The Atlanta Falcons had a productive and balanced offense before the blockbuster draft-day trade that brought Alabama WR Julio Jones in exchange for five draft picks.
Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff certainly paid a high ransom for Jones — even if it was a trade analyst Daryl Johnston says the team “had to make” — no doubt convinced the receiver is the missing element for a 13-3 team that was bounced in the playoffs despite homefield advantage.
Because of that price, Jones’ impact will be watched closely. NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger outlined some of the trickle down benefits of the addition of Jones, namely the benefit to QB Matt Ryan and the running game behind Michael Turner.
“When (defenses) took White out of the game, it was difficult for Ryan to find his second receiving option,” said Baldinger. “This gives him a good second option. I think it’s going to be healthy for Ryan to have two guys out there, because it will balance the secondary and where team can roll their coverages. I think it’s going to open up things for Turner in the backfield.”
Check out the video above for more from Baldinger and Willie McGinest on the trade and the impact of Jones.