Julio Jones is the best receiver in today’s NFL. Unfortunately for Matt Ryan, his receving options outside of the superstar are less than ideal. Roddy White is a shell of his former self, and the team relied on the likes of below average veterans Jacob Tamme and Leonard Hankerson for production last season. While I expect Justin Hardy to have an expanded role next season, he will at best likely be the team’s number 3 receiver come September. Roddy White’s future is undecided. The Falcons need to address finding a second receiving option for the upcoming season.
Dan Quinn’s main focus come Draft Day will likely be defense, and it is hard to envision seeing him take a wide receiver in the early rounds. The team will likely look on the open market for a guy who can step in and help the offense move the chains. This guy could be James Jones. It was very obvious this past season that Matt Ryan looked lost finding his receivers outside of Julio. Matty Ice is in need of a reliable wideout. James Jones was far from the most explosive receiver on Green Bay this past season, but he was undoubtedly Aaron Rodgers’ most reliable receiver. Ryan needs another security blanket and he can offer this at a bargain bin price at 32 years of age while Justin Hardy develops.
Green Bay will get back Jordy Nelson, and have Randall Cobb and Davante Adams as part of their receving core, so it’s unlikely he is back at Lambeau Field next season. He has a catch radius as well as sure hands and could definitely help this team in red zone situations. If he can build a rapport with Ryan even relatively near what he had with Rodgers, he could be a very productive recevier while Julio Jones draws double, and occasionally triple, coverage.
The Falcons may look to address this need on Draft Day, or could look elsewhere in free agency. There is no shortage of options at this point, but Jones fills a need while allowing Thomas Dimitroff and Dan Quinn to strengthen the defense. Matt Ryan could use a little help, and Jones can give him just that.