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NFL Draft 2011 (News): Falcons Stake Future On Julio Jones

A lot of teams had strange and questionable drafts, but the Falcons' might just take the cake. Roddy White's reaction to the Falcons' acquisition of Julio Jones was pretty priceless. From his Twitter page (via):

Well we got julio jones I'm excited

Less than an hour later, White had found out exactly how Atlanta got Cleveland to trade the No. 6 pick for the Falcons to take Julio Jones, and he changed his tune:

Well I was wrong we give up our draft

Ouch. And your 2012 draft, too. The Falcons' decision to trade up for Jones - giving up their first-, second- and fourth-round picks this year as well as their first- and fourth-round picks next year - ensured that the Cleveland Browns had the best Day 1 of any team. The Falcons now really need Jones to become a huge star, and he might. But they're taking a giant risk on him.

SB Nation's Falcons blog, The Falcoholic, weighs in on Jones:

They're going to be a nightmare for opposing cornerbacks, and Jones has the potential to be an all-time great. I truly believe that.

The drawbacks? The Falcons gave up way too much to get Jones. Those picks could have been used to get multiple quality players, and the team may regret it in the next draft if players they want are available in the first round and they're not there to pick. Given Thomas Dimitroff's penchant for making great picks in every round, the fact that the Falcons gave up a huge bounty scares me more than a little bit.

In short, Dimitroff has balls of steel, the Falcons gave up way too much, but Jones is a potentially elite talent who may could transform the team's offense. With its blank eyes and steady hands, time alone can tell us whether it was the right move.

It's pretty telling that the author thinks that Jones could be "an all-time great" - and still doesn't seem sure the Falcons didn't give up way too much to get him.

The Falcons will mostly be sitting out when the draft continues on Friday night at 6:30 PM Eastern. They don't have another pick until No. 91, and then don't have another one after that until No. 158. We'll see whether Julio Jones was worth it.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.