Falcons should do everything possible to get A.J. Green

A.J. Green did a lot of this Tuesday at Georgia's Pro Day and showed scouts all they needed to see -- via the internet. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

A.J. Green did a lot of this Tuesday at Georgia's Pro Day, showing scouts all they needed to see, via the internet. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

ATHENS – The greatest highlight reel wide receiver in Georgia history sent three dozen NFL scouts, a dozen assistant coaches and certainly a player agent to the cardiac ward Tuesday when he tripped over a rope on the sideline after running a pass route.

“I’m OK,” A.J. Green said. “I landed on my hands.”

Right. What could possibly go wrong when a receiver trips over a rope and lands on his hands?

Green should have those mitts encased in bubble wrap. If the NFL actually plays next season, those hands will cause hysteria for opposing defensive backs (who won’t have the advantage of a rope). There is every indication that Green will be a top five draft pick, a game-changer, the rare kind of player who years from now will make every other general manager think, “Why didn’t we take him?” or “Why didn’t we trade up to take him?”

The Falcons shouldn’t be one of those teams looking back with regrets. They need to find a way to get A.J. Green.

Yes, the Falcons need help on defense. The Georgia Dome custodial staff is still sweeping up the ashes after what Aaron Rodgers did to the secondary in the playoffs. But this team also needs a significant dose of wow, and Green can provide that.

Adding an explosive weapon on offense jibes with what should be the mandate next season: Go on the attack. Make opponents fear them more. Let quarterback Matt Ryan dictate things. The season didn’t end well for Ryan against Green Bay. But we saw what happened when coach Mike Smith allowed offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey to take the handcuffs off Ryan.

He won the Cincinnati game. He won the Baltimore game. He engineered six late-game comeback victories.

The Falcons’ have struggled the past two seasons when they’ve gone bland and predictable. Green is anything but bland and predictable. Line him up opposite Roddy White, what’s a defense going to do?

It would take a lot for the Falcons to move up from 27th in the draft to get Green: at least this year’s and next year’s first-rounder pick. He’s worth it. There were 48 NFL scouts at Georgia’s Pro Day Tuesday. The only time they looked disappointed was when a bizarre league rule forced them to leave the field when Green ran pass routes.

Green and Kris Durham needed a quarterback to throw to them. But NFL rules stipulate that it had to be a draft-eligible player or someone who lives in the greater Athens area (the rule keeps players from poaching on several Pro Days). The only quarterback available was Justin Roper, who played last season at Montana but still lives in Buford. Given the circumstances, the league agreed to allow Roper to throw only if the scouts left the field. They were given the option to watch Green via an internet feed from Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall. But most were upset and left, only a few staying to watch.

Green kind of laughed about it and said, “It doesn’t bother me.” He passed on the other drills, letting his scouting combine numbers stand. He looked confident and said later of his NFL aspirations: “I don’t want to be a regular receiver. I want to be mentioned with the greats.”

It says here he will be.

There was a potential red flag last week when word leaked that he scored only 10 out of a possible 50 on the Wonderlic test. The test results are weighed differently by teams. Some don’t consider it important at all.

Asked about the test score, Green said: “That didn’t bother me. I went through [only] 20 questions — I didn’t finish. I was thinking too much, and time was up at 12 minutes.”

Then came this: “If you come back here and look at my grades, I’m no dummy.”

One NFL scout in attendance agreed. “There are other ways to test IQ while taking the reading element out of it,” said the scout, requesting anonymity. “You can put him on the [white] board and find out how smart he is. But obviously, the kid can play really well. He’ll be fine.”

The numbers: Thirty-two games, 166 catches, 2,619 yards, 23 touchdowns. He’ll be better than fine. The Falcons shouldn’t let him leave the state.

By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

254 comments Add your comment

1980 was so long ago

March 22nd, 2011
5:28 pm

1980 was so long ago

March 22nd, 2011
5:29 pm

“There are other ways to test IQ while taking the reading element out if it”

LOL

first

March 22nd, 2011
5:29 pm

first

March 22nd, 2011
5:30 pm

FalconDawg

March 22nd, 2011
5:33 pm

FalconDawg

March 22nd, 2011
5:36 pm

Hopefully next years pick is at least late twenty anyway maybe thirty. Its time to win now!! Turner and Tony G will be worthless after this year anyway, then its on to looking for a RB, so lets go after him now and win this thing this year.

Atl teams= Playoff chokers

March 22nd, 2011
5:37 pm

Trade ANYONE but Roddy white to get AJ green.

"Chef" Tim Dix

March 22nd, 2011
5:37 pm

Maybe he should have claimed to be “hurt” by the rope and Demi would have made him a first round draft pick.

Thomas’s body of draft work in early rounds is beginning to be an issue for debate.

Chris

March 22nd, 2011
5:38 pm

AJ will be one of the best WR next season in his rookie year. He has big play potential on every play from anywhere on the field. When you are constantly compared to Randy Moss and Larry Fitzgerald by college and pro players and coaches, you are not normal. He will be a beast no question. As great as it would be to see him across from Roddy White, it won’t happen. I think the Bengals willbtake him at number 4.

slow news day

March 22nd, 2011
5:39 pm

How to get page hits eventhough it will never happen?

hmmmm….

combine uga and the falcons!!!

robertussen

March 22nd, 2011
5:41 pm

as a summerville resident, a summerville high school grad, a uga fan, and a falcons fan there is nothing i want more, but it wont happen

What I'm Sayin!

March 22nd, 2011
5:42 pm

Schultz, I LOVE it! I agree about A.J. Green. This guy is a game-changer, I would give up this year and next year’s 1st rd picks to get the next Larry Fitzgerald opposite Roddy White.

Rock Star from Mars

March 22nd, 2011
5:42 pm

The falcons need to draft a dawg, but they dont have to m ove up. Huston will be available in late frist round for defense….Dont waste anything by moving up to get Green. Defense lost us the playoff game, not O. Go Jackets!

Atl teams= Playoff chokers

March 22nd, 2011
5:42 pm

This aint happening though. Not a chance.

jfreak13713

March 22nd, 2011
5:47 pm

NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN … But I sure hope they can find a way to land this kid! This coming from a Georgia Tech fan! He is as good as I’ve ever seen and would look good in Falcon Red instead of Georgia red. LOL

The Sham

March 22nd, 2011
5:50 pm

Sorry Schultzy! But this guy has ZERO chance to be wearing a falcons jersey unless we package a veteran (of merit) with our 1st rd pick this year. This franchise seems to covet the picks more so than anything.

Don’t get me wrong. I’d LOVE to have him and his wunderlic score running our go and deep slant routes. Green is what Michael Jenkins dreams about being in his sleep. I just don’t see it.

Worm

March 22nd, 2011
5:51 pm

I’m still steaming about Jammi German over Hines Ward in round THREE!

BarkingBulldawg

March 22nd, 2011
5:54 pm

Schultz…You prove with articles like this what a total windbag you really are at times. There is absolutely a 0% chance the Falcons will take Green….and thank god for that. Not only is he not a fit for us, it would cost the farm to go get him. That is not the type of move that stable, competent franchises make. Who are the explosive receivers Tom Brady has had over the years?

Take note that the square masses agree with you. You’re in line with “can’t wait to be the first posted reply” guy. Some good company dontcha think?

I guarantee you this…teams like the Pats, Colts, Steelers, and yes Falcons will not even consider such a move. No, a franchise more likely to mortgage their draft to move up for him would be the Redskins. I would say the Bungles but they are picking so low that this year, they are out the running.

Seriously SCHULTZIE, it absolutely baffles me that you would start to write this piece much less post it after having the time to figure out what a terrible idea you were proposing all throughout the writing process.

Next time, save yourself the time and energy and spend it on something else….GETTING A CLUE.

David

March 22nd, 2011
5:55 pm

Hey Schultz is this a fanstasy draft you are talking about? No way Falcons can move that far up the board!

Dirty Jacket

March 22nd, 2011
5:56 pm

Why should the Falcons waste an early pick on a wide receiver? We’re not the Detroit Lions. We should use the pick on linemen. We can trade for proven wide receiver talent that can impact the game immediately.

Barkin'Dog

March 22nd, 2011
5:57 pm

jfreak13713 — He is as good as I’ve ever seen and would look good in Falcon Red instead of Georgia red.

Now that’s funny, for real … and true. A.J. would easily make up for one TD a game that you may lose with a lower rated pick on defense. How can you lose with that?… except a higher payroll (as he won’t come cheap). And, yes, I believe it could happen… if TD wants it to.

Ghost of Whack Hyder

March 22nd, 2011
5:57 pm

As much as I hate the leg-humpers, I sure would like to see the Falcons pick up A.J. Green as Schultz suggested.

When Tony Gonzalez retires (after 2012 season?), the offense is going to be in trouble, unless the Falcons have another top-line receiver.

5150 UOAD

March 22nd, 2011
6:13 pm

like getting MV7? AJ is a JOKE! he needs to go to the Bengals or Browns.

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

March 22nd, 2011
6:15 pm

“There are other ways to test IQ while taking the reading element out if it.” They do that with dogs all the time. When I was a puppy I read at A.J.’s level but they knew I was smart when I sold my sweater for a profit. Parallels can be drawn there . . . but not by A.J. He did not do well in geometry. In fact, I’m pretty sure he didn’t take geometry. Whoa, soon to be the most hated Temporary Mascot at UGA. At least I stuck around for another season.

RomeDawg

March 22nd, 2011
6:16 pm

It’ll NEVER happen!! I think Green WILL be mentioned with the greats when his career is over, but it won’t be as a Falcon. Sadly, his career will probably be wasted with a franchise out of Ohio.

5150 UOAD

March 22nd, 2011
6:18 pm

@Ghost
How do A J GREEN and Tony Gonzales even compare? An ALL PRO TIGHT END and a thin waiting to be broken in half crossing the middle WR compare? I could B…Slap A J and make him cry.

5150 UOAD

March 22nd, 2011
6:22 pm

RUSS the REAL Fans Mascot
We love your Calling out Jokes and the fun poking jokes at other teams.
What did you have to DO/Sell/Trade for that Tattoo on your non-white butt?

Trojan

March 22nd, 2011
6:23 pm

He IS what the Falcons need on offense.

Paddy

March 22nd, 2011
6:25 pm

You have NEVER been so right, Jeff!

The Dude Abides

March 22nd, 2011
6:27 pm

MB, can i buy the dope ur smoking?

Paddy

March 22nd, 2011
6:27 pm

5150 UOAD……you need to watch a football game before you comment on one of its players. You have no clue about talent that is so head and shoulders above the rest of the competition!

BiggdawgK

March 22nd, 2011
6:29 pm

Did that NFL rule that forced the scouts to leave hurt Durham’s chances of being drafted? It would seem like the NFL would want scouts to actually see receivers catch balls but I guess not.

wxwax

March 22nd, 2011
6:36 pm

He skipped the combine-type stuff.

The scouts didn’t watch him run routes.

So what on earth did they actually do? What’s left? I’m confused.

5150 UOAD

March 22nd, 2011
6:39 pm

Paddy
You must be a Talent Scout making Millions. Tebow was not a 1st round pick but some fool did it. A J is a JOKE physically. Ray Lewis would BUST A J into some good chicken wings. J Jones from BAMA is ROCK Solid.

Benjamin

March 22nd, 2011
6:40 pm

Barking Bulldawg, were all those words really necessary just to say “I disagree.”?

Maybe AJC should hire you to write a point/counterpoint piece or something. Geez…

5150 UOAD

March 22nd, 2011
6:43 pm

Paddy just for fun. Calvin Johnson had some GREAT stats after Fatt Matt STIFford was hurt AGAIN and picking up a NFL 1st round QB paycheck.

crabapplejoe

March 22nd, 2011
6:51 pm

Instead of stretching and using draft picks for Mr. Overhyped……just wait around and pick up Kris Durham as an undrafted FA……about the same size and speed (Durham ran a 4.43 today).

Timbo

March 22nd, 2011
7:02 pm

Talk about a transparent throw away blog to get the Dawg/Falcon fans excited. Jeff you know the Falcons don’t have a chance in hell at landing Green and you also know that Dmitroff doesn’t do business this way…What is it with this constant need every year to have a discussion about how the Falcons can land the next great UGA alumus to play for them as if the two teams are some how connected…They’re not. Anything to generate traffic right Jeff?

robertussen

March 22nd, 2011
7:06 pm

If you don’t know who John Mckissic is you should look him up. He was Aj’s coach here in Summerville SC. He also holds the record for most football wins at any level (Joe Pat eat your heart out) and made it almost impossible to beat. He said that Aj is the best football player he has ever seen, (trust me he knows what he’s talking about, he’s been coaching a loooooooooooong time), and Aj remains the only person in the even loooooooooonger history of Summerville High School to have their number retired which was 1

GTBob

March 22nd, 2011
7:11 pm

So the Falcons who have an excellent passing game and a terrible defense should trade half the team so they can get a wide receiver? Are you feeling ok Jeff? AJ is good but he isn’t that good. Even Calvin wasn’t that good.

bad brad

March 22nd, 2011
7:29 pm

I hate posting on your blogs but for the second time ever I agree with you. Can’t remember what the first concerned. Still hoping you get that buyout.

Mark Bradley

March 22nd, 2011
7:37 pm

Hey!….This is an EASY and controversial type blog……You stole this idea from me! You better watch your back Schultz!!

Badgerina

March 22nd, 2011
7:39 pm

What’s up Wisconsin!

AJ Green's Short Bus

March 22nd, 2011
7:40 pm

Hey….I took this kid to school and I can tell you, he is a retard.

5150 UOAD

March 22nd, 2011
7:46 pm

Why do the Falcons need a DEION SANDRES more that they need a JOHN SMOLTZ? I want a PLAYER that is about the Business of the sport. A J Green is a JOKE JOKE JOKE. Maybe if the NFL draft works out just right he can join Matt Stifford in Detroit.

coach smith

March 22nd, 2011
7:53 pm

Totally agree and I have been screaming this to anyone who will listen for months….The Falcons have a window of 5 maybe 6 years…that means they need someone who can make a difference NOW not a few years from now..Trade this year’s 1st round pick, next year’s (which will be late first round anyway) and Michael Jenkins if necessary

GET AJ GREEN

tim

March 22nd, 2011
7:54 pm

I scored double what Green scored on the Wonderlic test…….draft me.

BravesFan79

March 22nd, 2011
7:55 pm

I said the same thing about Calvin Johnson! A better player, higher IQ, and better character!!

mike

March 22nd, 2011
7:59 pm

AJ Green is not physical enough. He disappeared in physical game throughout his career. A trademark of Richts receivers. They run soft sideline routes with multiple curls. My money go for the kid from Alabama Jones. Big and physical did not avoid contact. He is proto-type NFL receiver.

Matthew

March 22nd, 2011
7:59 pm

I like AJ Green. Alot.

However, there is as good a wide reciever that is bigger, stronger, and faster that is 3 hours away in Tuscaloosa that would be just fine– Julio Jones.

For a player that is as hard a worker as anyone of us SEC fans have ever seen (blocking tackling, catching, running), we could give up a 1st and 3rd this year and a second to hopefully move up in front of St. Louis who will surely grab him.

That gives us the chance to still get players we need desperatly in the secondary.