Atlanta Falcons Paid a King's Ransom For Julio Jones

Published on March 1st, 2024 5:10 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

The Julio Jones trade to the Atlanta Falcons. The Atlanta Falcons REALLY wanted Julio Jones.

The Cleveland Browns had the #6 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, while the Falcons were picking late in the first round.

AJ Green had already been taken, but the wide receiver that the Falcons desperately wanted was still on the board - Julio Jones.

Jones had everything - speed, size, catching ability and leaping strength. Jones was being compared to Calvin Johnson, and the Falcons were prepared to pay up to get their man.


There was a work stoppage taking place at the time of the 2011 NFL Draft. This is important, as players weren't allowed to be included in trades on draft day.

This meant that if the Falcons wanted to move up in the draft, they would have to offer nothing but picks.

The Browns picked up the phone when the Falcons called, but they knew how much the Falcons wanted Jones. If you want the pick, the Browns said, it's going to cost you. Send your best offer.

In order to get Jones, the Falcons had to give up five picks - their first in 2011, their second in 2011, their fourth in 2011, thier first in 2012 and their fourth in 2012.

In total, the Browns received five picks in exchange for moving out of the #6 spot.


After completing the deal, the Falcons quickly made their way to the podium to announce their pick - Julio Jones.

Jones had dazzled at the combine, putting up otherworldly stats despite having a broken bone in his foot.

This was another plus for Jones, as he was seen as a dog that could battle his way through injuries.


The Falcons were overjoyed, as the team now had Matt Ryan, one of the best young QBs in the league, throwing to Julio Jones and Roddy White.

The Jones pick immediately paid off, as he put up 959 yards and 8 touchdowns in just 13 games in his rookie season.

Jones quickly turned into one of the best wide receivers in the league, with his best season coming in 2015, when he made a run at the 2,000 yard mark.

Some moves pay off, and some moves don't.

In the case of Julio Jones, sending five picks to move up in the 2011 Draft was definitely worth it for the Falcons.

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