New England Patriots NFL draft prospects 2011: Julio Jones



Profile
Name: Julio Jones
School: Alabama
Date of Birth: 3rd February 1989
Height: 6'4
Weight: 220 lbs

Combine Results
40 yard dash: 4.39 seconds.
3-cone drill: 6.66 seconds.
Vertical jump: 38 1/2 inch.
Broad jump: 11 ft 3 in.
Bench Press: 17 repetitions.

Why the Patriots should draft him
His former teammate and 2009 Heisman winner Mark Ingram has been heavily linked with the Patriots by many mock drafters. While he would be an excellent addition, Jones would fit a huge need for the Patriots.

The Patriots need a rangy receiver with the pace to go vertical and take the top off the defense. In what would be the Randy Moss role, Jones would be the perfect foil for their other receivers such as Wes Welker and Deion Branch. The lack of a deep threat really hurt the Patriots in their playoff loss to the Jets last season.  His physicality would allow him to fight and compete with shutdown defenders like Darelle Revis at the line of scrimmage which is vital to getting open.

Jones is a physical specimen who showed great toughness by setting the third best 40 time at the combine running on a broken foot as well as playing effectively in college immediately after breaking his hand.

Strengths
Route Running:Jones' route running is better than most receivers that come out of college. At Alabama he ran an extensive part of what would be an NFL route tree. His ability to find the soft spot in a zone is good which tells us that he is a smart footballer. He is not an excellent route runner but still has time to work on this in the NFL.

Catching:Jones has huge hands and caught a lot of passes for Alabama. He does not really suffer with drops but has been referred to as a player with a concentration issue. The talent is definitely there and he can reel the ball in with defenders around him. He was targeted a lot in college so inevitably was scrutinized extensively.

YAC Potential:A fantastic runner with the ball in his hands that has the ability to break tackles as well as avoid them. He has a surprising second gear for such a sizable player and his 40 speed does translate to the field.

Statistics

2010: 78 catches for 1133 yards, 7 Touchdowns, 8 rushes for 135 yards and 2 touchdowns. 5 punt returns for 44 yards, 5 kick returns for a 129 yards

Big Games:
vs Arkansas 5 catches for 55 yards
South Carolina 8 catches for 118 yards 1 touchdown
@ LSU 10 catches for 89 yards no touchdowns
Mississippi State 3 catches for 41 yards, 1 rush 56 yard and a touchdown
Vs Auburn 10 catches for 199 yards 1 TD
Michigan State in Bowl game 3 catches for 49 yards, 2 rush 36 yards and a touchdown

Final Verdict
There is no way that Jones falls to the Patriots as they currently sit 17th overall in the draft order; The 'Bama receiver will definitely not fall past the Rams at 14 while his impressive combine could push him into the top 10. With 6 picks in the first 3 rounds the Patriots have the ability to climb up the draft board through trades should they choose to.


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