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NFL Draft Grades: Julio Jones's Price Too High For St. Louis Rams

The St. Louis Rams were connected to Julio Jones for most of the 2011 NFL Draft seasons, but as NFL Draft grades come out it's become clear that not everyone is happy that the Atlanta Falcons swooped in and actually drafted him. The Falcons not only raided this year's top draft picks, they did it next year, too—that's a bet on Julio Jones paying immediate dividends, in such a way that the Falcons won't be able to draft his equivalent in 2012. 

So if I were to grade the Rams' actual draft—Robert Quinn, Lance Kendricks, some 2012 picks—compared to the Julio Jones shadow-draft, I'd have to give the real Rams the benefit of the doubt here. Robert Quinn isn't going to put points on the board, but he'll help stabilize a defense that was often left on the field just a little too much to hold the offense's meager leads. 

Jones would have been great, but Quinn is great, and he came at no cost to the Rams' future draft picks. This kind of pick might have made sense for the Falcons, close as they are to a Super Bowl of their own, but I can't give it much more than a C+—it's a very risky bet.