Last Wednesday on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Gil Brandt, the Godfather of Football, revealed his preference for Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones over Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson:
“I think if you took 10 people, probably six of the 10 would take Johnson, and four, including myself, would take Julio Jones. I just think the whole package, I like Julio a little bit better than Johnson.”
When the Falcons traded up to draft Jones in the 2011 NFL Draft, Brandt was a fan of the move. He described Jones as a “quality, high-character person.”
Brandt feels Jones’ hands are more reliable and stronger than Johnson’s.
For the 2012 NFL season, Jones had 79 receptions for 1,198 yards and 10 touchdowns; Johnson had 122 receptions for 1,924 yards and five touchdowns. It has to be taken into consideration that Jones also has Roddy White (92 receptions, 1,351 yards, and seven touchdowns) and Tony Gonzalez (93 receptions, 930 yards, and eight touchdowns) to compete with.
With that said, I don’t think you can say Jones is better than Johnson. While I think Jones will certainly get on Johnson’s level in a couple of years, he’s not better currently. If Jones were the Falcons’ only option in the passing game like Johnson is for the Lions, he’d certainly be able to put up monster numbers as well. As it stands now, Julio has a quarterback in Matt Ryan who likes spreading the football around.
Jones is only 24, and he certainly has a bright future in the league.