The Bengals are in a flux in the wide out spot, with both Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens being free agents, and they addressed that need on Thursday night by taking the best wide out in the draft with Georgia wide out A.J. Green. The team likely will go with a QB sometime in the next 1-2 rounds.
Here’s our scouting report on Green:
Strengths: Has excellent height for the position. Played in a pro-style offense and was asked to run a complete route tree. Has very good hands and consistently snatches the ball in the air; will fight to catch passes at the highest point with defenders around. Not a long strider despite his long and rangy frame; releases off the line very quickly to close the cushion. Does a very good job selling his routes with his footwork and putting the defender where he wants him. Is extremely effective on play-action passes and can blow past cornerbacks who take their eyes off him for a brief second. Fearless and isn’t shy about contact when catching passes in traffic; will expose his body to make the play between the safety and cornerback. Can set a defender up by slowing down his release and then suddenly bursting inside to win leverage.
Shows surprisingly great short area quickness in his cuts for a tall receiver. Very good hand/eye coordination and adjusts quickly to throws low, high, away, and behind him. Runs hard after the catch. Knows when to help his quarterback on breakdowns in the playcall. Competitive and plays harder when challenged. Willing blocker in run support
Needs Improvement: Will get lazy in his route running. He’ll often tip the defender off on his break by chopping his feet before he cuts on his route. Though he plays physical he’s not very strong after the catch and won’t run through solid tackles. Has a very lean build and could use extra weight on his frame; can be re-routed by strong physical press corners. Doesn’t always seperate from quick cornerbacks and often makes plays with a man on his hip. Frequently pushes off on defenders with deeper routes if they stick close to him as he breaks on the ball. Can be thrown around in run support at times. Missed 4 games due to NCAA violations.
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Matt’s Take: The Bengals needed a playmaker at the wide out spot, he’s 6’4 and does a great job with all 211 pounds catching the ball away from his body. Cincy is in need of a fresh start on offense with so many question marks, this is a good pick for them, and while Green will have some growing pains, look for him to be a big play guy that will have a big second half of the year and then will be up and coming WR for years to come.