Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman to the Pro Bowl


Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman will represent the 2015 Atlanta Falcons in the Pro Bowl in a few weeks. Well deserved for both outstanding Falcons’ playmakers.

The 2016 NFL Pro Bowl rosters were officially announced late Tuesday night and the Atlanta Falcons have two of its players on the team: wide receiver Julio Jones and running back Devonta Freeman. This is Jones’ third Pro Bowl selection and Freeman’s first.

While the Atlanta Falcons are likely going to the miss the NFC Playoffs for the third consecutive (they are still mathematically alive somehow), expect Atlanta to have a strong representation at this year’s Pro Bowl.

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Julio Jones has had a monster season as the Atlanta Falcons’ primary receiving target. He leads the NFL in receptions with 118. Jones has 1,544 yards receiving, seven touchdown catches, and averages 110.3 yards per game. While Atlanta has struggled at times on offense in 2015, Julio Jones has been a staple in the Falcons’ passing game as one of the NFL’s most complete wide receivers. He can do it all.

Devonta Freeman had a breakout season in his second year with the Atlanta Falcons. Freeman leads the league in rushing touchdowns with 10. He has rushed for 907 yards and has 543 receiving yards as a terrific all-purpose running back for the Atlanta Falcons. With two games left in 2015, expect Freeman to eclipse the 1,000 rushing yard threshold before the season ends.

Though Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman’s Pro Bowl nods are well deserved, there are two players on the Atlanta Falcons that may end up getting nods as alternates: fullback Patrick DiMarco and cornerback Desmond Trufant.

DiMarco is the Atlanta Falcons’ nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award and has played at an elite level at fullback. Though I respect the Mike Tolbert nod, as he is a great back for the Panthers, DiMarco could replace him at fullback at the Pro Bowl as the Carolina Panthers are gearing up for a Super Bowl run.

Trufant has elevated his play as a defensive back in his third year as a professional. While he doesn’t have the gaudy interceptions totals of some of his competitors at cornerback, his growing reputation as a shutdown cornerback could potentially get him into his first Pro Bowl possibly this season.

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At 7-7 the Atlanta Falcons already have to players going to the Pro Bowl and could have maybe two more should DiMarco and Trufant become alternates. I’d expect Atlanta to have three players make it to the Pro Bowl this season. Rise Up!