History says Tennessee Titans should expect great things from Julio Jones

Julio Jones, Tennessee Titans (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Julio Jones, Tennessee Titans (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Tennessee Titans had a good roster after the 2021 NFL Draft, but with the addition of Julio Jones, they now have one of the best rosters in the NFL.

Now, everyone is quick to point out Julio’s age and injury history because he missed seven games in 2020.

For some reason, people seem to want to throw a wet blanket on the Tennessee Titans’ huge move, but like all of the issues that are brought up, this has been overblown.

The injury concern may be the biggest red herring of the bunch when you consider that the Atlanta Falcons started off the season 0-5 and there was no reason to push for Atlanta to rush the star of their franchise back on the field during a lost season.

Before 2020, Julio Jones played in 47 of 48 possible games from 2017-2019, and from 2014-2019 he played in 92 of 96 games.

In a world where injuries aren’t a concern, what should the Tennessee Titans expect from a 32-year-old Julio Jones in 2021?

What if Julio Jones stays healthy with Tennessee Titans?

Based on the 135 game career of Julio Jones, it is pretty easy to create a baseline of what to expect from the future Hall of Famer on a game-by-game basis.

There is an argument on how much of this translates to his future with the Tennessee Titans based on his projected volume in Nashville. So instead, of just using his game-by-game receiving numbers, this projection will be based on how effective he was per target.

Over the course of his career, Julio Jones has averaged 9.8 yards per target including a career-high 11.3 YPT in 2020.

If A.J. Brown’s workload stays the same and if Jones picks up the targets left behind by Corey Davis, then Julio Jones’s 2021 season should look like this:

Projected 2021 stat line for Julio Jones: 105 targets, 67 receptions, 1,030 yards, and 5 touchdowns

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That is a pretty conservative projection considering the attention that Julio Jones will be getting on defenses coupled with the fact that he is coming off of the best yards per target season of his career.

Another reason for optimism is that age (another fake concern brought up by many) shouldn’t hamper him at all. There have been four 32-year old Hall of Fame receivers since 2000: Isaac Bruce, Randy Moss, Marvin Harrison, and Terrell Owens.

The only one of those four to fail to top 1,000 yards as a 32-year old was Terrell Owens who was on pace for a 1,744-yard season if he didn’t miss 9 games with an injury.

To put a bow on it, if injuries don’t stop Julio Jones then be ready to see the Tennessee Titans with their first pair of 1,000-yard receivers since 2004 when the offense featured Drew Bennett and Derek Mason.