It isn’t very often that a receiver comes along that is as smooth, dynamic, and as long as A.J. Green. After coming to Georgia as a highly touted recruit, Green paired with 2009 1st Overall pick Matthew Stafford to form an electric 1-2 combination. The Bulldogs weren’t shy using him as a freshman as he was featured in the deep, vertical passing game, across the middle of the field, and working the sidelines beyond the sticks. Though he came to school a bit raw, Green has obviously worked hard to become a crisp route-runner. He’s developed moves to beat the jam and he shows the elusiveness after the catch needed to create big plays from next to nothing. He uses an incredible catching radius, soft hands, and deceptive speed to make plays down the field. He will more than likely will be gone amongst the draft’s first 4-6 picks with Cincinnati & Cleveland looming as two possible destinations.
Perhaps the most improved part of Green’s game throughout his college career has been his route-running ability. He came to Georgia primarily as a vertical threat and was very raw. Within a few short years, Green developed into a tremendous route-runner. He’s remarkably smooth and fluid in his movement for his size, sinking his hips in and out of cuts. He shows the ability to create separation on quick comeback routes, across the middle of the field, and down the seam. His ability to run a variety of crisp routes is rare for big receivers coming out of college and it will help him to make an instant impact at the next level.
If there is one attribute that stands out on film every time you watch A.J. Green, it is his hands. He plucks the ball out of the air effortlessly with big, soft hands and rarely will let a ball fall to the turf. He’s shown the ability to make some of the most spectacular catches it recent college football memory. His catching radius is unparalleled and simply put, if the ball is in his zip code, Green will come down with it. His concentration and body control have made him one of the most sure-handed receivers in college football the past three seasons. He’ll come down with highly contested balls in traffic and it is not out of the ordinary to see him pull down passes with one hand while shielding a defender with his body. Does a great job securing the ball when he goes to the ground and will hold on to the ball after taking a hit.
After the Catch
Green shows tremendous suddenness and explosiveness with the ball in his hands. He accelerates quickly and is very smooth through his cuts, allowing him to pick up extra yards after the catch. He has the speed to blow by stationary defenders and is very rarely caught from behind. In the open field he shows some wiggle, but his height makes him a little too leggy to be very elusive at the next level. When he gets moving at 210+ he can be very tough to bring down. As he continues to gain weight and build muscle, he’ll continue to improve his ability to break tackles.
It’s very rare for a receiver his size to have the kind of body control that Green possesses. He is clearly a phenomenal athlete with fantastic coordination. There is not a ball that he can’t make a play on due to his burst and reflexes. He’s not a true burner, but he accelerates quickly and creates separation down the field. Green is a terrific leaper and is a real weapon in jump-ball situations. In addition to football, he also ran track and played baseball in high school.
Blocking isn’t Green’s strong suit but he’s a willing blocker. He’s not afraid to mix it up with defenders but has a hard time sustaining blocks for long.
In college, Green gained experienced running a full route-tree in a pro-style offense. He ran routes from the outside and also worked a little bit from the slot. A.J. will fit in any NFL scheme, but will excel outside in a vertical passing attack. He is a rare downfield threat and will benefit from an offense that takes some shots. A team with a strong-armed Quarterback will be able to get the most out of Green; however, he realistically would make any type of passing attack stronger. He’s clearly a primary receiver prospect that could enter the elite tier in just a few short years.
Size, Speed, Strength & Agility
At 6’4″, Green has an ideal combination of height/weight for the position and knows how to use it. His speed is more than adequate and while he’s not the fastest WR in the draft, he’s a long strider with functional game speed.
There is not much of an injury history to comment on during Green’s career at Georgia. He came to Athens with a slight build but has added more than twenty pounds since stepping foot on campus. In 2009, he missed one game with a bruised chest and two games due to a shoulder injury. Luckily his knees, feet, and hands have remained very much intact. Green enters the NFL as a durable player with a very slight (yet existent) injury history.
Green served a four game suspension at the beginning of the 2010 season for selling a game-worn jersey of his. He expressed remorse for his decision and came back to give his team life in the highly competitive SEC. By all means, he should be considered a prospect with high character. There’s no diva in this highly-touted receiver and he appears to be a complete team player.
Throughout his athletic career, A.J. Green has been a tough player that will play through pain. He relishes contact and doesn’t shy from running routes through traffic. He runs hard with the ball in his hands and isn’t known to go down without a fight. He consistently secures the ball when going to the ground and will hold on even if he’s hit.
There is little doubt that A.J. Green has the ability to be a top tier receiver in the NFL. He has the ability to be an instant impact and quickly become the primary receiver for the team that drafts him. His rare blend of athletic ability, size, and polish will take him to multiple Pro Bowls in his NFL career. Green is the most highly touted receiver prospect since Calvin Johnson came out of Georgia Tech.
2010: 9 games played, 8 starts – 57 rec 848 yds 14.9 avg 9 Tds
2009: 10 games played, 8 starts – 53 rec 808 yds 15.2 6 Tds
2008: 13 games played, 11 starts – 56 rec 943 yds 17.2 avg 8 Tds
Housing major at Georgia.
Awards & Honors
2010: All-SEC 2nd Team. Biletnikoff Award Semi-finalist. Vince Dooley team MVP Award. Offensive MVP of Liberty Bowl.
2009: All-SEC 1st Team. Biletnikoff Award Semi-finalist. Team MVP Award.
2008: SEC Freshman of the Year (Coaches). All-SEC 1st Team (AP). Freshman All-SEC (Coaches). All-SEC 2nd Team (Coaches). All-Freshman 1st Team (College Football News, Phil Steele).
One of the most highly recruited high school football players in the country. Also ran track and played basketball in high school.
Nothing of note.
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Prospect Video Clips
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