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  1. #1
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    Jones may be the future for Rams at receiver

    Jones may be the future for Rams at receiver
    BY JIM THOMAS • Posted: Sunday, February 27, 2011 12:15 am

    INDIANAPOLIS • During his recruiting trip to Oklahoma a few years back, wide receiver Julio Jones met Sooners quarterback Sam Bradford.

    "It was great," Jones recalled Saturday. "Sam's a great guy. He's very humble. He didn't try to put any pressure on me. He was just talking to me, telling me what Oklahoma had to offer and everything like that."

    But growing up in Alabama, there really was only one college destination for Jones.

    "At the end of the day, I'm from Alabama, and wanted to play at the University of Alabama," he said.

    After three successful seasons with the Crimson Tide, Jones turned pro after his junior season. Now, as he goes through the pre-draft process including the NFL scouting combine this weekend, Jones could end up catching passes from Bradford after all.

    "He's a great quarterback," Jones said. "But I'd love to catch passes from any player in the NFL."

    Jones is the most logical first-round fit for the Rams on a couple of levels. For one, he would fill what is arguably the team's greatest need: a big-play receiver on the perimeter. And secondly, No. 14 overall — where the Rams will pick — is right in the range where most pundits think Jones will be taken.

    Jones was a high school sports legend in Foley, Ala., the same town that produced former Oakland Raiders quarterback great Ken Stabler. His given name is Quintorris Lopez Jones, but his mother gave him the nickname Julio as a child, Jones isn't sure why. But Julio stuck, and the soft-spoken Jones now says with a confident smile, "I think I'll roll with it."

    Besides his football exploits in high school, he was also a state track champion in the long jump and triple jump. By the time he left high school for college, Jones has picked up another nickname: "The Future."

    The future is now for Jones, who's widely considered the second-best wideout in the draft behind Georgia's A.J. Green. At a shade under 6-feet-3 and weighing 220 pounds, Jones is a big, physical receiver who uses his size and tenacious attitude to get open, pile up yards after the catch and punish defenders with his blocking.

    Draft prospects are always asked about any NFL players they admire or try to emulate, and Jones' answer Saturday said a lot about his mentality: "I like to play the game with a passion," Jones said. "Ray Lewis, I love how he plays. Hines Ward as well. I like the way he blocks and is committed on every play."

    When have you ever heard a wide receiver say he admires a linebacker, especially one of the fiercest linebackers in the NFL?

    "I have a defensive mentality," Jones said. "I'm not scared to hit. I'm a physical guy. I look for that. I like to hit defensive players because they're not used to getting hit. They're used to hitting offensive players and getting them out of their comfort zone. So when I hit them, I try to get them out of their comfort zone."

    At Alabama, Jones had a reputation for making the highlight-reel play, but also for dropping too many passes. But he says, "My hands were never an issue. Really, it's just that I always try to play too fast."

    In other words, he tried to make the play before he made the catch. Since then, he has found a remedy: "I taught myself to play fast, but don't hurry."

    The Rams have said little about Jones. In fact, they've said very little about their needs at the wide receiver position.

    Some common themes at the combine are that the Rams are looking to add playmakers at every position; that there should be plenty of options — particularly on the defensive line — at No. 14 overall; and that they're willing to trade down. General manager Billy Devaney has said that there should be plenty of wide receiver options in the second round.

    Naturally, it doesn't do the Rams much good to advertise interest in Jones, and they may feel he won't be there at No. 14 anyway. Jones and Green look like the only sure first-round wide receiver picks.

    Fighting through a bruised knee in 2009 and a broken hand in 2010, Jones' production was good but not spectacular in his three seasons with the Crimson Tide. This past season, he had college career highs for catches (78), yards (1,133) and touchdowns (seven).

    But in an age where spread offenses are the rage in college football, Alabama remains a run-first program. It's not hard to imagine Jones being more productive in the NFL, which is becoming more and more of a passing league. And it's not hard to see Rams offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels putting him to good use if Jones finally gets a chance to catch passes from Bradford.

  2. #2
    Rich86 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Jones may be the future for Rams at receiver

    it's a beautiful read, but dude may have very well worked himself in to the top 8 unfortunately it pains me to say. i hope i'm wrong though, because it would be hell for the nfc with sam and julio playing with each other.

  3. #3
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    Re: Jones may be the future for Rams at receiver

    Great read, but despite the impressive combine workout, I'd still proceed with giving him the yellow flag in terms of the sky rocketing expectations we'll give to him (assuming we draft him). Combines have always made players look good and there's no guarantee in excellent performance once he wears a Rams jersey. Based on how humble he was with Bradford and the interviewers, he's increased my interests in getting him but teams like the Browns and Redskins are the only factors that stand against the Bradford-Jones bromance.

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    Re: Jones may be the future for Rams at receiver

    After that 4.39 40 yard dash, I'm not seeing him slip to us. It pains me to say it, but I think we'll need to start looking else ware.

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    Re: Jones may be the future for Rams at receiver

    We still have a chance he'll slip to us, Bengals, Browns, Titans and Redskins could take a WR. Browns switch to another defensive scheme and could find too valuable DL to take Jones this high. Titans need a QB and have Britt. Redskins is the team that could disturb us, we have to hope Shanahan take a QB.
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    Re: Jones may be the future for Rams at receiver ..

    But, unfortunately (what a paradox for someobody who wants Julio as a Ram), Jones proved he's faster and significantly better athlete than A.J. Green. After this, it's very doubtfull he'll be there for us at 14. What we gonna do now!? I hate combines!

  7. #7
    Bralidore(RAMMODE) Guest

    Re: Jones may be the future for Rams at receiver

    Ah, the usual ridiculous hype over a player due to a workout. I like Julio Jones. I'd like him at the 14th pick. But did any of Julios game tape change while he was at the combine? Of course not.

    Julio was a mid first round guy before the combine. The only thing the combine has done was confirm his athleticism (did anyone really doubt it?) and make coaches look at his tape again.

    I honestly believe Julio will drop outside the top 10. What I think will happen is a team that picks later than us and that needs or has the luxury of picking a receiver will try to jump in front of us at 14. If this happens, that's tough luck but Julio is by far not our only option at 14 and like BD has stated I think there will be numerous options at that spot, more specifically on the defensive line.

    If Julio drops outside the top 10 and lands at pick 11-12 I'd consider making a move forward, but im not inside the Rams clubhouse with inside information on medicals nor the amount of tape they have on players. Given the Rams success with the early round picks recently, i'll be happy which ever direction the Rams go because noone knpows the Rams needs better than the Rams.

  8. #8
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    Re: Jones may be the future for Rams at receiver

    i want us to trade down ... i really want him badly... and if not lets get sidney rice atleast please.

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    Re: Jones may be the future for Rams at receiver

    From Ramendola16:

    After that 4.39 40 yard dash, I'm not seeing him slip to us. It pains me to say it, but I think we'll need to start looking elsewhere.

    Exactly. I agree. End of story (almost).

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