Everyone is trying to figure out where star NFL wide receiver Julio Jones is going to end up in 2021.
We know it probably won’t be with his current team, the Atlanta Falcons. But from there, the situation gets a bit dicey. Things such as cap space and draft capital eliminate several other teams around the league, but we know there are plenty of suitors.
OutKick founder Clay Travis believes the Tennessee Titans are the best bet to land Jones, and he made his case on Monday during his show FOX Bet Live.
— FOX Bet Live (@FOXBetLive) June 1, 2021
“I think Julio Jones is going to the Tennessee Titans for a second-round pick,” Clay said. “It makes the most sense of all of the available teams out there. First off, the Titans lost Jonnu Smith at tight end to the Patriots. They also lost Corey Davis — their overall No. 5 pick [in 2017], one of the highest draft picks for wide receiver in years — and he now is with the New York Jets.
“So the Titans have an issue here. They’ve got AJ Brown, who is a massive Julio Jones fan. Derrick Henry, who has been working out with Julio Jones because they’re both University of Alabama products. And a glaring and desperate need alongside of an AJ Brown to have a big offensive weapon.”
Clay is correct here too.
Look, the Titans have had a lot of success over the last two years. They have followed up their regular season success with some postseason runs, but they haven’t quite been able to get over the hump. Now two of the top complementary pass-catching options for Brown are gone, and I’m not convinced the Josh Reynolds-Dez Fitzpatrick combination is enough to fill the void.
What we do know is that the rest of the AFC South — except for the Houston Texans — is getting better.
The Colts, who have arguably the most talented roster in the division on paper, has finally addressed their need at quarterback. Plus, the Jaguars could be better than a lot of people realize. They too have addressed the quarterback issue, and the overall talent and depth on the roster is much improved.
The Titans can’t afford to sit still. With other teams in the division improving at crucial spots, Tennessee needs to be even better than they’ve been the last two years. The improvements made on defense will go a long way in helping that cause, but their offense simply cannot regress.
As Clay points out in the clip above, the offense will continue to run through Henry. But a strong complementary passing game using play-action is what has made the Titans offense so potent the last couple of years. They’ve had the horses to make teams pay for loading up the box, and that needs to continue.
Jones would bring another dynamic, playmaking option to the offense — and to the passing game in particular. That, combined with their other improvements, will make the Titans one of the best teams in the AFC, especially with key offensive linemen, such as left tackle Taylor Lewan, returning.
Their existing relationship with former offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, who is now the head coach in Atlanta, also gives Tennessee an advantage over other teams. Clay is certainly onto something here, and unless the Patriots make a late push, I agree the Titans should be the heavy favorites to land Jones.
Apparently, so does FanDuel’s Colorado book.