2011 NFL Draft: Possible Destinations for A.J. Green
With the NFL Draft rapidly approaching, several teams find themselves in need of a wide receiver. Those teams fortunate enough to have a Top 10 to 15 pick may have a shot at the best WR in the draft: A.J. Green.
Green, a former Georgia Bulldog, combines great height (6'4'') with great speed (4.38 40 yard dash time) and hands.
The teams outside the Top 15 would love to have a shot at Green, but a fall outside that range for Green would be scandalous.
This is a list of the top five possible destinations for A.J. Green.
5. St. Louis Rams
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The Rams have a relatively young receiving corps, but they would love to add a young talent like A.J. Green to grow along with Bradford. The pair could develop into quite possibly one of the deadliest QB/WR combinations in the NFL.
The Rams would be in heaven if Green fell to them, but it is rather unlikely he will still be on the board when the Rams pick 14th overall. If Green did fall to them, I'm sure they wouldn't have a second thought about drafting him.
4. Washington Redskins
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The Washington Redskins main focus may not be a wide receiver with their 10th overall pick, because their main problem is at quarterback. Donovan McNabb signed a monster deal with the Redskins prior to the 2010 season, but didn't perform anywhere near expectations.
It became clear in 2010 that Donovan McNabb isn't a spring chicken anymore, but neither is Redskins star WR Santana Moss.
Moss is also a free agent going into 2011, and the Redskins likely wouldn't feel safe relying on WR Anthony Armstrong, who had a breakout season in 2010, as their No. 1 guy.
The Redskins, like the Rams, would be thrilled if Green fell to them. Their need at WR may not seem as critical as some of the other teams need for a WR, especially with the Redskins more pressing needs at QB, CB, or on the offensive line.
But if Green fell to the Redskins at 10th overall, I'm sure the Redskins would use their pick on him.
3. Cleveland Browns
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Like the Rams, the Cleveland Browns seem to have found their quarterback of the future in Colt McCoy. McCoy may not be at the same level as Sam Bradford, but the Browns believe that they have found their man. Now, they must construct an offense around him.
The Browns top receivers in 2010 were Mohamed Massaquoi, Brian Robiskie and Joshua Cribbs. Their wide receiver corps is far from dazzling, but adding a star like A.J. Green would really help the Browns offense shine.
The Browns may have other concerns, but wide receiver is definitely their most critical need. If Green fell into their hands at sixth overall, the Browns would gladly draft him.
2. Cincinnati Bengals.
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The Cincinnati Bengals had an excellent receiving corps in 2010, but everything can change in a year. Terrell Owens is gone, and Chad Ochocinco is rumored to be in his way out, leaving the Bengals with WR Jordan Shipley, a rookie in 2010, as their top guy.
The Bengals will surely be looking for an upgrade at WR, and A.J. Green is exactly what they need. The Bengals may choose to draft a QB at fourth overall, but if they can straighten things out with QB Carson Palmer, they will be comfortable using the fourth pick on A.J. Green.
This pick is very likely, as the Bengals pick early and there may not be any teams with Green at the top of their boards ahead of the Bengals.
If the Bengals can add Green, they may be able to entice Palmer to stay in Cincinnati with the promise of a young, talented WR to throw to every week.
1. Carolina Panthers
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I am not buying this talk of Cam Newton going to the Carolina Panthers first overall. I think the Panthers hope that Jimmy Clausen will pan out.
Yes, he had a rough 2010, in fact rough may be an understatement. However, I think Clausen is the man in Carolina, but he will have some work to do to earn back the trust of Panthers' fans.
Steve Smith will be 32 years old by the time the 2011 season begins. 2010 was Smith's worst season since his rookie year, as he made only 46 catches for 554 yards and two, yes, two touchdowns.
To make matters worse, the Panthers really have no depth at WR behind Smith. The Panthers would do well to take A.J. Green with the first overall pick, if only to give Jimmy Clausen a good receiver to grow with.
Green to the Panthers makes great sense to me. The Panthers selecting Green certainly makes more sense than drafting Cam Newton.
Where Will He Land?
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Regardless of where A.J. Green lands, he will drastically improve that offense. Green reminds many of Calvin Johnson and Randy Moss, high compliments indeed.
Whether he lands in Cincinnati, catching passes from a veteran in Carson Palmer; or with the Panthers, growing along with another young player in Jimmy Clausen, Green will surely have an excellent career in the NFL.