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Matt Ryan thinks Julio Jones is 'capable of being as good as' any WR in NFL

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer
Jones flashed dominance on Sunday in Kanas City. (Getty Images)

You might already know this, but I'm on board the Julio Jones bandwagon this year. Big-time. And it's a pretty good bandwagon to be on. Hop aboard and you can join awesome people like, me, our fantasy football guys, and Matt Ryan.

Ryan joined "The Jungle" with Jim Rome on Tuesday. When asked by Rome if Jones can be "Megatron good" Ryan replied Jones is "capable as being as good as" any wideout in the NFL.

"Yeah I think he's physically capable of being as good as anyone in this league," Ryan said. "You mention Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. Those are two big, physical guys. And [Julio] has a way to go to get to where they're at. But as far as physical skill goes, he has everything you want from a wide receiver."

That's a bold statement, but not that bold. There are plenty of folks (again, myself included) who believe Jones will end up looking like a top-five wideout by the end of 2012. He's gotten off to a great start, scoring two touchdowns for the Falcons in their win over the Chiefs on Sunday, and he's likely to keep seeing a pile of targets as Atlanta continues to run its high-octane offense.

But is he the new No.-1 wideout for Atlanta? Ryan wouldn't go so far as to say that Julio's surpassed Roddy White in the Falcons hierarchy, and he made sure to offer a diplomatic answer to Rome's question. Ryan did make a point to call Julio a No. 1 wideout.

"I don't know," Ryan said. "Roddy is still -- you know four Pro Bowls in a row for him -- he's still a go-to guy, a guy capable of making plays at any time. I think in our offense we really have three No. 1's. We have a guy in Julio Jones who's a No. 1, Roddy White who you mentioned is a No. 1 and Tony Gonzalez, for the bulk of his career, was a No. 1 in his offense. So we've got three guys who I think are legitimate No. 1's."

That's some solid use of compliments by Ryan, but the truth is that Julio's the "guy" in Atlanta now. That's not a knock on White -- who's also said that Jones is going to explode this year -- but more of an indication about what kind of wideout Jones truly is.

He's one of the most dangerous deep threats in the NFL, he can make just about any catch thanks to his freakish combo of hands/leaping ability/speed, and he can turn short catches into long gains about as well as anyone in the league.

So, no, it's not a stretch to say that Jones can be as good as Johnson or Fitzgerald, and that's something that could seem obvious by the end of the year.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 p.m. ET and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.

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