Welcome to WTFP’s first ever “Head-2-Head” matchup. Weekly, we will be pitting the top two prospects at a particular position against one another. We’ll explore their strengths and weakness, and see who comes out on top. At the bottom of each Head-2-Head, there will be a poll. We want to know who you think is the better of the two prospects. For our first ever addition, I thought it would only be fitting to start this new series off with the two best receivers in the nation, Julio Jones and A.J. Green. Both have similar measureables, but are two totally different receivers. Ding, Ding, Ding, Head-2-Head, who’s the best?
Size, Strength, Speed:
- Julio Jones – Jones has tremendous size. He comes in at 6’4” 211 pounds. Has the frame to break tackles and bully cornerbacks and safeties. Plays the game physical. Cornerbacks have a difficult time pressing him at the line of scrimmage because of his strength. All reports report to Jones running a 4.4 forty-yard dash. He shows good field speed, especially after securing the catch. Can take a short pass the distance
- A.J. Green – Green is also 6’4”, but has a slighter frame, coming in at only 200 pounds. Doesn’t possess great strength at the line of scrimmage or after the catch. If defenders get their hands on Green, he can be manhandled. Is more of a finesse player, using his speed and quickness to maneuver around or run by defenders.
- Winner: Julio Jones – Jones has the perfect combination of size, strength, and speed. He isn’t quite as gifted in the speed department as Green, but he is no slouch. Jones gets the edge because of his size. His body is NFL ready. He can use his frame to shield defenders from the ball and break tackles.
Hands, Ball Skills, Leaping Ability:
- Julio Jones – Jones hands have been inconsistent over the course of his college career. It wasn’t until his Junior year that he finally became a reliable target. His focus improved, and he learned how to use his hands instead of his body. Jones has great ball skills. Can maintain his balance and locate the ball effortlessly. Does a nice job of twisting and contorting to balls away from his frame. Jones can jump with the best of them. He is a complete mismatch with jump balls and fades.
- A.J. Green – Not many players in the nation have softer hands than Green. He is a natural hands catcher, who snags every ball away from his body. Does a nice job at tracking the football and making a play on it. Excels at catching the ball over his shoulder, and meeting the ball at it’s highest point, on deep balls. Excellent jumping skills. Like Jones, not many players can jump with Green.
- Winner: A.J. Green – You’d be hard pressed to find a better receiver in the nation at catching the ballat all three levels. Green makes it all look so effortless. He soars through the sky and plucks the ball with ease. He is very dangerous deep down the field. With his speed, and ball skills, he almost always requires a double team.
Route Running, Blocking, Leadership:
- Julio Jones – Jones played in a pro-style offense at Alabama, so he has experience at running every route in the route tree. He can stick his foot and execute comebacks, or get the proper route depth and execute in’s and drags. He is also a tremendous blocker. Does a nice job of using his big body to shield defenders, and is a big part of the success of the Alabama running game. Shows good leadership on and off the field. Plays with passion and is a fiery guy.
- A.J. Green – Superb Route Running. Like everything else, he makes it look so easy. Comes out of his breaks at full speed, plants his foot and makes sharp and crisp cuts, and uses head and shoulder fakes nicely. Isn’t the best blocker. Will get in the way of defenders, but doesn’t always sustain his blocks. You won’t catch Green muscling defenders very often. Shows good leadership, but not great. Seems to be somewhat reserved. Was suspended for 4 games in 2010 for selling game worn items to an agent.
- Winner: Julio Jones – While Jones isn’t the route runner that Green is, he has him beat in blocking and leadership. Many people over look the two, but scouts and coaches see both as huge parts of the game. Receivers not only have to contribute in the passing game, but they have to contribute in the running game, as well as in the locker room.
*Head-2-Head Winner: Julio Jones*
- Julio Jones is the more complete receiver in my eyes. He doesn’t possess the speed and deep threat ability that Green does, but he shows up in every facet of the game. One of my favorite things about Jones is his physicality and blocking. Never underestimate a receiver that can be powerful blocker. They are the key to runningbacks springing big runs. I have Green ahead of Jones on my Big Board, and that’s simply because of his big play ability. Teams picking within the top 5 are looking for that. However, I still feel that Jones is the better overall receiver, and can help a team in more ways that Green.