Julio Jones will join Derrick Henry in a lethal Titans offense
By: Reese Nasser
It has finally happened, The Atlanta Falcons have traded wide receiver Julio Jones to the Tennessee Titans. The seven-time pro bowler cost the Titans a second round selection in 2022 and a fourth rounder in 2023.
Julio will now be added to a Titans team that went 11-5 last season and finished first in the AFC South. He will also be joining an offense that already has a rising star in wide receiver A.J. Brown and an all-time running back in Derrick Henry. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has also found his spot in the NFL with the Titans and has begun to look like a top-tier QB.
The duo of Brown and Henry combined for 3,216 yards from scrimmage last season. Brown hauled in 1,075 yards and 11 touchdowns over 14 games last season. Henry had one of the greatest rushing performances ever with 17 rushing touchdowns and over 2,000 rushing yards.
Julio appeared in just nine games last season but proved to still be a threat and a legitimate number one receiver. In those nine games, he caught three touchdown passes and had 771 receiving yards on just 51 receptions.
If Julio can return to the form that he was in during the 2019 season this Titans offense can be a juggernaut and one of the best, if not the best, offense in the league. Here’s what the addition of Julio can do for this Titans offense.
A.J. Brown Potential
A.J. Brown has proven to be a top talent in the NFL since his rookie season in 2019. After a fantastic season stat wise in his first year, Brown improved in nearly every way during his second season. His 11 touchdown receptions ranked tied for fifth in the NFL. Brown grabbed 70 receptions last season while being the main receiving threat. He should see an increase in both receptions and touchdowns with Julio playing alongside him.
Julio, throughout his entire career, has been the focal point on offense and receives the bulk of the attention. Brown has received this sort of treatment during his time in Tennessee. With both players being legitimate number one receivers, defenses will be forced to figure out how to defend them. On any given play, one of the two should be able to make a big play.
With apparent claims that Julio wanted to play with a quarterback that can push the ball down field, he has gotten that with Tannehill.
Tannehill has proven that he can push the ball down the field and both Julio and Brown have shown that they can make plays down the field. Julio will allow for the offense to stretch the field even more. With how accurate Tannehill is when throwing the deep ball, both Julio and Brown should produce even more big plays down the field.
More Running Room
Titans running back Derrick Henry became just the seventh rusher in NFL history to surpass 2,000 rushing yards in a season. He has crafted an all-time career up to this point. There came a point over the course of last season where teams were able to stack the defensive box due to a lack of offensive threats on the Titans. That won’t be possible now with both Julio and Brown on either side of the field. A box of seven or eight defenders with only three to four players in the secondary will be shredded by this offense.
While it is unlikely that Henry will reach the sought after 2,000 yards rushing again, he will most definitely benefit from the addition of Julio. The added talent on offense will not only take carries off of Henry but will also give him more opportunities to make plays. The field will undoubtedly be stretched and Henry will flourish off of the space that defines will be forced to give him.
The NFL should be put on notice with this trade. With the addition of Julio, the Titans are true threats to bring a super bowl to Tennessee. This revamped offense with a completely rebuilt defense could be a terror for opposing teams. The team will look much different than what we saw at season end. Improvements have been made throughout the roster. Expect every skill player on the offensive side of the ball to see improvements in some aspect of their game. A.J. Brown said it best.