A.J. Green could be No. 1 overall pick in NFL draft

A.J. Green could be Georgia's second No. 1 overall NFL draft pick in the last three years, joining Matthew Stanford.

A.J. Green could be Georgia's second No. 1 overall NFL draft pick in the last three years, joining Matthew Stanford.

With Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck announcing that he’s returning to school for another season, there’s only one question:  Does A.J. Green send him a thank you note?

If Green says he’s coming back to Georgia, it would be even more stunning than Luck’s decision. I follow this general rule: When a college player sells his Independence Bowl jersey for $1,000, he’s ready to make money.

By Luck staying in school, Green could be the first overall pick. That would give Georgia two first overall selections in the last three years (Matthew Stafford went No. 1 to Detroit in 2008.) It would be a nice honor for the school but there also could be a sense of, “Why didn’t we do more with them?”

Green is considered a lock top-five selection. ESPN’s Mel Kiper ranked Green as the fourth best prospect on his current “Big Board” (requires Insider subscription), behind Luck, Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers and Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley.

With no other quarterback worthy of being drafted first overall, there’s no obvious No. 1 pick. But several mock drafts already have Green slotted in the No. 1 spot and going to the Carolina Panthers. Excerpts from a couple of them:

The Orlando Sentinel: “Carolina has got to be upset that Andrew Luck, who was a lock here, is returning to Stanford. They could go with a defensive lineman here, but they are hurting bad at wide receiver and may take Green as an athletic, flashy pick to try and help Jimmy Clausen and pacify a restless fan base.”

NFL Fanhouse: “So Andrew Luck won’t be the QB in Carolina next season. It’s a bad development for the Panthers, obviously, but what can you do? In this case, Carolina will either ride Jimmy Clausen or add a veteran QB (Vince Young? Donovan McNabb?) — either way, the Panthers need to give that quarterback some weapons. Green is an absolute stud.

Based on recent first overall picks and inflation, Luck left potentially $55 million of guaranteed salary on the table (pending changes in the next CBA that could cap rookie salaries). Two years ago, Stafford signed a contract worth up to $78 million, with $41.7 million guaranteed.

Maybe he and Green can build a library on campus or something.

– By Jeff Schultz


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698 comments Add your comment

Outside Observer

January 7th, 2011
9:23 am

I thought Green should go regardless before. With a shot at the #1 spot now possible, he would be crazy not to go.

Aye Jay

January 7th, 2011
9:24 am

i’d go, that $1000 is probably wearing thin…

Lady C

January 7th, 2011
9:26 am

DawginLex

January 7th, 2011
9:26 am

Yeah, especially since he had to pay it back………….

Lady C

January 7th, 2011
9:26 am

crap! oh well, Green would be a fool not to enter the draft

Reeves

January 7th, 2011
9:31 am

I’m just curious if the Ohio State players will all honor their commitment to return next season.

duh

January 7th, 2011
9:32 am

Where is Cam projected? Can Auburn match the NFL offer?

Jeff Schultz

January 7th, 2011
9:35 am

Duh — I’ve spoken to some NFL folks who think Cam could be top 10 but QBs are crapshoots because each team evaluates them so differently.

Paul H

January 7th, 2011
9:38 am

Duh – just caught that. hahaha

GSU Eagle 91

January 7th, 2011
9:38 am

Jeff…
When has a receiver been the first overall pick in the draft? It won’t happen…WR’s are rarely, if ever, impact players in their first year or two….and AJ is not a better WR than Calvin Johnson…..So no…it will not happen.
Nick Fairley might be the first player taken…If I had the first pick,,,,I am taking Cam…..and I know that for the next 10 years I have a player fans will want to see, and will pay dividends…He just needs a little time learning the systems…No way is he a bust like J Russell….

Reeves

January 7th, 2011
9:38 am

Ryan Mallett said Coach Petrino was a man of character. Ha Ha Ha! That’s got to be a mis-quote. Should have been that Coach Petrino is a character, and a shady one at that! lol

dean

January 7th, 2011
9:40 am

AJ. Be like Roddy White: “THROW ME THE MONEY!” :)

Good luck to you. I hope you don’t end up in the NFC South since ATL has no chance, for all intents and purposes, to get you.

GSU Eagle 91

January 7th, 2011
9:40 am

Duh..I just caught that, too…HAHAHA Auburn offer is higher, I imagine….
BTW…is Cam actually taking any classes at Auburn? and if so…what are they? GPA? I hope he is doing things the right way….

Paul H

January 7th, 2011
9:41 am

It truly is sad to think the greatest receiver we’ve ever seen was on a team that went 8-5 and 6-7. I thought we underacheived with Staff and Moreno but wow. This takes the cake. I still get ticked when I see replays of his catch against Colorado, knowing we ended up losing that game.

SLICK RICHT

January 7th, 2011
9:42 am

Won’t happen. I evaluated his talent and I think he would be a better tight end.

IlliniDawg

January 7th, 2011
9:42 am

Cam Newton = Tim Tebow = Vince Young = Tavarious Jackson

All very exciting multi-dimensional QBs who thrived in college but whose style does not fit with the NFL game. Hope either Carolina picks Scam Newton – then we can continue to dominate them for the next decade.

Bryan G.

January 7th, 2011
9:42 am

Jeff -

If Cam leaves, what do you expect Auburn to do with all that salary cap space they free up?

Camacho

January 7th, 2011
9:42 am

He won’t be #1. He’s too soft. Overrated. No team takes a WR #1. Duh

dean

January 7th, 2011
9:43 am

Reeves,

I was hoping for an Arkansas win over OH State for the–>players<– sake. But watching Petrino squirm was worth staying up late.

Jelly Sandwich Meat

January 7th, 2011
9:43 am

I have a feeling the Panthers will draft Luck number 1 overall……next year.

Paul H

January 7th, 2011
9:44 am

Jeff, are you doing predictions this week?

Plano BirdDawg

January 7th, 2011
9:44 am

Technically every player drafted should send Luck a thank you note because they all move up a spot. So probably it’s the last guy drafted that most owes Luck a debt of thanks.
As far as Green’s future goes, it may be beneficial not to go first, and rather go to Denver with the second pick, I think Tebow is less of a question mark than Clausen.

Paul H

January 7th, 2011
9:46 am

Camacho – you’ve obviously never seen AJ play a down of football. Please lay off the drugs and come back again.

GT Dude

January 7th, 2011
9:46 am

From what I understand AJ tried to sell his Liberty Bowl jersey, but no one wanted it…
Just kidding, Agents were lining up to bid on it
So I guess now, he has to go to the NFL

Reeves

January 7th, 2011
9:46 am

GSU Eagle, no dis-respect intended, but the pro’s look at a quarterbacks potential totally different than a college. Tebow is a perfect example. While Cam Newton is one heck of an athlete, he is not the type of quarterback, the pros typically look for. They probably see Newton as a fullback, or even a “tight end”. lol

SLICK RICHT

January 7th, 2011
9:47 am

A.J is too skinny. He’s not as good as he thinks he is.

Hankie Aron

January 7th, 2011
9:47 am

Only if he was in jail SLICK RICHT

BANNED

January 7th, 2011
9:48 am

In the last 60+ years only twice has a wide receiver has gone first. Keyshawn Johnson in 1996 and Irving Fryar in 1984.

Tech Rules

January 7th, 2011
9:48 am

“Maybe he and Green can build a library on campus or something.”

Why, do the UGAG ‘fans’ need a new library to leave trash in front of?

http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/dpp/sports/Tailgaters_Trash_UGA_Campus_091709

Hankie Aron

January 7th, 2011
9:48 am

Bryan G- Use the cap space money on Quan Bray’s uncle they hired. Come on man get with the program.

Worm

January 7th, 2011
9:50 am

I hope for AJ’s sake that the Panthers don’t take him…Jerry Richardson believes there’s gonna’ be a lockout and he’s not going to pay what AJ’s worth..I believe the Panthers trade their pick since QB is their #1 priority..They’ll get Mallett,the Missouri QB or possibly Newton at the bottom of round 1.

simplythetruth

January 7th, 2011
9:51 am

Green has a heart the size of a thimble when compared to say a great receiver such as Hines Ward. Green lost his heart when his greed took over. Green started looking more like Fred Gibson at times this year, the Gibson that couldn’t find the weight room.

Montana

January 7th, 2011
9:51 am

@duh @bryan g. Are u guys morons? “can auburn match the NFL offer?” “auburns salary cap?” u do know that college doesn’t pay them and there’s no salary cap in college football right? Wtf?

Hankie Aron

January 7th, 2011
9:52 am

Tech Rules- That was nasty obviously but you do realize that was from Sept 17 2009. We are in 2011 bra

jarvis

January 7th, 2011
9:52 am

With Luck off the Board, anyone could go to Carolina.

They need help everywhere, and would probably be quite foolish if they don’t trade down to a team with a more-specific need.

Russ555

January 7th, 2011
9:53 am

Got anybody there to replace Green. The quarterback looks good but he needs someone to catch his passes. Didn’t do to well this year in the games Green missed.

jarvis

January 7th, 2011
9:53 am

Also, Jimmy Clausen owes Andrew Luck dinner.

Hankie Aron

January 7th, 2011
9:53 am

Your’e right Montana, sorry

Paul H

January 7th, 2011
9:54 am

Montana – it’s a joke dude.

RambleOn84

January 7th, 2011
9:55 am

Green is a great player, but I’m not sure a team with as many needs as the Panthers will be willing to take a wide receiver #1 overall.

Then again, a guy as good as Green could make Clausen a better player.

If I were a betting man, I’d guess they grab an offensive or defensive lineman while desperately trying to trade down.

I guess Cam Newton is another choice, but I am not sure how he is being evaluated at the NFL level.

FIRE RICHT!!!!!

January 7th, 2011
9:55 am

With all the players that have or will be selected high in the NFL draft the past few years coupled with the embarrassing record for the Dawgs in the past 3 seasons shows even more that Richt needs to go

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

January 7th, 2011
9:56 am

Green is gone and no big recruits are coming as long as richt stays i am afraid

Paul H

January 7th, 2011
9:56 am

I was about to say the cap space money will go to Bray, but Hankie beat me to it. Kudos.

RambleOn84

January 7th, 2011
9:58 am

Between now and the draft there will be about 5 guys who no one is very familiar with right now who will shoot up the draft boards due to insane workouts and/or good interviews.

Conversely, at least 2 or 3 guys will fall way down.

I predict that Green will remain about where he is and be selected somewhere in the top 5 or 10.

The only problem with taking a receiver so high is that without a good QB to get him the ball it’s kind of a silly pick.

[...] According to possible sources, it seems that Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver, A.J. Green could be the NFL’s number one choice in April during the [...]

blazerdawg

January 7th, 2011
9:59 am

JS – Framing the comparison of Luck staying in school and Green selling his jersey does not seem real considerate of each player’s background. I don’t know for sure, but I doubt Luck wanted for much growing-up or as a student.

JB

January 7th, 2011
10:01 am

Maybe Andrew Luck should give Jake Locker a call and see how that hanging around another year thing is working out.

RDUCK

January 7th, 2011
10:02 am

If I were Carolina, I would trade down to get more picks. They have too many needs to go with just taking a WR 1st overall. This team needs some quality depth at alot of positions and since the player they wanted isn’t going to be there, just trade down and get more players. You can still sign a Vet QB for the short term until you get the young QB you need to develop.

Brad

January 7th, 2011
10:02 am

With Luck not coming out, look for Carolina to trade down and pick up a few more picks. Only one problem, does anyone want to trade up? No clear #1 picks left.

Fish Bisch

January 7th, 2011
10:03 am

College football is horrible. I’m tired of the gimmicky schedules of powerhouses playing 8 home games per year, scheduling cupcake oppenents to “pad” their victory total to get into one of the 70 odd bowl games and with a victory there can proclaim to be a “champion” of the charmin tissue bowl and where there is a layoff of about a month to even play in a bowl and where the rules are so confusing about player violations it is mind numbing. College football stinks why would anyone root for this crap. Go Falcons!