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NFL Draft 2011 Grades: Falcons' Julio Jones Trade A Controversial Pick

Time for the silliest and most essential exercise in all of sports prognostication: NFL Draft grades mere hours after the picks were handed in. All right!'s Brian Galliford grades each team, loving the picks made by the Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints, giving the Atlanta Falcons a B- due to the steep price paid for Julio Jones:

Atlanta traded up 21 spots, all the way to No. 6 overall, to select WR Julio Jones. It was a bold move that will make the Falcons' offense very difficult to defend. The price paid to move up (three picks this year, two next year, including a first-rounder) knocks this grade down just a touch.

CBS Sports' Pete Prisco hates the pick, giving Atlanta a C, which I think is NFL Draft grade for D-. On the plus side, he hates' New Orleans Mark Ingram pick too:

Wow. This is a big price to pay to get a receiver. It's a big gamble. He better be Larry Fitzgerald. Thomas Dimitroff is a bold GM. itself handed out a 8.4 grade, but that's without taking into account what was given up for Jones. According to that scale the team got one of the 10 or so best players in the draft.   

The Falcoholic has a poll up on the matter, with a surprising 28 percent "unequivocally" in support and 54 percent impressed by Jones but depressed by his cost. The rest are still sitting and staring into space. I do not blame them.

The second round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 6 p.m. (ET) on Friday, April 29, and SB Nation has everything you need to keep up with it: news, rumors, player profiles, scouting reports, the full NFL draft schedule, NFL mock drafts, draft projections and more. Check it all out at SB Nation's NFL Draft hub and our NFL Draft blog Mocking the Draft. For more Atlanta Falcons draft discussion, join The Falcoholic.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.