With the Super Bowl here and the Falcons playing, it’s a good time to remember an interesting passage in Michael Holley’s book War Room, which focused on Bill Belichick in New England, Thomas Dimitroff in Atlanta and Scott Pioli in Kansas City.
I read the book because of Pioli but I was reminded of this passage by our friends over at Pats Pulpit. Belichick told Dimitroff he shouldn’t do the Julio Jones trade in 2011 and draft someone like Jon Baldwin at the bottom of the first instead.
“After some general draft conversation, Dimitroff and Belichick get into the specifics of the Falcons-Browns trade,” Holley writes.
“‘Thomas, I’m just telling you as a friend,’ Belichick says, ‘I wouldn’t do it.’
“Belichick has a couple good reasons for his analysis and he’s willing to share. He often says that the primary job of a receiver is to simply get open and catch the ball, and he doesn’t like what he sees from Jones in either department. He thinks the receiver struggles to get open on intermediate routes, doesn’t play as fast as his superb timed speed suggests, and too often displays inconsistent hands. There’s also the issue of value. When Belichick began studying the 2011 draft, he saw great depth at the receiver position. Why go all-out for someone like Jones when you can likely have a Jonathan Baldwin, who, as far as Belichick can see, is just as good if not better than Jones? If Belichick wanted even more insight on Jones, he could always ask the receiver’s head coach, Nick Saban, the two-time national championship winner who was Belichick’s first defensive coordinator in Cleveland. But Belichick had seen enough on his own without going to Saban for an additional report.”
You know how this one ends. The Falcons did move up for him and Jones is a star, one of the 2-3 best receivers in football. The Chiefs drafted Jon Baldwin and he didn’t make it to the Andy Reid era in 2013. The Patriots ... they ended up doing OK.