116][117] In the season finale, against the New Orleans Saints, Jones finished his historic season with nine receptions for 149 yards.[118]

Jones finished the 2015 season with 1,871 yards, a Falcons franchise record and the second-highest in NFL history, behind Calvin Johnson (1,964 receiving yards in 2012 for the Detroit Lions). He had a franchise record 136 receptions, tying with Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most receptions that season[119] and the second highest in NFL history, behind Marvin Harrison (143 receptions in 2002 with the Indianapolis Colts). He was selected to the 2015 Pro Bowl, the third of his career, and earned first-team All-Pro honors.[120][121] He was ranked by his fellow players as the eighth best player on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.[122]

2016 season: Super Bowl appearance

Regular season

Jones started the 2016 season with a four-reception, 66-yard, one-touchdown performance in a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the last regular-season opener at the Georgia Dome.[123] The following week, Jones had five receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown in a road win over the Oakland Raiders.[124] In Week 4, Jones caught 12 passes for a Falcons-record 300 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Carolina Panthers.[125] His performance against the Panthers made Jones the sixth player in NFL history ever to have at least 300 receiving yards in a game.[126] He earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week.[127] In addition, Matt Ryan threw for 503 passing yards, making them the first quarterback/wide receiver duo to gain 500+ passing yards and 300+ receiving yards in a single NFL game. On October 16, against the Seattle Seahawks, Jones had seven receptions for 136 yards and a touchdown.[128] He followed up his performance against the Seahawks with a 174-yard performance against the San Diego Chargers.[129] On November 3, in the second game against Tampa Bay, Jones had eight receptions for 111 yards and a touchdown.[130] Against the Philadelphia Eagles on November 13, Jones had a 135-yard performance on ten receptions.[131]

Jones finished the 2016 season with 83 receptions on 129 targets for 1,409 yards and six touchdowns.[132] His 17.0 yards per reception and 10.9 yards per target were career highs.[133] Jones was selected to his third consecutive and fourth career Pro Bowl and was named First-team All-Pro for the second consecutive year.[134][135][136] He was also ranked third by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017 as the highest ranked wide receiver.[137]

Postseason

The Falcons made the playoffs in the 2016 season and had the #2 seed in the NFC.

In the Divisional Round against the Seahawks, Jones had six receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown in the 36–20 victory at the Georgia Dome.[138]

In the NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers, Jones had nine receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns in the 44–21 victory. The win was the last NFL game in the Georgia Dome.[138]

During Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots, Jones had four receptions for 87 receiving yards on only four targets as the Falcons lost in overtime by a score of 34–28. Late in the game, with the Falcons leading 28–20, Jones recorded a spectacular catch from Ryan to put the Falcons on the Patriots 22-yard line. However, numerous setbacks caused the Falcons to lose field position and move out of field goal range.[139][140][141]

2017 season

On September 10, 2017, in the season opener against the Chicago Bears, Jones started the season with four receptions for 66 yards in the 23–17 victory.[142] In Week 2, in the 34–23 victory over the Green Bay Packers, he had five receptions for 108 yards in the first game in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.[143] In Week 7, in a loss to the New England Patriots in a Super Bowl LI rematch, Jones recorded his first receiving touchdown of the 2017 season, a one-yard reception from Ryan. During Week 12 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jones had a monstrous performance with 12 receptions for 253 receiving yards and two touchdowns (one thrown from fellow receiver Mohamed Sanu) as the Falcons won 34–20.[144] His performance in Week 12 earned him NFC Offensive Player of the Week.[145] On December 19, 2017, Jones was named to his fifth Pro Bowl.[146] Overall, he finished the 2017 season with 88 receptions for 1,444 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns.[147] The Falcons made the playoffs and faced off against the Los Angeles Rams in the Wild Card Round. Against the Rams, he had 94 receiving yards and a touchdown in the 26–13 victory.[148] In the Divisional Round against the Philadelphia Eagles, he had 101 receiving yards but the Falcons lost by a score of 15–10.[149]

2018 season

In the season-opener against the defending Super Bowl champs, the Philadelphia Eagles, Jones recorded 10 receptions for 169 yards in the 12-18 loss.[150][151]

Career statistics

Regular season
Legend
Led the league
Bold Career high
NFL career statistics
Season Receiving
Year Team GP GS Tgt Rec Yards Avg Long TD
2011 ATL 13 13 95 54 959 17.8 80T 8
2012 ATL 16 15 128 79 1,198 15.2 80T 10
2013 ATL 5 5 59 41 580 14.1 81T 2
2014 ATL 15 15 163 104 1,593 15.3 79 6
2015 ATL 16 16 203 136 1,871 13.8 70T 8
2016 ATL 14 14 129 83 1,409 17.0 75T 6
2017 ATL 16 16 149 88 1,444 16.4 53 3
2018 ATL 1 1 19 10 169 16.9 36 0
Career 96 95 950 595 9,223 15.5 81T 43
Postseason
Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Fumbles
G GS Rec Yds Avg Long TD Att Yds Avg Long TD Fum Lost
2011 ATL 1 1 7 64 9.1 20 0 1 13 13.0 13 0 0 0
2012 ATL 2 2 17 241 14.2 46 2 1 -1 -1.0 -1 0 0 0
2016 ATL 3 3 19 334 17.6 73 3 - - - - 0 0 0
2017 ATL 2 2 18 195 10.8 27 1 1 13 13.0 13 0 0 0
Career 8 8 61 834 13.7 73 6 3 25 8.3 13 0 0 0

Awards and honors

References

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