STILLWATER -- After a strong performance during the practice week and when he had opportunities during the game in the Senior Bowl, A.J. Green went to Bradenton, Fla. to work at the IMG Academy. His bank account and likely his performance on the final day of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis might have been better had he come back to Stillwater and let Rob Glass and the Oklahoma State strength and conditioning staff prepare him for Indy. Green left himself lots of work to do when he does get back to Stillwater for the March 10 Pro Day inside the Sherman Smith Training Center.
Green had measured well in Indianapolis with 6-1 1/2, 202-pounds, nine-inch on his hand, 30 7/8ths on his arm, and 74 7/8ths on his wingspan. I'm sure his natural enthusiasm and personality interviewed well with teams, but one of his positives in measurements to go with size was his speed.
Green ran his first forty and seemed to struggle getting to top speed in clocking a 4.63. That was okay as he has the second chance. Green came out of the blocks and ran very straight up and down, but it was not fluid as we've seen him so many times on the practice field, game field, and in conditioning at Oklahoma State. His second time was worse at 4.71 unofficially. He was later awarded an official 4.62, far from what he wanted or expected.
Not what draft analysts were expecting either: "Good height and length for the position with a 6-foot-1 frame. He is both quick and fast. Good acceleration and fast hips to move and change direction. Athleticism will not be an issue with Green." were the words from one NFL Draft source.
As Green was jogging away from his final forty, and he had looked and caught a glimpse of the clock on the scoreboard, you could clearly see the frustration on his face. Those times represented lost status on his draft position, which in turn means lost money.
He will have a little over a week to get his mojo back with his speed and my advice would be to bring it home to either DeSoto or Stillwater.
Prior to this final day (Sunday) for Green at the combine, he had a 13 reps on the bench press. That was not expected to be his strength and it never is for corners.
"Strength is a problem here. Green seems like he is most comfortable when he can attack and be physical with wide receivers in press or just close coverage, but when he does he is often out muscled. This also shows up when tackling, as Green is more of an ankle bitter than he is a supporting single tackler," was a summary that came from an NFL Draft site.
He can't correct strength by March 10, and really that is not a big deal as Green is a corner that will make his money off coverage. Now, for that to be maximized, he has to run faster.
I will give A.J. this as a recovery. You know he was frustrated by his times, but I had the chance to see him perform once in the nine drill, keeping the straight line. His hips were good as he flipped on his back pedal and turned into the dead run. He showed good hands in catching the ball and there were several corners that were brutal on the catch attempt.
Green also had a strong corner drill as he broke off the line and made a good break and then a good break on the football, again making the catch.
Expect Green to do his best to correct that Combine forty time and also perform all the testing drills in Stillwater on March 10.