Julio Jones has been a hot name this offseason. With a full offseason of workouts with his teammates, specifically quarterback Matt Ryan, the second-year receiver has been discussed at length when the topic of the Falcons comes up.
During OTAs and minicamp, he looked impressive, catching seemingly every pass that came his way and drew rave reviews from all of his teammates and head coach Mike Smith.
Jones has been pegged as a breakout star in waiting entering his sophomore season, following a rookie year with 959 yards and eight touchdowns in just 13 games. Since it's never too early to think about fantasy football, it's time to consider what Jones' 2012 season could mean in terms of fantasy production.
NFL.com's fantasy editor, Michael Fabiano thinks Jones will be a top 10 fantasy receiver this coming year, and he also thinks Jones will surpass teammate Roddy White in production. Fabiano isn't ready to say Jones should be drafted ahead of White but he thinks the same reasons everyone believes Jones will have a breakout year on the field exist for Jones' fantasy value as well.
Fabiano considered Jones' rookie year and projected his fantasy numbers had he played in all 16 games. Jones' year would have been better than Percy Harvin, Mike Wallace, Vincent Jackson and Hakeem Nicks, all top receivers in their own right.
"Yes, this kid is that good," Fabiano wrote. "… Don't be afraid to go after him as a No. 1 fantasy wideout with huge potential in drafts."
It's just another reason the Falcons and their fans love Jones. The potential for greatness was there on draft night in 2011 and he's quickly realizing all of it, in fantasy and in the real life version of the game.