Going back to the beginning of last offseason, NFL Media's Gil Brandt, vice president of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys dynasty of the 1970s, opined that Julio Jones had a slight edge on Calvin Johnson as the NFL's premier wide receiver.
Needless to say, it was a controversial stance.
To the surprise of no one who understands how high-level professional athletes are wired, Jones agrees with Brandt's assessment.
"I feel like I am the best receiver in the league," Jones recently told Pete Prisco of CBS Sports. "Every receiver should feel that he's the best. It's all about confidence. You should never put another man in front of you and say he's better than you.
"I never compare myself to him (Johnson). When I was coming out of college, they used to talk about me and A.J. (Green). We're two different receivers. He's good at what he does, and I am good at what I do. Like the LeBron (James) and Michael Jordan thing. You can't compare the two."
From a statistical standpoint, Johnson wins in a landslide. If the Falcons' spread-the-wealth aerial attack is factored in, though, Jones narrows the gap. He's unquestionably the engine that makes Atlanta's offense go.
When Roddy White was dealing with a nagging high-ankle sprain early last season, Jones was on pace for a league-leading 131 receptions and 1,850 yards before foot surgery shut down his run at a historical campaign.
"There's a handful of people on this planet," quarterback Matt Ryan told Prisco, "capable of doing some of the things (Jones) is capable of doing."
Now that future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez has retired, Jones should pick up where he left off early last October.
One of the rare receivers capable of producing week in and week out as the focus of the opposing defense's game plan, Jones insists there is "no one, period" who can cover him one-on-one.