Tag:Julio Jones
Posted on: April 30, 2011 4:15 pm
Edited on: April 30, 2011 5:46 pm
 

Falcons focusing on offensive explosiveness

Posted by Will Brinson

NEW YORK -- When the Atlanta Falcons moved a pile of picks to the Browns to grab Julio Jones, GM Thomas Dimitroff said, "We are not one player away from anything." He's probably right.
NFL Draft
NFL Draft Coverage More NFL Draft Coverage
Mock Drafts | Risers/Fallers
Prospects | Full Draft Coverage

But in the fifth round, Atlanta got another player closer towards being that much more explosive offensively, when they drafted Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers.

Shortly after the pick, highlights from Rodgers' career with the Beavers started flashing on the big screen and the crowd went nuts -- as they should have, because Rodgers was plowing over people, breaking ankles and fighting his way into the end zone.

Is he likely to be a feature back in the NFL? Probably not. But the Falcons have Michael Turner to be their main guy and Rodgers just might compliment Turner perfectly.

The knock on the Atlanta Falcons heading into 2011 was a lack of offensive explosiveness. With their addition of Jones and Rodgers to the skill positions, that problem could already be eliminated.

And the Falcons, despite having given up some substantial future draft picks, might have suddenly revamped their entire offense in an offseason that wasn't supposed to be made for revamping.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: April 28, 2011 11:24 pm
Edited on: April 29, 2011 1:10 am
 

Falcons better hope Julio Jones is a home run

Posted by Will Brinson

NEW YORK -- Last season, I predicted the Atlanta Falcons would win the Super Bowl.

Obviously I was wrong, but it wasn't that far off -- they were arguably the best regular season team in the NFL. Just not the most explosive.

The latter problem showed up when Green Bay bolted out to a big lead in the NFC Championship Game and Atlanta couldn't even come close to mustering a comeback because they lacked the necessary explosiveness to do any damage in the second half.

By adding Julio Jones, they changed that, dramatically, and even in Mike Mularky's sometimes slow offense, the Falcons could put up big numbers if Jones does what they expect.

He better, though, because Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith just paid a pretty penny for him: four -- count them, FOUR -- draft picks in the first four rounds of the 2011 and 2012 NFL Drafts.

Atlanta gave up their first-round pick for 2011 (27th overall), their second-round pick for 2011, their fourth-round pick for 2011, their first-round pick for 2012 and their fourth-round pick in 2012. Yes, that is a TON of picks for one player.

And, yes, you may slow-clap for Tom Heckert now, because he just picked up a ridiculous haul of picks for an organization -- the Browns -- that needs in any number of positions.
NFL Draft
NFL Draft Coverage More NFL Draft Coverage
Mock Drafts | Risers/Fallers
Prospects | Full Draft Coverage

Now, look, it may not matter, it could work out for both sides, and the Browns may end up with the last pick of the first round next year. But that's cool -- they'll appreciate having a pair of first-rounders and the Falcons will appreciate winning a Super Bowl. 

Of course, that's probably a stretch. But the Falcons do have to win the NFC South in 2011 if they want to justify this move. 

The Browns, on the other hand, can sit back and stockpile assets with which to help Colt McCoy and the organization later down the line, sitting on a pile of early picks over the next two years and no real guarantee of success in 2011. 

And maybe it's too early to try and criticize Dimitroff and Smith. After all, there's really nothing to justify doing so, as they've killed it thus far. But if something goes awry in 2011, there'll be some questions about this deal asked, particularly when Jones can only touch the ball but so many times a game.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: April 27, 2011 11:59 am
Edited on: April 28, 2011 11:56 am
 

Three spicy draft rumors for you

Posted by Andy Benoit

A person can go crazy trying to keep up with all the various draft rumors with the first round now less than 36 hours away. That said, here are three very credible NFL reporters who have gotten involved in the hoopla. We’ll pass along their tidbits:

*John McClain of the Houston Chronicle believes the Texans want to trade up to snag either Von Miller or Patrick Peterson.

NFL Draft
NFL Draft Coverage More NFL Draft Coverage
Mock Drafts | Risers/Fallers
Prospects | Full Draft Coverage
*Peter King of Sports Illustrated reports that the Falcons are trying to trade up to get either A.J. Green or Julio Jones. (King says it’s unlikely they’ll succeed.)

Jason La Canfora of NFL Network says the Steelers “will exhaust all possible scenarios to trade up” and get Mike Pouncey (which would obviously extend their current league-high for Pouncey’s on the roster from one to two).

Make what you want of this information. Or, just do the sane thing and wait a few hours for the first round of the draft to actually play out.

UPDATE 12:41 p.m. EST: Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette calls the idea of Mike Pouncey being a Steeler "a fantasy".

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .


Posted on: April 18, 2011 11:04 am
 

Source: Redskins want to trade down for QB

Washington might want to take FSU's C. Ponder (US Presswire). Posted by Pete Prisco

There have been some reports that the Washington Redskins are looking to trade up to draft a quarterback.

I hear it's the exact opposite.

According to a league source, the Redskins are looking to trade down in the first round with the idea they will draft either Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder (pictured at right) or TCU quarterback Andy Dalton.

The Redskins, who pick 10th overall, would like to get a second-round pick from a team in exchange for moving back to their spot in the first round. They could then use their two second-round picks to bolster the defense.

For a team that doesn't have a third-round pick, this scenario makes a lot more sense than trying to trade up.

The X-factor here would be if Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert were to fall to them at the 10th spot. The Redskins would likely take him there, rather than trading back.

One team that is said to be eyeing the 10th spot is the New England Patriots, who have two first-round picks and two second-round picks. The Patriots might have their eye on an edge rusher -- like Ryan Kerrigan of Purdue -- or a receiver like Julio Jones of Alabama.

No matter if they trade down or not, the Redskins have to get a quarterback in this draft. Donovan McNabb is on his way out and Rex Grossman isn't the answer and he's a free agent.

The only quarterback on the roster is John Beck. Not a chance he's the opening-day starter, which is why a trade back in th first round makes sense.

This post was cross-posted from Pete Prisco's Prisco's Points blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: April 11, 2011 1:07 pm
Edited on: April 12, 2011 12:37 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Houston Texans

Posted by Josh Katzowitz



Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups . Also, check out our checkup podcast:





When the Texans beat the Colts 34-24 in the 2010 season-opener, Houston was well on its way to winning the AFC South and the first-ever playoff appearance for the club. Matt Schaub was going to continue emerging as one of the top QBs in the game, Andre Johnson was going to cement his place as the top receiver in the NFL, RB Arian Foster was going to build on his first-game performance (231 yards and four total TDs on 33 carries) and Houston’s secondary was going to be just fine without Dunta Robinson.

That’s what we thought anyway.

Then, the Texans, sitting at 4-2, lost eight of their next nine games to kill their season. Foster still went on to win the rushing title, and Schaub had a pretty good season. But Johnson didn’t have one of his better years (though to be fair, he WAS dealing with a painful ankle injury that he played through), and the secondary, to be kind, was absolutely horrid. Overall, in fact, the defense was terrible. Yet, coach Gary Kubiak has been retained for another season, and the Texans continue to be slightly worse than mediocre.

But something must change …




New defensive system

That something might be new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. While Phillips’ reign as Cowboys head coach ended in disaster in the middle of last season, he’s still well-respected as a defensive coordinator. In 2011, though, he’s got a big job in front of him.



1. Um, the secondary
Yes, the Texans will need to rethink their entire defensive back roster, because it repeatedly got torched last season. After saying goodbye to Robinson, who went on to a so-so season with the Falcons, the secondary (Kareem Jackson, Glover Quin, Bernard Pollard and Eugene Wilson) were just tremendously bad. If the Texans can’t get this fixed, it doesn’t matter who’s coordinating the defense, because Houston simply won’t win.

2. Nose Tackle
Houston hasn’t had to worry much about this position in the past because of the 4-3 scheme it used to play, but now that the Texans will go to the 3-4, they need to find a massive NT to eat up blockers and allow his linebackers behind him to make plays. Maybe Shaun Cody is that guy, but he might not be good enough and he certainly hasn’t been an impact player thus far in his career.

3. Second Wide Receiver
It looked for a time like Kevin Walter might be that guy, but he was little more than solid last year. Jacoby Jones is fine on kickoff returns, but he drops the ball too much as a receiver. Though the Texans obviously have much bigger problems, it wouldn’t be a huge shock if the Texans went after Julio Jones in the first round of the draft.




It’s hard to be confident that a Kubiak-led team will ever make the playoffs, but the Texans better accomplish that this year if they want to keep him around. Defense, like we’ve pounded in your head over and over in this checkup, is the true test, and there is plenty of talent in the front seven on that side of the ball. If Phillips can help get that unit in gear, the AFC South is ripe for the taking.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed
Posted on: April 10, 2011 9:13 pm
Edited on: April 10, 2011 9:16 pm
 

Hot Routes 4.10.11: Um, I'll pass on Cam Newton



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • Seems like everything is OK with Alabama WR Julio Jones’ foot after a re-check in Indianapolis. He still put on one of the most impressive performances at the NFL combine, considering he was performing on a fractured foot.
  • Apparently, Cam Newton is the type of player that teams hope other teams draft. Some squads don’t want Newton falling into their lap. Also within this report, Da’Quan Bowers had a productive meeting with the Bills, and Buffalo’s doctors cleared him.
  • Sounds like, just like many other teams, the Cowboys players are going to hold unsupervised offseason workouts assuming the lockout continues. However, there’s some sort of pact between the players that they’re not going to publicize the workouts. Oooh, mysterious!
  • A judge in Ohio has set former Ohio State QB Art Schlichter’s bond at $1 million.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: March 30, 2011 8:50 pm
 

Player invites keep going out for NFL draft

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Andy already told you about how Alabama WR Julio Jones and Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn said they were accepting the NFL’s invitation to attend the NFL draft at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.

Looks like they’re not going to be the only ones.

According to NFL.com, more than 20 invitations have been sent out, and quite a few have already accepted.

Those include Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller (although he’s one of the plaintiffs in Brady vs NFL ), Alabama DL Marcell Dareus, Alabama RB Mark Ingram, Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers, Auburn DL Nick Fairley and Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara.

The NFL has not yet confirmed who the league has invited.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .



Posted on: March 30, 2011 10:58 am
Edited on: March 30, 2011 3:55 pm
 

Two rookies confirm they're attending NFL Draft

Posted by Andy Benoit
J. Jones (US Presswire)
Perhaps the most intriguing storyline heading into the 2011 NFL Draft (besides which teams will take which players, of course) is which rookies will choose to attend the event at Radio City Music Hall. The rumors that the NFLPA was asking rookie not to attend proved to be disastrous to the union’s PR efforts. Still, the mere presence of those rumors has put pressure on the incoming players.

So far, two of those incoming players have said they will be walking up on stage and shaking Roger Goodell’s hand when their name is announced on April 28. Alabama wideout Julio Jones told Sirius Radio’s Adam Schein that he will attend, and that no one from the NFLPA ever asked him not to.

“We decided that we’d love to go there,” Jones said. “You know, it’s a one-in-a-lifetime chance.”
Related
NFL Draft Coverage More NFL Draft Coverage
Mock Drafts | Risers/Fallers
Prospects | Full Draft Coverage

On Tuesday, Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn accepted his invitation. Clayborn also plans to attend the NFLPA rookie debut ceremony (which will not be scheduled head to head with the draft).


"It's important that I'm going to be in the union," Clayborn told the Press-Citizen. "But those guys understand it's a once-in-a-lifetime thing."

More rookies are likely to follow. Perhaps even all rookies. The most interesting “attend or not attend” decision will be Von Miller’s. He’s the lone rookie named in the players’ lawsuit against the NFL.

----------

UPDATE 3:55 p.m. EST: Jason La Canfora of NFL Network reports that 20 players have been invited to the draft, including Von Miller. La Canfora says several players in addition to Jones and Clayborn have RSVP'd.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com