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Bill Belichick Told Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff Not to Trade for Julio Jones

Depending on how you judge draft success in the NFL, arguments can be made that the Patriots have been masters of the draft or have struck out quite a bit since Bill Belichick took over as head coach.  As far as dealing draft picks are concerned, New England has done well by grabbing guys like Randy Moss and Wes Welker at amazingly low prices.  In terms of actual picks, the Pats have had too many Brandon Meriweathers and Laurence Maroneys in the early rounds.  Perhaps that has something to do with why Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff, a former Patriots employee, ignored Belichick’s advice on draft day back in April.

As the Atlanta Journal Constitution shared on Tuesday,  Peter King recently reviewed Michael Holley’s book, “War Room: The Legacy of Bill Belichick and the Art of Building the Perfect Team.”  One of the more interesting stories Holley talks about deals with Julio Jones.  According to the book, Dimitroff called Belichick the day of the draft and asked if he thought it would be a good idea to trade up 21 spots to get the Alabama receiver.  Belichick advised against making the move.

Belichick recommended staying put at No. 27 and drafting Pittsburgh’s Jonathan Baldwin, but Dimitroff went ahead and pulled the trigger on the deal anyway.  Baldwin ended up being taken by the Chiefs at No. 26 and is just starting to emerge after being plagued by injuries this season.  Jones, who is ready to return from a hamstring injury, has had a very solid season with Atlanta.

It’s way too early to tell who made the right call, but at the moment Jones looks like an explosive receiver and an excellent complement to Roddy White.  The Patriots have always made a point to trade down and have rarely traded up during the Belichick era, so it’s no surprise he disapproved of trading up that many spots.  New England hasn’t really mastered the art of selecting players — especially in the early rounds — so Dimitroff ultimately made the right call in ignoring Belichick despite his experience.

H/T to Black Sports Online for the story.

Julio Jones Is Good, but Atlanta Falcons Traded Way Too Much

The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft was filled with surprises, ranging from Jake Locker going 8th overall to James Carpenter getting picked by the Seahawks at 25. While fans were shocked left and right, one move that stood out to me for its outrageousness was Atlanta’s decision to trade five draft picks for Julio Jones. I like Julio Jones, but I’m not sure I’d deal five picks for a receiver guaranteed to be a combination of Calvin Johnson and Reggie Wayne.

Atlanta gave up the 27th overall pick, their second and fourth-round pick this year, and their first and fourth-round picks in 2012 just to move up to the sixth spot. That’s two firsts, two seconds, and a fourth all for Julio Jones. That’s close to too much to surrender for a franchise quarterback. What can a second receiver do for you?

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Julio Jones Had Surgery on Broken Hand but Might Not Miss Any Time

As if losing to South Carolina on Saturday wasn’t already bad enough for Alabama, they found out that wide receiver Julio Jones also broke his hand in the game. Coach Nick Saban announced that Jones broke the hand in the first half of the game and underwent surgery today. Jones had a plate and screw in the hand, and according to the AP, Saban said Jones’ ability to play on Saturday at home against Ole Miss depends on his pain tolerance.

If Jones broke his hand in the first half of the game like they’re saying, then I’m guessing he’ll be able to play this weekend. Jones made one of the sweetest catches I’ve seen this year, plucking a laser from Greg McElroy out of the air just before halftime. His catch resulted in a touchdown and made it 21-9. Considering that catch came a minute before halftime, I’m guessing he had already broken his hand yet he still made the grab.

On top of the touchdown catch before halftime, Jones had three second half catches. If he can make plays like that with a broken hand, I’m guessing he’ll be able to play Saturday against Ole Miss. They’re saying it will depend on his pain tolerance, but the pressure to suit up will be great. This is the SEC schedule now, not San Jose State.

Photo Credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images