I love the overall flexibility he exhibits; he contorts his long, lean body in all directions in order to come down with the football. It's rare to find a guy at this size who has the type of fluidity to cleanly get in and out of his breaks in the intermediate pass game and run the sharply breaking routes so crisply. Gets up to speed quickly off the line, can eat up the cushion quickly and looks comfortable sinking his hips and dropping his pad level in order to change directions and generate separation vs. man.
Has a long wingspan and uses his length well to make plays on the football, gives quarterbacks a huge area to throw at. Displays natural body control and agility after the catch and will work in the bubble screen game. Uses his length well to stiff-arm defenders, runs hard and has a bit of a competitive attitude to his game.
Displays great hands, consistently plucking the football away from his frame and rarely lets a throw get into his body on all areas of the field. Lacks elite straight-line speed, but runs well for his size, does a nice job changing speeds off the line, accelerating quickly and definitely has a second gear when tracking the football. Is an explosive leaper with good balance, times the football well in jump ball situations and looks like a power forward the way he goes up and attacks the throw.
Is always in position to redirect and make a play on the football and is the kind of athlete who doesn't need to be open in order for a quarterback to throw him the ball. Does a nice job setting up defenders off the line when asked to beat press coverage and has the lateral shiftiness to slip the bump cleanly and get into his routes. His concentration is second to none as he has the ability to remain focused through the play and is really fearless in the middle of the field when asked to open up his frame, take a hit and hang onto the throw.
Is a willing blocker on the outside who isn't dominant on contact, but is long armed and can steer opposing defenders initially away from the play. Missed the first four games of the season due to suspension for selling his game-worn bowl jersey for $1000.
Impression: A long, lean wideout with impressive body control, hand-eye coordination and overall feel for the game. Plus, he showcases rare fluidity as a route runner for a guy his size and despite not having elite top-end speed he accelerates well down the field and is a consistent vertical threat. The best wideout prospect to come along since Calvin Johnson and a real blue-chip wideout prospect in my view."
Hands: Unquestionably his best attribute. Long arms, big, soft hands and excellent body control to contort and make the highlight-reel catch, including seemingly impossible one-handed grabs. Rarely allows the ball into his pads, snatching the ball out of the air and securing it quickly when he is anticipating taking a bit hit. Has proven the ability to absorb a pop and maintain control.
Route Running: An underrated element of his game and a reason why Green appears better suited than most rookies to make an immediate impact in the NFL. Doesn't rely on his size and speed to generate separation from cornerbacks, though he's a terrific jump-ball threat and has the straight-line speed to work the deep part of the field in the NFL. Possesses surprising balance and burst out of his breaks considering his size. Plants his foot and can explode on the slant route, shielding defenders from the ball. Good hesitation and acceleration for double-move routes.
After the Catch: Possesses good vision and the lateral agility to cutback against the grain, though his long legs limit his shiftiness. Accelerates quickly and has the straight-line speed to ruin pursuit angles. Surprisingly strong runner. Fights through arm tackles.
Blocking: Looks to help out his teammates by securing blocks downfield, but has only marginal strength and physicality in this area.
Intangibles: Suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season for selling a jersey to an agent. Recipient of Neel Family Football Scholarship. Member of the Summer 2009 Honor Roll. Respected by teammates and coaching staff. Voted Team MVP following the 2010 season."
Agility: Very good agility, as expected. Shows good balance, lateral quickness and an innate ability to understand where and how to manipulate his body to make catches. Green will score very well in short-shuttle and 3-cone drills at the Combine and/or Pro Day.
Blocking: Green lacks the strength to be a dominant, Hines Ward-type blocker. He does have good size and length, though, and can mirror and block out defenders. Can improve in this area.
Hands: The one thing that stands out most about Green are his hands. At 6’4″, Green is blessed with long arms and big hands. Routinely makes one-handed catches in traffic. Great body control to put himself in position to make the impossible catches. Does not let the ball get in to his body. Great arm extension when making a catch. Appears to catch the majority of balls with his fingers and not his palms. Green is among the most sure-handed receivers ever scouted by our team.
Release: Very quick off the line of scrimmage. Great hand speed. Shows a consistent ability to knock away defenders hands when attempting to bump or press. Has a quick side/back step to avoid being jammed. Does a good job mixing up his method for beating press coverage, whether it is a hand slap or lateral move to avoid the defender. Accelerates well once free of the defender. Gets off the line very clean against press covers.
Route running: An underrated route runner by most standards. Has quick feet and does a nice job selling routes. Drops his hips to make sudden changes. Shows a good ability to plant and change direction. Unlike most big receivers, Green does not try to simply box out cornerbacks. Is a disciplined route runner. Very good burst in and out of breaks.
Size: Excellent size for an NFL wide receiver. Has the height, length and hand size every scout loves to see. Good muscle tone. Very lean and long.
Speed: Has the speed to separate from even the fastest cornerbacks. Not only does Green have great timed speed, his quickness on the field is exceptional.
Final word: Green may have missed seven games over the past two seasons, but he has left his mark on the record books at Georgia. Missing time due to injury and then a suspension would leave a negative mark on most scouting reports, but Green is simply too good to overlook or downgrade for minor issues.
Green’s combination of size and strength remind many, us included, of former Miami Hurricane Andre Johnson. Johnson was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. A.J. Green could hear his name called even earlier.
Few rookies will have the opportunity to contribute as quickly as Green, and perhaps no player in this draft is better suited to play in the NFL immediately."
Green is as talented as receivers come.
Green was rated as high as the #9 overall player in the nation as a high school football star at Summerville High School in South Carolina. He came in as a freshman already at 6’4 200 pounds, as NCAA coaches drooled over him. He had verbally committed to Georgia when he was a sophomore in high school, and had no problems following through.
Green started since 2008, having a fantastic freshman season, and making freshman All-American teams all over the nation. In 2009 he suffered a pulmonary contusion, knocking him out of the last three games. In 2010, Green was cited for selling his 2009 Independence Bowl jersey, which resulted in an NCAA suspension for the first four games of the season.
Green’s size is almost ideal for any NFL general manager and head coach. Any time you can get a tall receiver with soft hands, you know you’re in for a treat to watch on Sunday’s. Green has good speed, and runs his routes exceptionally well. He gets in and out of his cuts with ease, and is quite disciplined in his knowledge of the passing tree. His hands are his best asset as he doesn’t seem to drop anything. Green has excellent awareness, and body control. He knows where the first down is, where the sideline is, as well as the end zone. He has an excellent vertical, often out jumping most opponents, and using his physical play to make catches. Green doesn’t get bullied in press coverage, rarely getting jammed at the line, and using his physical play to his advantage.
While Green is an excellent overall wide receiver, he’s not extremely fast, and he lacks great acceleration. While he is a threat vertically, he won’t out run most NFL cornerbacks. He’s not going to make a ton of plays in the open field, as he’ll get caught by faster linebackers. While he’s not slow by any means, he isn’t going to run a sub 4.45 forty at the NFL Combine. He could put forth more effort in blocking down field, but he has the ability. He doesn’t seem to go 100% on every play that doesn’t directly involve him. Some minor character concerns may be brought up as he sold his own jersey, although that’s hardly a red flag.
There’s no reason that A.J. Green won’t be off the board in the Top 10. He very well could go #1 overall if Carolina chooses not to go the defensive route with Nick Fairley or Da’Quan Bowers. Carolina, Cincinnati, Cleveland, San Francisco, and Washington are the most likely teams in selecting him. Most likely Cincinnati will grab him at pick four, unless Bowers or Fairley falls, however. He’s a Top 5 talent, and a very special player.
NFL Comparison: Terrell Owens"
Negatives: Has a bit of a thin frame, would be to his advantage to gain 10-15 lbs. of bulk before post season workouts... Average route runner, rounds off some of his cuts... Can get lazy, doesn't always come back towards the football... Below average run blocker... Had a small shoulder injury in 2009... Was suspended for four games this year due to selling his jersey to someone who qualified as an agent."
In his first season at Athens, Green hauled in 56 passes for 963 yards and eight touchdowns. His numbers were not quite as impressive in 2009 without Matthew Stafford throwing the football to him, as he made 53 receptions for 808 yards and six scores. Green was suspended for the first four games this season due to selling a game-worn jersey, but in his first game back his first two catches of the season went for touchdowns against the Colorado Buffaloes, he was on a mission as he racked up seven catches, 119 yards, and two touchdowns. He also rushed one time for 40 yards.
Strengths: Green has elite body control, very good hands and consistently snatches the ball in the air; he will fight to catch passes at the highest point with defenders around. He played in a pro-style offense and was asked to run a complete route tree.
Weaknesses: One noticeable bad habit he has is chopping his feet before he cuts. Though he gives effort as a blocker he does not have the necessary use of leverage or strength to be effective. Occasionally he rounds of his routes and allows himself to be muscled.
Projection: Green is a top 5 pick unless he gets hurt or has a putrid combine, as future a professional he reminds me of a quicker version of Al Toon."
Green was suspended for the first four games this season due to selling a game-worn jersey, but in his first game back he promptly exploded for seven catches, 119 yards, and two touchdowns. He also rushed one time for 40 yards. Green is a playmaker who can do anything with the football. He is NFL-ready right now, and if he adds more muscle he could be a Pro Bowl performer sooner rather than later. He looks like the best receiver in the 2011 class assuming he comes out early, which he almost certainly will. Anything lower than a Top 5 overall selection in the upcoming draft would be a surprise."
Pros: At 6’4” and 200-plus pounds A.J. Green is about to enter his junior season as Georgia’s main offensive threat. Green is almost impossible to cover one-on-one as his short-area burst, height and leaping ability are simply too much for one defensive back to handle. Green might not have the elite top-end speed many are expecting him to have (4.3); it is clearly more than functional as we believe it to be in the 4.4-range. He shows exceptional ability at finding soft spots in zone coverage and even when he is engaged in tight coverage, Green’s impressive frame, leaping ability, aggressiveness and mid-air acrobatics allow him to come down with jump balls. A one-time state champ on the hardwood, this Bulldog knows how to box out defenders. Green’s extreme athleticism makes him perhaps college football’s most natural catcher of difficult passes since Calvin Johnson. In other words, Green’s window to catch the ball is huge. He isn’t just tall; he has spider-man-long arms and legs that give him an almost springy bounce to his run and seemingly endless reach. The junior wide out also has big, soft hands and is capable of making catches in stride and over his shoulder. He is difficult to jam at the line of scrimmage as his arms and quickness prevent opposing corners from getting their hands into his chest. Green also has great pro-style experience in terms of coaching, scheme and quarterback play. He can also make an impact on special teams, which he displayed last season by blocking a fourth quarter field goal attempt in a tie game.
Cons: The junior receiver is thin and will need to bulk up before he moves on to the NFL. Even at the college level Green hasn’t been much of a threat for yards after contact. Not only does Green lack the strength and bulk to break tackles, he often doesn’t try, instead choosing to slide to the turf or dart for the sideline. His lack of prototypical bulk (215-220 pounds for his frame) could also lead to durability concerns—the Bulldog pass catcher missed three games as a sophomore due to injury. Green missed one game after he suffered a bruised lung/injured rib and then two more with a shoulder injury to end the regular season before he returned for the Independence Bowl. At his current weight and strength Green will have a limited route tree in the NFL; it remains to be seen whether or not he can take the pounding associated with going over the middle.
Our View: Even the top defenses in the SEC (Florida, Alabama, Tennessee) weren’t able to slow down the South Carolina native, which is why he may be the most dangerous offensive weapon in college football heading into the 2010 season. While Green has to get stronger and heavier, he is still an elite prospect entering his junior season. Green has almost everything that scouts look for: height, hands, pro-style experience and athleticism. Few players in the NFL currently combine Green’s height and agility and as such he has the potential to develop into a scheme-busting #1 wide receiver. If Green continues to progress and has a productive, healthy junior season, he’s a lock for the top-15 in 2011 and could very well crack the top five. His numbers dipped slightly in 2009 (53 receptions, 808 yards, six touchdown receptions, 15.2 YPC)) from his true freshman season (56 receptions, 963 yards, eight touchdown receptions, 17.2 YPC) when Matthew Stafford was throwing him the pigskin. Whether or not the first team All-SEC performer contends for All-America honors and the Biletnikoff Award (he was one of ten semifinalists in 2009) will depend on the quarterback play at Georgia, which appears to be in flux heading into the 2010 campaign."
Speed: A long, loping gait gives Green above-average speed. His wheels are sufficient to create separation down the field against most cornerbacks, but it is worth watching whether consistently going up against Cornerbacks faster than himself will affect Green. Likely will run better than his 40 time indicates. 7.5
Jumping/Body Control: Very solid. Green shows the willingness and ability to go up for any ball remotely within his vicinity -- and more often than not, corral it, get to the ground within the boundaries and hold on. His leaping ability is superb and he will test very well in that regard. He has no trouble adjusting to a poorly thrown ball. 9
Hands: Sensational. He's shown an ability to come down with catches few have the ability to make. Green's hands allow QBs an added element, as the trust they have in his skills lead to a willingness to throw risky passes and know probability is on his side. An occasional lack of focus leads to drops but is not a major issue. 9.5
Route Running: Green's most oft-cited detraction. While he's an intelligent kid and a hard, willing worker, he carries a reputation as a player who's too talented for his own good and will occasionally improvise routes without the quarterback's prior knowledge. I will say that while watching Green, I found his routes to be well-run, but don't know what was going on in the huddle prior to playcalls. It seems like if this is an issue, it's one which will be less glaring at the NFL level. 7
Strength/Size: Green's as big as one can reasonably expect a receiver to be without assuming he's
A) Slow or
B) A generational talent.
He uses his size very well and passers are very aware of his prodigious frame when deciding whether to throw a questionable pass his way. He's a nightmare matchup for most teams, as a player who will draw many high passes and jump balls and thus requires a tall CB be draped on him at all times. Green has a little room for added bulk in his frame, as he's currently just a shade north of the threshold for "skinny." He doesn't use his bulk very well at this point, but hasn't necessarily needed to, relying mostly on elusiveness and speed after the catch. 9
Vision: Above-average. Green is akin to a running back in the open field and does a great job of anticipating defenders' tendencies and taking great angles to beat them. Does a fantastic job of staying inbounds when necessary and very rarely sacrifices yardage by going backwards. 8
Conclusion: Green is almost certainly a top-five pick if he declares for the 2011 draft -- something many analysts see as a foregone conclusion. He's absolutely loved at UGA, but can't gain much draft positioning by staying in school. He's been extremely productive at every point of his career, putting up historic numbers in High School and absolutely stellar stat lines in college. Green should be able to contribute in the NFL fairly quickly and projects to have a long career as a #1 receiver. He's currently the #1 receiver on my board, edging out Julio Jones.
I'm not a fan of comparisons and think in most cases, they're forced and don't fit well. However, the most natural comp for Green is Larry Fitzgerald."
He has exceptional body control and hand-eye coordination and is surprisingly crafty. He can step into a starting lineup and factor as a No. 1 receiver readily, capable of taking the top off a defense and creating big plays. He's a top-10 cinch."
Mind you, my admonition holds steady: There is NO Wide Out I would draft in the first 2 Rounds. But that doesn't change the fact that AJ Green is just an amazing Wide Receiver, and could have a spectacular career.
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