It had been a glorious run. Back in October 2011, I traded Jimmy Graham straight-up for Julio Jones. But five playoff appearances and 3 championships later, it was time to say goodbye. So in January of this year, I made the following trade…
Corey Davis (1.02)
JuJu Smith-Schuster (2.02)
In my opinion, with Jones turning 28 years old in February 2017, the time to cash-out had come. So I took the best deal available. And that deal enabled me to acquire the top WR in the draft, Corey Davis, and another very valuable player at 2.02. As it turned out, that player would become JuJu Smith-Schuster. Smith-Schuster’s draft range has been from mid/late 1st round to early 2nd round.
In early March, Jones underwent surgery to remove a bunion. And while Jones had a very nice run in the playoffs, I just don’t see Jones being a target monster going forward. His career best for targets was 203 in 2015 and 163 in 2014. The Falcons had their best season in years in 2016 as they played in Super Bowl LI, and that involved less Jones and more spreading the ball around. Atlanta ranked 12th in the NFL with 421 rushing attempts. Add to that the 85 receptions between Devonta Freeman (54) and Tevin Coleman (31) and you can see Atlanta continuing to involve other players in an attempt to keep Jones from wearing down while also making their offense more diverse.
By dealing Jones (28 years old) for Corey Davis (22) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (20), I was not only able to get younger, but was able to add an additional young first-round talent in Smith-Schuster.