How did we forget about Julio Jones?

If someone asked you, “Who is an influential black athlete in Atlanta?” you’d often hear Julio Jones. Recently, The Signal writer Julian Harden ranked the most impactful African American athletes in Atlanta sports history.

While I greatly enjoyed and agreed with most of the article, the author neglected to mention Atlanta Falcons superstar wide receiver Quintorris Lopez “Julio” Jones.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan explained to sports radio talk show host Jim Rome what makes Jones so special.

“He is the most physically gifted player I have ever been around. His size, his speed, his explosiveness — I’ve never been around anyone like that. And on top of that, he’s an unbelievable competitor,” Ryan said. “It’s been one of the honors of my career to be able to play with him as long as I have.”

Jones is the total package: physically dominant, workout warrior, hard-working talent. He not only deserved to make the list, but I personally think he is at least the third most impactful athlete in Atlanta sports history.

Julio Jones has the highest yards per game average of all time. In his nine seasons, Jones averaged 96.2 yards per game. That is nearly ten yards more than second place.

In 2015, Jones had 136 receptions and 1,871 yards, the second-most all-time.

In week four of the 2016 season, Jones caught 12 passes for 300 yards and one touchdown, making him the only sixth player ever to record a 300-yard game. He’s the only player with multiple 250-yard receiving games, and for the past four years, a panel of his peers voted him a top 10 player. He peaked at No. 3.

Future Hall of Famer and All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Jones is his favorite player to defend.

“It’s always a dog fight because of his physical attributes. But he’s also heady and [a] smart player. Very crafty. He’s a great guy off the field. I just enjoy the challenge of it. It’s just one of the great matchups that I’ve had,” he said.

Jones cemented his legacy as an Atlanta sports hero during the Falcons’ 2016 Super Bowl run. In the NFC Championship, Jones caught nine passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns.

Super Bowl 51 is known for the Falcons’ infamous collapse, but the seven-time Pro-Bowler made one of the most acrobatic plays in Super Bowl history. With five minutes left in the game, the Falcons held the ball and a small lead. Matt Ryan escaped the pressure and launched the ball to Jones; Jones fully extended his arm over Patriots’ defender Eric Rowe and dragged his toes on the sideline and made what was believed to be the game-winning catch.

Despite the Falcons’ loss, many believed the All-Pro receiver put the team in a great position to win the championship.

Hank Aaron rightfully ranks at the top of any Atlanta sports ranking. Evander Holyfield was born in Alabama, but he has called Atlanta home for decades and should have followed Aaron. Jones deserves to rank third. He already has an undeniable resume, but he is still active and playing like the best receiver in the league.