julio_jones_combine

Combine Nightmare: Julio Jones now unreachable?

For a man who just set a combine record in the broad jump, Julio Jones isn’t about to brag. “Just wait, there’s more” he seems to say.

For a month of mock drafts, Julio Jones safely slid down to the Rams at #14 as various scouts and bloggers and such touted and jostled various players in and out of the top ten Everyone acknowledged that Jones, a top-ten talent, was falling a bit past his player rating, but team needs were coming first. And the Rams were such a perfect fit… 

@RookieDraft
It just makes so much sense. RT @PeterSzucs90 Is there a more obvious match of need and value than Julio Jones to the Rams?

After this weekend’s rockstar combine performance by the Alabama wideout, though, he seems almost guaranteed to have his name called before the Rams get on the clock. It’s a nightmare scenario for Rams fans like me with their hearts set on getting a foundation WR in this year’s draft. 

What did he do that was so special? He set a combine record in the broad jump (11’3″), rocked the 40-yard dash in 4.39 (top five among all receivers), and hit 38.5″ in the high jump. Oh, and his ego-free demeanor killed in interviews. TST’s VanRam, who had previously advocated using the draft slot on Missouri DE Aldon Smith, was on the scene and came away more than impressed.

His cocky-free confidence made me wonder whether or not this guy was actually a receiver (does he not have an end zone celebration planned yet?) but a safety that somehow stumbled into another role. The Rams need to draft this kid.

Bonus: Watch video of Julio Jones’ on-field interview and combine performance from NFL.com

Whether it was your first combine or twenty-first, Jones’ performance was eye-opening. “Jones ran faster today than I think anyone thought he would,” former NFL general manager Charley Casserly said, as quoted by NFL.com. “I don’t think people thought this guy would run a 4.43 (the unofficial time on his first run). He doesn’t play that fast. But he’s a big guy who is physical.”

The Rams will have a little bit of leverage to move around from the #14 pick than they have in the last few years, suffering the “losers’ curse” and picking from the immovable #2, #2 and #1 spots overall. However, according to the draft value chart, the highest the Rams can move while at most sacrificing their own 1st and 3rd round picks would be from 14 overall to 10.

And who’s sitting at #10 overall? The receiver-poor Washington Redskins.

Like I said, it’s a nightmare scenario. No way does Billy Devaney want to give up his 2nd round pick, which is a GM’s gold mine and has produced two anchor positions for the Rams: starting middle linebacker James Laurinaitis and starting left tackle Rodger Saffold. But anything other than Jones feels an awful lot like a consolation prize at this point…

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