How Falcons GM (Correctly) Ignored Bill Belichick To Land Julio Jones

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Bill Belichick is one of the greatest coaches of all time, so when he speaks, you’d better listen.

But ironically enough, the Atlanta Falcons reached Super Bowl LI in part because their general manager ignored advice from the New England Patriots head coach.

Ahead of the Patriots’ and Falcons’ Super Bowl showdown on Feb. 5, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio dug up a scene from the 2011 NFL Draft, as related by Michael Holley in his 2011 book, “War Room.” Atlanta had the 27th overall selection in that draft, but GM Thomas Dimitroff made a bold move, giving up a host of picks to move up to No. 6 and select Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones.

According to Holley, Belichick, who employed Dimitroff for six seasons as his director of college scouting, advised his former pupil against the move. But Dimitroff spurned Belichick’s advice and traded up for Jones anyway.

“This may have been a once-in-a-career type move,” Dimitroff said in a 2013 interview with the Boston Globe, via PFT. “We felt that we were in the right place as an organization with the amount of veteran talent we had and the amount of youthful talent we had and the quarterback we had in place. It was a time that was right for us to get ourselves a very explosive player.”

Dimitroff’s decision clearly is paying off. The Falcons boasted the NFL’s best offense this season thanks in large part to Jones, who led the league with 100.6 receiving yards per game and arguably is the best receiver in football. Jones went off in the NFC Championship Game and will pose a serious problem for the Patriots and their secondary.

And it will be Belichick’s task to stop him.

Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images

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