Julio Jones vs AJ Green: Which Rookie Wideout Is Making the Bigger Impact?

Kraig LundbergAnalyst IIIOctober 9, 2011

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 25:  A.J. Green #18 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball after making a catch against the San Francisco 49ers at Paul Brown Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Going into the 2011 NFL draft, there was a lot of controversy about whether Georgia's A.J. Green or Alabama's Julio Jones would be the better NFL receiver.

Fast forward to Week 5 of the 2011 season, and we have ourselves a pretty tight contest.

Green, who was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals, has caught 24 passes for 402 yards and three touchdowns.

Jones was thought so highly of by the Atlanta Falcons that they essentially traded their souls to move up to sixth and draft him. Not including the stats he accumulates against the Green Bay Packers tonight (he currently has two catches for 29 yards as of 9:40 p.m.), Jones has 24 catches for 342 yards and no touchdowns.

Green currently has the better stats, but to truly gauge the impact of these to players, we have to consider their supporting casts as well.

Green has rookie Andy Dalton throwing to him, while Jones has veteran Matt Ryan slinging passes his way. In addition, the Bengals don't have a lot at receiver outside of Green, but tight end Jermaine Gresham has been enjoying a breakout season. Meanwhile, Jones was brought in to supplement a strong attack led by top receiver Roddy White and aging star tight end Tony Gonzalez.

While one could actually argue Jones' statistics are just as impressive considering the wealth of options Matt Ryan has compared to Dalton, at this point I have to say Green has had the bigger impact.

Both of these receivers look like they'll be top-notch NFL wideouts, but assuming the Cincinnati Bengals actually had to think about which one they were going to take, A.J. Green seems to be the right decision.