Week in Review Stripe Hype Player Profile: A.J. Green
Before his collegiate career ever began A.J. Green made himself known to the world by becoming a YouTube phenomenon by making an acrobatic one-handed leaping catch in high school. The pass was thrown far behind him and was one that 99% of receivers would’ve only watched soar pass them. Green did what he eventually continued doing through his college career and located the ball, went airborne and snagged it like a dog snatches a frisbee.
Green had a spectacular college career at the University of Georgia. In three seasons (his last seasoned shortened by a four game suspension) he totaled 166 receptions for 2,619 yards and 23 touchdowns. Yet, even more telling is the footage of Green’s collegiate career in which he revealed his absolutely monstrous abilities.
A.J. Green is primed to be a Hall of Fame receiver in the mold of Randy Moss. Although, to avoid getting ahead of myself, I will proclaim that this is not a prediction. But, Green has all the talent to achieve such a feat. Watching him on tape, you can clearly see his straight line speed, his quickness off the line and his polished route-running. While Green has the ability to get behind the coverage and burn defenders on deep routes, his experience with hand-eye coordination his his biggest asset.
Green is on the same tier as Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson when it comes to catching jump balls. He can change his direction, locate any ball thrown his way and out-jump any defender to catch the ball. He has been juggling since he was in grade school and it would seem apparent that this has helped him catch just about anything thrown his way.
In 2011 A.J. Green broke onto the NFL scene in a big way. His first career reception was for a 41-yard touchdown against AFC North division rival Cleveland Browns. Although that was his only catch of his first NFL game, in his next game he had 10 catches for 124 yards and a touchdown. Green ended the season with 65 receptions (2 shy of record holder Chris Collinsworth for Bengals receptions by a rookie), 1,057 (Bengals rookie record) & 7 TDs.
A.J. Green can catch the ball in traffic, make defenders miss and gain YAC (yards-after-catch), catch balls thrown to the wrong shoulder, stop and locate under thrown balls and leap to catch over thrown passes. This list of skills makes him a MVP-type athlete to any team and a serious threat to any defense. I see him being a perennial All-Pro NFL player for years to come.
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