Quintorris Lopez Jones Jr., otherwise known as ‘Julio’ is a starting wide receiver for the Tennessee Titans. Julio Jones was born in Foley, Alabama where he played football at Foley High School. After high school, Julio balled out at the University of Alabama. His college dominator rating (34.4-percent; 66th-percentile) and breakout age (19.6 years old; 74th-percentile) all were exceptional despite the modest receiving output in Alabama’s anemic passing game. In three seasons, Jones racked up 2,653 yards and 15 touchdowns off 179 receptions.
A face-melting combine performance likely prompted the Atlanta Falcons to trade up to draft Julio Jones in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft with the sixth overall selection. Jones put his elite talent, 40-yard dash (4.39; 94th-percentile), and skillset to good use for many years to come. Outside of the 2013 and 2020 seasons, Jones played in at least 13 games in all ten of his seasons as a Falcon. He hauled in at least 1,198 in every one of those seasons save for his rookie season. From 2014 to 2019, Jones never failed to accumulate at least 1,394 receiving yards. He made top ten fantasy finishes at wide receiver look like a walk in the park. Despite his historic Hall of Fame production, Jones registered double-digit touchdowns in a season just once and has just 61 touchdowns over his illustrious 11-year career.
After an injury-plagued 2020 season and the direction of the Atlanta Falcons organization, Julio and the Falcons worked together on a trade to get Jones back to a title-contending team. He got his wish on June 6, 2021 when the Falcons and the Tennessee Titans agreed to trade Jones and a 2023 sixth-round pick to Tennessee for a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 fourth-round pick, but injuries continued to haunt Jones. Jones strained his hamstring in 2020 and again in Week 3 of 2021. Jones returned in Week 6, but it continued to hamper him and forced him to miss even more time. His numbers look like a shell of what we’re accustomed to seeing from the all-time great.
Jones finished 2021 with only six deep targets and 98 yards after the catch seems unconsionable, but it happened in Julio's most disappointing season of his career. He closed out the season with 31 receptions for 434 yards and one touchdown. He finished as the WR101, a massive fall from grace from his normal fantasy finishes and his WR17 ADP heading into 2021. His 555 air yards ranked 78th at the position. Julio may not be out of gas quite yet. He ranked 31st among receivers in average target distance (11.6 yards), 29th in yards per reception (14), 23rd in yards per target (9), and 33rd in yards per route run (1.94). He did generate 128 yards in Week 2.
Julio is now 33 years old and the Titans can save money by releasing him this offseason. Julio was an other-worldly receiver in the past, but his present and future aren’t as rosy.