The peak pro football nerd is the NFL Combine nerd.
The combine is the time for already established players to cement their stock or under the the radar players to break out.
Julio Jones’ NFL Draft Combine
The Foley High School grad was an absolute stud in his three-year college career under Alabama head coach Nick Saban, hauling in 2,653 receiving yards on 179 catches and 15 touchdowns.
His performance in Tuscaloosa placed him high in mock drafts with Georgia receiver A.J. Green.
The Crimson Tide pass catcher arrived in Indianapolis to prove why he should be the top receiver.
— 40-yard Dash Time: 4.34 seconds
— Vertical Leap: 38.5 inches
— Broad Jump: 135 inches
— 20-yard Shuttle: 4.25 seconds
— Bench Press: 17 reps of 225 lbs.
Jones took expectations and shattered them. He proved he has the blazing speed of a running back, the ability to out-leap corners, and the strength to break tackles after the catch.
Shortly after the scouting combine wrapped up, ESPN reported that Jones discovered he had a stress fracture in his foot two days before the event. He insisted on working out because he had no symptoms. He had a screw inserted to repair the injury.
He sat out Alabama’s Pro Day to heal.
So Julio Jones has 4.3-speed on a broken foot. That’s pretty good. I once walked 10-feet to the fridge for a beer in 4.2 seconds with a stubbed toe — not to brag.
His vertical jump is enough to do windmill dunks. We might be talking between-the-legs if that foot is healthy.
The Atlanta Falcons ended up selecting the Alabama wide receiver with the sixth-overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft. He was the second pass catcher taken after Green was selected fourth by the Cincinnati Bengals. LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson was the fifth pick by the Arizona Cardinals.
Jones’ combine performance was only a glimpse of what we would see in the NFL. The first-round pick has firmly cemented himself as one of the best receivers in the game.
Regardless of who the opponent is — whether that be the Cleveland Browns, Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers or Las Vegas Raiders — wide receiver Julio Jones is the focal point of the defense’s game plan.