As the Falcons have looked to become fast, physical and relentless in all areas of the game during the offseason, one place there's already an abundance of all those qualities — and more — is at the No. 1 receiver spot.
Julio Jones is coming off a historic 2015 and the expectations for him this year couldn't be higher with XFINITY® Training Camp beginning in mere days. The accolades Jones earned during the offseason for his 2015 performance were plentiful, but he's now being recognized as the beast he is in the world of gaming.
EA Sports' Madden NFL 17 is teasing the release of its game, hitting stores Aug. 23, with announcing the top 5 players at each position, and as the best wide receivers in the game were revealed in Saturday's update, there sat Julio Jones at No. 2.
Jones' rating of 96 overall provides more fodder for a debate that's catching more and more steam: Of Jones and Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown, who is better?
Fans have spent much of the offseason debating it and it's beginning to reach a fever pitch as the 2016 season approaches. Brown edged out Jones in the NFL's Top 100 Players of 2016, coming in at No. 4 to Jones' No. 8 ranking. Brown is also ranked as the Madden NFL 17 top wideout, barely ahead of Jones with a 97 overall rating, so let the debate rage on.
Here's a look at Jones' numbers in several specific categories:
- Speed: 93
- Catch ability: 98
- Jumping ability: 96
- Catch-in-traffic ability: 95
- Route running: 94
EASports.com says Jones has "the size to dominate you in the red zone and the athleticism to beat you vertically," urging gamers to get the ball downfield to him where his spectacular catch rating comes in at 97.
More Madden NFL 17 ratings continue to be released and Jones is the first Falcons player to appear in any list thus far. Matt Ryan didn't crack the top 5 for QBs and Devonta Freeman was (somehow) left out of the top 5 for running backs. On the list of top-10 rated rookies, first-round pick Keanu Neal was absent.