Release from the Atlanta Falcons:
The NFL today announced hat running back Devonta Freeman and wide receiver Julio Jones have been named to the 2016 Pro Bowl roster.
Freeman earned his first Pro Bowl selection in his first year as a starter and his second year in the NFL. He is the first Falcons running back since Michael Turner in 2010 to be named to the Pro Bowl. The 23-year old running back from Florida State burst onto the scene early during the 2015 campaign, catching everyone outside of the Falcons organization by surprise. In Week 5 versus Washington, Freeman became the first player with eight or more rushing touchdowns in a team’s first five games of a season since LaDainian Tomlinson (9) and Shaun Alexander (8) in 2005. After only rushing for 248 yards all last season, Freeman has more than tripled that amount and has rushed for 907 yards, which is seventh-best mark in the League; also, his 10 rushing touchdowns are tied for a League lead through 14 games.
Freeman has tallied 27 rushes of 10-or-more yards, which is tied for the fourth-best total in the League, according to Stats LLC. The Miami native has also recorded a combined 1,450 rushing and receiving yards, which is the fifth-best mark in the NFL, and he also leads the NFL with 73 total first downs. Freeman has added 68 receptions, which is the second-best mark in the NFL among running backs. That catch total also ties him for the second-best single season receiving total by a running back in franchise history. His 543 receiving yards rank third in the League among running backs this season.
Jones, the fifth-year veteran, has earned his second consecutive Pro Bowl selection, and the third of his career. Jones started off the 2015 season on a mission to prove he is the top receiver in the League by breaking several receiving records, including posting 440 receiving yards through the first three games of 2015, which was the most receiving yards through the first three games in Falcons history. He also recorded 34 receptions through the first three games in 2015, which was the most in NFL history through three games, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Additionally, his 80 receptions during the first nine weeks of the season were the most in NFL history through a team’s first nine games of a season.
Jones currently ranks first in receptions (118) and second in receiving yards (1,544). He is also ranked first in targets and first down receptions. On Jones’ seventh reception of the game in Week 15 versus the Jacksonville Jaguars, he broke the franchise record for most receptions in a single season (115). According to Stats LLC, Jones is one of 14 players to catch 117-or-more passes in a single season. Finally, this is the second time Jones has recorded at least 100 receptions in a season – back-to-back years, and he is also one of two players in team history with two 100 reception seasons.