Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff, in a very un-New England-like move, mortgaged away apart of the Falcons' future in order to add fleet wide receiver Julio Jones.
The Falcons moved up 21 spots in the first round in a trade with the Cleveland Browns.
The Falcons switched first-round picks this year with the Browns. They also sent this year's second- and fourth-round picks to the Browns and next year's first- and fourth-round picks.
"It was an aggressive and bold move to trade up for player that we believe truly adds the explosiveness that we are looking for on this team," Dimitroff said. "We feel that Julio is a fine addition to our offense. We think that he'll help provide Matt (Ryan) with the tools we need going forward."
Jones was a three-year starter for the Crimson Tide.
"I'm just grateful for what they did, to trade up to get me," Jones said. "I really can't explain it right now. I feel like they have a lot of trust in me. I'm not going to disappoint."
Jones has been known to make the acrobatic catch and then occasionally drop an easy catch.
"I'm not ashamed," Jones said. "I play very hard. If I drop a ball, I drop a ball. But I had to teach myself to slow down. Play fast, but don't hurry. I usually would just take my eyes off the ball while I was trying to make play."
The draft experience was emotionally tough for Jones, who is from Foley, Ala. He still has several friends back in Tuscaloosa, which was hit by the tornado on Wednesday.
"I was hoping that nobody was injured," Jones said. "Unfortunately some people were hurt and killed. One of my teammates, Carson Tinker, got involved with the tornado. It killed his girlfriend and broke his arm."
The Falcons have been considering the move for more than a month. They even looked into getting up to the second pick, but nothing was feasible.
Over the final 48 hours before the draft, they knew that the sixth or the seventh pick was attainable.
The Falcons plan to couple Jones with Pro Bowl wide receiver Roddy White, who led the NFL in catches with 115 last season.
"They are not going to be able to defend us the way they have defended us in the past," Smith said.
Jones is looking forward to the challenge.
"When I went through the interview with Atlanta, they showed me a couple of plays where the safety was rolling over to double Roddy White," Jones said. "I just want to come in a take some pressure off him and make those guys play him one-on-one."
Normally, the Falcons could have retained some of their picks and included players in a deal, but because of the current labor situation, they were not allowed to include players.
"That's been the most innovating side of this because you are obviously trying to come up with compensation that is fair," Dimitroff said.
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