2011 NFL Draft: Cleveland Browns to Draft Julio Jones over A.J. Green?

Jim BerdyszCorrespondent IMarch 24, 2011

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 26:  Julio Jones #8 of the Alabama Crimson Tide crosses the goal line for a touchdown against the Auburn Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 26, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

With the 2011 NFL Draft just about one month away, it's time to really zone in on what the Cleveland Browns will do come April 28.

So far we know two things heading into the Draft: The Browns have the No. 6 overall pick, and at some point during the seven rounds they will take a quarterback. Other than that, everything else is simply speculation, smoke screens or interesting rumors that may or may not come about on Draft Night.

There has been one player, though, that has not only caught the attention of Browns fans, but of General Manager Tom Heckert and president Mike Holmgren as well, former Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green.

Green will soon become a hot commodity during the upcoming draft, as he is projected to go somewhere between the top 10 picks. What would the former Georgia Bulldog bring to the Browns? How about their first big receiving threat since (I guess you could say) Braylon Edwards. Let's just drop any Edwards comparisons for the time being though.

It would be hard for the Browns to pass up a potential Pro-Bowl type receiver like Green, knowing he would bring them another big offensive presence besides constantly relying on running back Peyton Hillis.

So the Browns have their guy in Green, who would be able to stretch the field for Colt McCoy, and create a quarterback/receiving combo that will be praised in the Dawg Pound for the next decade.

Let's start printing the playoff tickets off now, right? Well, not exactly. In fact, let me take add that drafting Green this April may not be in the Browns plans any longer.

Like any draft, there has been recent talk that the Browns may trade down from the sixth spot to add another potentially late first round pick as well. Does this mean they have already closed the door on the idea of drafting Green?

No, but the true outcome remains to be seen. With the Browns needing a playmaker on offense though, the idea of not taking a wide receiver could be devastating.

Enter former Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones, who is projected to go somewhere in the middle of the first round. Could Jones instead be the receiver the Browns are looking at if they want to trade down in the draft. It's definitely a big possibility.

While Jones is very similar to Green, is the former 2010 BCS Champion receiver better?

Let's breakdown both players:

A.J. Green

  • 22 year old junior
  • 6-foot-4, 215 lbs.
  • 57 rec. 848 yds. 9 TDs in 2010
  • Never went over 1,000 yds. receiving in his three year career
  • 2008 SEC Freshman of the Year
  • 2009 All-SEC First Team
  • 166 rec. 2,619 yds. 23 TDs in his college career

Julio Jones

  • 22 year old junior
  • 6-foot-4, 220 lbs.
  • 78 rec. 1,133 yds. 7 TDs in 2010
  • Went over 1,000 yds receiving once in his three year career (2010)
  • 2008 AP SEC Freshman of the Year
  • 2010 AP All-American Team
  • 179 rec. 2,653 yds. 15 TDs in his college career

While neither stud receiver holds a clear cut advantage over the other, Jones certainly looks like no downgrade over Green when it comes to overall performance over the last three seasons. The former Alabama Crimson Tide receiver also turned some heads at the 2011 NFL Combine a few weeks ago, posting a 40-time of 4.39 sec., (the third fastest among receivers) and recorded the best long jump as well at 11 feet 3 inches.

Jones could also be somewhat cheaper as well if the Browns do in fact trade down and take him in the middle of the first round.

As far as who would be interested in trading with the Browns to move up in the draft, teams like the San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins or Minnesota Vikings could all have some interest in moving up and switching spots with Cleveland.

It should be interesting to see how it all plays out fairly soon. One thing is for certain, there is a good chance fans will be seeing a Browns receiver sporting a No. 8 jersey come 2011. Whether it's either Green or Jones, no one is for sure yet, as both players wore No. 8 throughout their college careers.