The Atlanta Falcons today announced they have signed wide receiver Julio Jones, linebacker Akeem Dent and running back Jacquizz Rodgers to contracts.
Jones, 6-3, 220 pounds, was selected as a first round pick (sixth overall) in the 2011 NFL Draft after the Falcons completed a trade with the Cleveland Browns. He established himself as one of the premier wide receivers in college football at the University of Alabama, earning second team All-America honors and first team All-SEC honors as a junior. In 40 games, Jones caught 179 passes for 2,653 yards with 15 touchdowns, and compiled 3,084 all-purpose yards. His 179 receptions rank second all-time at Alabama, while his 2,653 receiving yards rank second in school history, and his 15 touchdowns are tied for fourth in Crimson Tide annals.
Dent, 6-1, 239 pounds, was selected as a third round pick (91st overall) in the 2011 NFL Draft. He emerged as one of the elite tacklers in the Southeastern Conference in 2010 after receiving All-SEC second team honors and leading the Bulldogs with 126 tackles (69 solo), 2.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss. His 126 total tackles were the most by a Georgia linebacker in a single season since 1996.
Rodgers, 5-6, 196 pounds, was selected as a fifth round pick (145th overall) in the 2011 NFL Draft. He was the focal point of the Oregon State offense as he was an impact player in both the running game and the passing game. The Richmond, Texas native caught a school record 151 passes in his career and his 4,929 all-purpose yards rank sixth in school annals behind his brother James Rodgers (5,784) and Ken Simonton (5,606). He is also one of only three players in school history to post 1,000-plus yards both rushing and receiving for his career. In 36 games with the Beavers, Rodgers rushed for 3,877 yards and accounted for 46 touchdowns. He is a three-time first team All-Pac 10 selection and a two-time Associated Press All America selection.
The Falcons have now signed all six of their 2011 draft picks. Since 2008, Atlanta has had all its selections signed in time for the first practice of training camp.
Earlier today, the Falcons signed DE , OL Andrew Jackson and K/P Matt Bosher.