Why Ravens should trade for Julio Jones
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

After an MVP season that made it seem like he might one day soon challenge Patrick Mahomes’ supremacy, Lamar Jackson regressed in 2020.

Jackson’s struggles culminated in a big loss to the Buffalo Bills in which he failed to score for the first time since his first NFL start back in November 2018 — breaking a 39-game streak of at least one passing or running touchdown.

Somehow, this year’s playoff loss proved to be even more brutal than last year’s — a tall task considering he played so poorly last year that people thought he had been poisoned.

Part of the problem for Jackson proved to be his lack of a clear-cut No. 1 wide receiver. He's no true security blanket to rely on, at least at wide receiver.

One potential option to be that security blanket? Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons.

As noted by Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report, a trade between the Falcons and Ravens centering around Jones makes too much sense to ignore:

The Falcons could move forward with [Matt] Ryan, wideout Calvin Ridley and tight end Hayden Hurst as key pieces to the passing attack and exchange Jones for a first-rounder in a reboot.

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson doesn’t have a dominant lead wide receiver. In 2020, Marquise Brown tied tight end Mark Andrews for a team-leading 58 receptions and led the club with 769 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. 

With Brown as the No. 2 or 3 receiving option behind Jones and Andrews, the Ravens passing offense could finish as a top-10 unit.

This past season Jones recorded 51 catches for 771 yards and three touchdowns in nine games played. Across the board, the numbers were career worsts.

That said, Jones is still a very capable receiver when he’s healthy. If he can heal up, he could provide the Ravens with the veteran receiving presence that Jackson clearly needs at this juncture.

Besides, because Jones was so injured this year, Atlanta got a sneak peak at what Ryan would look like without him. The results? Not too bad.

“Without him for nearly half of the campaign, Ryan’s passing numbers remained steady,” Moton added. “He matched his touchdown total from last season (26) and led the league in completions for the second consecutive term. Atlanta’s aerial attack ranked fifth leaguewide.”

A trade between the Falcons and Ravens centering around Jones could prove to be a win-win for all sides.

This article first appeared on Game 7 and was syndicated with permission.

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