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SPOT: Around the SPOT: PFS Panel on A.J. Green


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#1 OFFLINE   PFS Staff

PFS Staff
    • 241 posts

Posted 08 November 2013 - 04:52 PM

A.J. Green entered the NFL as one of the better receiver prospects to come along in a while. He has the ability to do everything: run by you, out jump you, and catch anything thrown close to him. Green didn't disappoint as a rookie catching over 1,000 yards and 7 touchdowns. In his second season Green had 1,350 yards to go along with 97 receptions and 11 touchdowns.

When teams play the Bengals now, Green almost always sees a double team the majority of the time. However, as many teams have learned, that isn't enough to stop Green. He can beat double and even at times beat triple teams. He has body control that at times doesn't even seem human, yet for Bengals fans it’s nothing new.

Green is widely seen as one of the best receivers in the NFL. How good is he though? Where does he rank as far as receivers in the NFL today? Where does he have the chance to rank on the all-time list when it’s all said and done?

Let us take a stroll to all of the Pro Football Spot panelists from around the league and see what they think.

PFS Chiefs Team Journalist William Watts

A.J. Green?

What can you say, the guy is like a football praying mantis. Limbs just coming from everywhere as he's snagging footballs out of the air--"The Green Mantis?"--Sounds about right. Green is 6'4" - 207 lbs of playmaker, he catches almost everything in his radius, he glides through the air with grace as he makes defenders look clumsy and unnatural every time he steps on the field.

It's almost unfair to allow him in the NFL with a QB that can chuck the ball like Andy Dalton. Dalton may be the worst QB in the world and you'd never know because he closes he eyes, heaves the ball and A.J. Green tracks it down with world class skill. After being drafted 4th overall in 2011, Green became the first rookie receiver since Anquan Boldin to become a Pro Bowl player. In 2012, he achieved All-Pro status and with 734 yards in eight games... it appears he is headed that direction again this season.

If you look at his history, A.J. Green has been a football monster since he was a freshman in High School. Green’s 5,365 career receiving yards and 279 career receptions ranked third and ninth respectively on the National Federation of High Schools’ football all-time career receiving records. At Georgia, Green was immediately a difference maker, he never scored less than six TD's in three seasons despite missing seven games due to injury and suspension. While in college he had seven 100+ yard games and four with two TD's (23 TD's total, coincidentally the same number he has in the pros in less than three seasons.)

A.J. Green is a phenomenal athlete that is a joy to watch play football. At any moment he is capable of bursting off the line and making a play that will leave you speechless while putting points on the Cincinnati Bengals scoreboard. He is the type of player that NFL defensive coordinators have to game plan around, they have to double team him on first down, they have to triple team him on third and long, they have to pray to the Football Gods if a pass is coming his way on fourth and long, because "Money" is the type of player that will make those catches against all odds, and make them look easy.

A.J. Green is one of the best players is the National Football League... and the scary part is... he hasn't even peaked yet.

PFS Colts Team Journalist Jake Arthur

A.J. Green is the rare wide receiver who is picked with one of the top spots in the draft with mega-hype around him and lives up to it. When I first started paying attention to him during the pre-draft process, I thought, "Yeah he'll probably start to do really well in a couple years."

He had a slender frame and for some reason I always figure those guys have to bulk up first to be great. Boy, was I wrong.

If I would have dug a little deeper, I would have seen a guy with body control similar to Derrick Rose of the NBA's Chicago Bulls (different sports, I know). Now, every time I watch him play, he is doing something ridiculous (that includes when he played my Colts during his rookie year in 2011).

To be at the level he is in only his third year is something extremely rare. He's got all of the physical tools and a good head on his shoulders to continue building on his elite status as a wide receiver. To think that this guy has only scratched the surface and isn't even into the meat of his prime yet is scary. I can only imagine what his statistics would be like if he had an elite QB or a QB with better arm strength than Andy Dalton throwing to him.

PFS Texans Team Journalist Ben Layman

A.J. Green is one of the true elite number one receivers in the NFL. He defies X's and O's, unlike most at his position. You can't really gameplan to stop him. Andy Dalton and the Bengals have depended on his ridiculous catching radius to anchor their passing offense, and I don't believe this team is anywhere close to first place in the AFC North without him.

Looking at the top receivers in the league, I believe there is a clear cut Top 7 at the position. A.J. Green is among this group.

Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas and Julio Jones join him.

Where Green falls on this list is certainly up for debate. All of these Top 7 of these receivers are capable of taking over a game and carry their offense single-handedly. These players are why we watch on Sundays and prove why the passing game rules in the NFL.

PFS Patriots Team Journalist Charles Toomajian III

If A.J. Green's only skill was running in a straight line and jumping over a defender to grab a long ball, he'd be one of the best wide receivers in the league. He's that good at it. The list of his peers in that category at the wide receiver position reads like this:

1. Calvin Johnson.

That's the list.

Fortunately for fans of the NFL, that's not all that A.J. Green can do. His Gorilla Glue-like hands are beyond reproach; anything that he touches, he catches. While not yet excellent by any stretch of the imagination, he's a much better route runner than he is given credit for. Couple those attributes with his ability to make more defenders miss him after the catch than a 6'4" receiver has any right to be able to do, and we're looking at one of the most terrifying talents in the league.

The biggest knock that a casual viewer has on A.J. Green is that he looks like he's built like a string bean. At his height and only weighing 207 pounds, one could be forgiven for thinking of Green as being in the same mold as someone like Kevin Durant, who has to rely on his immense skill to overcome his frail physicality. But consider this: of the 46 receivers in his draft class who worked out at the combine, only ten put up more repetitions on the bench press. The 220-pound physical specimen of a wideout that Green is forever being compared with, Julio Jones, was not one of those ten.

Make no mistake about it, A.J. Green is an absolute beast, and at only 25 years of age, he's here to stay.

PFS Broncos Team Journalist Lucas Polglaze

I knew A.J. Green would be an NFL star when I saw what he did to my Colorado Buffaloes.

It was 2010. CU, in their last season under Dan Hawkins, was an over-achieving 2-1 when Georgia came to Boulder. At the time, I knew that their star receiver, A.J. Green, would be returning from a four-game suspension. I then watched in horror as he (alongside future NFL players Orson Charles, Tavarres King and Marlon Brown) and Georgia put up a 24-14 lead.

Green's stat line against stud college corners future NFL 1st round pick (Ravens) Jimmy Smith and 3rd round pick (Chiefs, now with Colts) Jalil Brown? 7 catches, 119 yards, 2 TDs. One run, 40 yards. Oh, and did I mention he sat out most of the second half with cramps and altitude-related problems?

As an aside, the Buffs won that game and then promptly lost the next five (screw you, Dan Hawkins!).

After seeing that, I knew A.J. Green would be an NFL star with his all-time great potential. And when he was drafted by the Bengals at #4 overall, I knew he'd have a good shot.

He is averaging 15.1 yards per touch this year, best in the NFL. He leads the NFL also in receptions and yards from scrimmage (already just 138 yards from a 1,000 yard season). He is second in career receiving yards per game (81.7, second only to Megatron with 87.4). And, he made the Pro Bowl in his rookie and second year. I fully expect him to do the same again this year.

PFS Jets Team Journalist Jonathan Machlin

I'm a firm believer that statistical success as a rookie is an indicator of solid play for a very long time. There is no denying that AJ Green is one of the best receivers in football. He reminds me of a young Larry Fitzgerald, Pro Bowls with Josh McCown, Matt Leinart and the post-Giants/pre-2007 Kurt Warner throwing him the ball.

Andy Dalton is a good QB, but Green clearly raises the level of his QB's play - as well as the play of those around him.

Green will be a dominant WR in the NFL for years to come - he may even surpass Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald's receiving records eventually.

PFS Bengals Team Journalist Simon Greene

There was a lot of concern surrounding AJ Green over the season. After going for 162 yards and two touchdowns on nine targets in the opening game against the Chicago Bears, Green only averaged 49.8 yards and 0.25 touchdowns over the next four games. During this time there was widespread worry spreading through media and fans alike. The concern was not with Green but whether or not quarterback Andy Dalton was still capable of hitting AJ Green now that the defenses were finally working out a way of limiting him. This, of course led to further questions on whether or not AJ Green would pack up his talents and take them elsewhere once he reached the end of his rookie contract after the 2014 season.

Things have turned. No matter what you do with AJ Green when it comes to covering him, he will always find a way to get the ball in his hands and because of this, he has averaged 125.3 yards over the last four games (a staggering 19.3 yards per catch) and looks set to continue this trend for the foreseeable future. There is always the worry that once Andy Dalton regresses once again later in the season, green will take a hit once more, but we saw on Thursday that even though he didn't manage to throw a single touchdown and three interceptions, Green still came away with a team high 11 catches for 128 yards.

Fair enough, he has had issues with his route running during the season and the fact that he is not completely exact on them has meant that Dalton has missed on a lot of targets but considering he is leading the league in yards per catch at 15.1, I think we can let this one flaw slide. He is only human after all.

In only his third year as a receiver, he has shown that he can easily surpass every expectation that has been made for his career. Without a doubt the number two receiver in the league right now and given his improvement as his career progresses, he could soon be number one.

Blake Meek - Conclusion

Everyone knows that A.J. Green is a very good wide receiver, but if you have never watched him play you don't realize just how good he is. Green would have probably 10 more touchdowns already in his career if he had a quarterback who could throw the deep ball, which is one place Andy Dalton has really struggled. Green has the ability to run by people, out jump people and just beat you in every way imaginable. Others have already talked about the great stats Green has put up this year and in his career, but he has done it despite having a quarterback who cant throw deep very well which makes it even more impressive.

When the Bengals called his name I'll admit that I wasn't sure if picking a receiver with the 4th pick in the draft was the right way to build a team, but I'm sure glad someone else made that decision. Green is easily the best offensive player on the Bengals and strikes fear in cornerbacks and defensive coordinators league wide. He is a guy you have to specifically game plan to stop and then hope that by some miracle you can contain him. I can remember a specific play against the Pittsburgh Steelers where he out jumps two players in the endzone who were positioned in front of him for a touchdown catch, one of those players being Troy Polamalu. Not many receivers in the NFL can do that.

Dalton has looked better this season, but some of that has to be attributed to Green. He makes catches on throws that most receivers would let fall incomplete and raises Dalton's completion percentage and touchdown rate on regular a game-by-game basis. If I could pick any receiver in the NFL to be on my team, the only receiver I would think about taking over A.J. Green is Calvin Johnson. That is how good Green is.

Take a look:


Thank you for joining us for Around the SPOT! A big PFS thanks goes out to A.J. Green for being one of the NFL's most outstanding receivers. Stay tuned for future editions of ATS featuring: Calvin Johnson, Russell Wilson, LeSean McCoy, Drew Brees, players that should be in the Hall of Fame, Roger Goodell evaluation and potential rule changes.

Follow A.J. Green @ajgreen_18
Follow Pro Football Spot @pfspot

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#2 OFFLINE   Seth Keysor

Seth Keysor
    • 2,028 posts

Posted 08 November 2013 - 04:53 PM

Green is the type of receiver I used to create on Madden.  He's a human cheat code.  I believe, like Chuck said, that when it comes to the deep ball there's him and Calvin Johnson, then everyone else.


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I has a Twitter @RealMNchiefsfan. Sometimes I say the darndest things

#3 OFFLINE   William Watts

William Watts
    • 1,987 posts

Posted 08 November 2013 - 05:18 PM

If you get a chance to watch this E:60 on AJ Green it's pretty good...


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#4 OFFLINE   Chris Schad

Chris Schad
    • 761 posts

Posted 08 November 2013 - 06:22 PM

You think about the offseason before Green was drafted and the Bengals had the mouthiest guy you can imagine representing their organization in Chad OchoJohnson (although he did a lot of cool things with his fans...) to Green.

 

I didn't know much about Green off the field prior to watching that video, but he's clearly somebody to cheer for. A cool story, and an absolute beast of a football player.


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#5 OFFLINE   William Watts

William Watts
    • 1,987 posts

Posted 08 November 2013 - 07:32 PM

You think about the offseason before Green was drafted and the Bengals had the mouthiest guy you can imagine representing their organization in Chad OchoJohnson (although he did a lot of cool things with his fans...) to Green.

I didn't know much about Green off the field prior to watching that video, but he's clearly somebody to cheer for. A cool story, and an absolute beast of a football player.


The video is definitely worth the view, might even make the article more interesting for a second read.

Sad story

#6 OFFLINE   Caleb Abner

Caleb Abner
    • 21 posts

Posted 09 November 2013 - 09:02 PM

Where does everybody think Dez Bryant ranks in relationship to Green? In my eyes, Green is probably more consistent, but there's something about Bryant that makes me feel like he could be even better than Green, if he puts it all together.



#7 OFFLINE   Vance Meek

Vance Meek
    • 191 posts

Posted 10 November 2013 - 01:04 AM

I've got Calvin Johnson, AJ Green, Dez Bryant as my top 3 in that order. Watching AJ Green on a weekly basis is an absolute joy.


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The man, the myth, the, well, legend might be a little much.
Follow me @vancemeek on Twitter, where I do plenty of pontificating, prognosticating, and 'pinionating.
Bengals writer, draft analyst, and general NFL blogger at http://www.blogger.c...177660#allposts

#8 OFFLINE   Paul Donnelly

Paul Donnelly
    • 1 posts

Posted 12 November 2013 - 09:37 AM

AJ Green is a great football player, worthy of comparison with Megatron. It's a major concern that his career could go the way of Larry Fitzgerald - great receivers working with make-do quarterbacks. Andy Dalton needs to step it up for the Bengals to take advantage of a really open AFC North.



#9 OFFLINE   MrWhippy87

MrWhippy87
    • 4 posts

Posted 16 November 2013 - 05:36 PM

Superb video, seems like a right down to earth person, I'm just getting into american football (I'm from Scotland) and have chosen the bengals as my team to follow and glad I did with a WR like green on the team. :-)
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#10 OFFLINE   William Watts

William Watts
    • 1,987 posts

Posted 17 November 2013 - 05:23 AM

Superb video, seems like a right down to earth person, I'm just getting into american football (I'm from Scotland) and have chosen the bengals as my team to follow and glad I did with a WR like green on the team. :-)

 

That's cool that you are from Scotland and are getting into the NFL. It's a great sport.

 

And A.J. Green is an exceptional athlete to be a fan of.

 

Welcome to PFS!



#11 OFFLINE   MrWhippy87

MrWhippy87
    • 4 posts

Posted 17 November 2013 - 12:10 PM

That's cool that you are from Scotland and are getting into the NFL. It's a great sport.

And A.J. Green is an exceptional athlete to be a fan of.

Welcome to PFS!


Yeah it's good, they have started to show more games over here which is a good, just hard staying up till 4am with work the next day, haha.

There was a programme on tv over here and it was following the Bengals through per season and then cutting people, was really good so guess that's why I decided to follow them, also bought madden for the Xbox and Dalton is ace in it so that helps, haha.

Just so much to learn about the game. So much more technical than people imagine it to be.
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