From General Manager Idaho Nate: We are thrilled to get AJ Green at #12! We felt Green was the best WR in the draft and he was #1 on our board. We think that Colt McCoy has a very bright future in the NFL and we knew we needed to provide Colt with a dangerous playmaker on the outside. AJ Green definately fits that bill. Our scouting report on Green:
"Green has been a dominant player in the Southeastern Conference since his Freshman season. Despite being suspended for the first 4 games this year due to selling his game worn jersey - he still had the most receptions and touchdowns receptions of his 3 year career.
So, it's no wonder or that farfetch'd to think that he could be the best overall player in this draft and could go as high as number one overall, proving how huge of an impact he can have in the NFL.
Green shows the willingness and ability to go in the middle of the field and take contact to secure the catch for his team. He is a good student who shows excellent football smarts and understands coverages to get open. He will work downfield to make key blocks for his teammates.
He has been used on end arounds with some success, and while he has not been used in the return game (only 2 punt returns to his name) he is a player that will do what he has to do to help his team - even blocking a field goal in 2009. Comes up with big catches in big moments and is truly a clutch player. He has had some injuries - chest, shoulder - but has played through pain and is a competitor. He will take the big hit and still make the catch.
AJ Green is an extremely advanced route runner who looks like a natural and will set defenders up with head and shoulder fakes and leave them grasping for air. Drops hips in and out of breaks and makes it look like an art form at times. He locates the soft spot in the coverage and presents a large target for his Quarterback. He is difficult to jam at the line due to long arms and strength as well as quick feet.
Green does an excellent job of adjusting to the ball while it is in the air and can make some spectacular catches. He has big, strong, soft hands and uses them to catch the ball away from his body, instead of letting it into his pads with the potential to bounce out. However, he can lose focus at times and will drop the occasional pass, but then will go out and make an amazing twisting one handed catch. He's not the quickest player, but more than adequate and even above average, off the line.
An excellent route runner who has above average hands, Green has all the tools to be an immediate contributor from Day 1 for an NFL team. The only knocks I can honestly say I have with him are a lack of elite level quickness (expected due to his size), elite top end speed - although he is above average in this regard, and the occasional lack of focus and concentration in regards to catching the football."
GM Commentary on Trade: With the #6 pick in the draft and with Green and Julio Jones as my #1 target, I had a goo d feeling I could get one of the two if I traded down to 12. When the Bengals did not select a WR it was a no brainer to trade down and aquire more picks. I thought I would have to settle with Jones who is a fantastic reciever as well, but to have Green drop to #12 where I would have selected him at #6 is a major victory. I traded my 3rd rounder for Minnesota's second rounder and gained a 5th rounder as well. We feel like we got a potential Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson type of player and have no doubts this will elevate Colt's game!