When wide receivers are the topic of conversation and bragging rights, you can’t forget about A.J. Green. The Bengals’ receiver is one of the best.
When wide receivers are the topic of discussion, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype. But, when it comes down to being honored and revered for more than sheer style or notoriety, A.J. Green is it. Green has done what has become an annual rite of passage for him. Once again, his peers have selected him as one of the NFL’s top 100 players.
For six straight years, Green has been a fixture on the list. If you have no clue to the details, each season NFL Network compiles a list of the league’s top 100 players. Both offense and defense are represented, of course. But, the honorees aren’t selected by analysts and football pundits with smug attitudes. The votes and comments are all turned in from players around the league.
Being a finalist in this group of top warriors is always a great tribute from the men you toil against on a weekly basis. Green has made it a habit that Bengals fans expect to happen. But, the eye-opening aspect of this year’s rankings is Green’s placement. He chimed in at the No. 17 spot.
This isn’t Green’s highest ranking on the yearly list. In 2016 and 2013, he was ranked 16th. In 2014, he was picked to grace the number nine spot.
Limited Bengals Honors
Green’s appearance on the list is only the second showing for the Bengals. Who was the other Orange and Black clad gridiron menace? The friendly, quarterback-hungry Geno Atkins. He made the list at No. 68.
Seeing that the Bengals had just two players in the top 100, Green’s ranking was a relief. Looking at the spots moving towards the top with no mention of Cincinnati after Atkins was…scary. Does that mean a lack of respect for the Bengals or just the product of a surprising year? Either way, Green’s appearance is a sign that the offense should be respected and feared in 2017.
With 14 wide receivers in the Top 100, Green made it to the top of the heap. Additionally, Green is part of an elite group. He joins Cam Newton, Von Miller and Patrick Peterson as the only four recruits from the 2011 draft class to make the list each year. If you’re not impressed, I am. Geez.
Green was in a position to do something else last season. If he could have posted another 1,000-yard receiving year, he would have joined Randy Moss as the only other player to do it six straight years. But, a hamstring injury ended his playing time early.
It may not have happened the way Bengals fans wanted but Green may be saving the best for this season. He’s healthy and looking even faster before training camp. But, could Green be the first receiver to break the 2,000-yard barrier? Calvin Johnson has come the closest, with three others running a close second.