Jay Glazer of FoxSports.com (and working today for The NFL Network) is reporting that the Atlanta Falcons are talking trade with the Cleveland Browns in an attempt to get Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones.
The deal would make a great deal of sense for the Falcons. They have one of the league's best wideouts in Roddy White, of course, but, didn't get enough production from their secondary targets. Other than future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez (arguably the best 35 year-old player in history), the Falcons' next most productive "receiver" was running back Jason Snelling -- who caught 44 passes for 303 yards.
Jones is the big, physical and fast wideout the Falcons were hoping to get when the previous regime invested a late first round pick in Michael Jenkins. Jones, of course, was viewed as a clear second option behind Georgia's A.J. Green -- until he beat Jones in virtually every measurable category at the Combine.
On tape, however, Green is a significantly more reliable route-runner and pass-catcher than Jones -- which is why I have the Georgia receiver as one of the four elite players of this year's draft and Jones as a very (but not elite) prospect as the ninth best prospect. There is no doubt, however, that Jones would be perfectly suited as the "secondary target" for the Falcons, rather than expected to come in and be an immediate No. 1 target as Green will no doubt be.
The potential to move down also makes a great deal of sense for the Browns. Cleveland's biggest need is in transitioning from a 3-4 defense to the 4-3. With few defensive linemen currently on the roster that fit the scheme -- and run on such linemen expected to occur in the late first round -- the move makes sense. It also, of course, would give a young Browns' team more picks with which to grow.