via media3.vindy.comLedarius Green is one of my absolute favorite prospects this year. I first took note of him after it was reported that the Browns had scheduled him for a private workout/visit. Since then I have watched every game video/highlight film and read every scouting report I can find online.
LEDARIUS GREEN-TE-LOUISIANNA LAFEYETTE
2011 NFL COMBINE STATS:
40 Yard Dash: 4.53 seconds 20 Yard Dash: N/A seconds 10 Yard Dash: N/A seconds Bench Press: 16 reps (225 lb) Vertical Leap: 34.0 inches Broad Jump: 124 inches Shuttle: 4.47 Three Cone: 7.12
Year Receptions Receiving Yards TD's
11 51 606 8
10 44 794 7
09 32 533 2
08 22 268 5
Green's greatest strength is his size. He measured 6'5 3/4" and 238lbs at the combine. His speed is another strength. Green ran a 4.53 40 at the combine and has reportedly ran as low as a 4.45. He is a match-up nightmare, especially in the red zone. He has big strong hands and a excellent wing span that he uses to make catches away from his body. He has a 35 inch verticle and consistently goes up and plucks the ball out of the air at its apex. Green does an excellent job of using his body to shield defenders away from the ball when making a catch in traffic. He demonstrates good ball security after the catch and has some YAC ability due to his speed. He excels at using his hands to create seperation and get open off the line of scrimmage. He demonstrates good focus and body control, showing the ability to make an acrobatic catch when necessary. He also has shown the ability to adjust very well to the ball while it is in the air.
Green's biggest weakness is his blocking ability. While he is a willing blocker, he is not that strong and will get beat physically by DEs and blitzing OLBs. He has a minor injury concern as he has missed 5 games over his college career with a neck and an ankle injury. His route running needs some work as well. He is slow and deliberate when making cuts. Green played in the Sun Belt Conference against weaker competition, so it has been suggested that he could just be a "big fish in a small pond", but in my opinion that is not the case here. The two best teams he faced were Georgia and LSU, and he put up good numbers against both. He had 4 catches for 87 yards and a TD against Georgia and 6 receptions for 67 yards against LSU.
CASE FOR BROWNS DRAFTING GREEN:
I personally think the Browns should highly consider drafting Green. We struggled scoring TDs in the red zone and as I stated above, Green is a nightmare in the red zone. Also, Green would be a great security blanket for Colt as a checkdown reciever. I suggested back when it was first reported that Green was being brought in for a private visit that we could play him at WR and I stand by that. He did in fact line up at WR on several occasions at Louisianna Lafeyette. Green would be deadly on the outside against smaller DBs due to his size. His blocking weakness would be completely moot at WR. We could still line him up at TE on passing downs, assuming Shurmer learns to use the TEs in the passing game. Green will need some time to fully develop and adjust to the speed of the game, but could be very good in situational spots his rookie season while he learns the offense before becoming a starter in his 2nd year, much like Jimmy Graham with New Orleans.
CASE AGAINST BROWNS DRAFTING GREEN:
The biggest case I can make against the Browns drafting Green is value. It is likely with the recent success of recieving TEs such as Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, and Aaron Hernandez that Green will be drafted in the late 2nd round (maybe even earlier). I personally think Atlanta will take him with their second round pick and use him in situational spots while allowing him to learn from Tony Gonzalez, one of the all-time greats at the TE position. Given that we have other holes to fill and 4 TEs already on the roster, it is very unlikely the Browns would be willing to spend even our 3rd round pick on Green. If Heckert is sold on Green as a WR there is a chance we trade up back into the late 2nd and grab him, but thats the only way I see it happening.
MY "TAKE IT TO THE BANK" PREDICTION: While I personally love this kid and would love to see him on our Browns roster next year, it's not going to happen. Wide Reciever is a huge need on this team, but one that I feel we need to address with one of our first 3 picks. Green would be a reach at any of those and not the sure thing we need from that position. If we trade down out of 4 or 22 and grab an extra 2nd he would be worth the pick, but depending on what they've done with the first 3, I still think this FO would rather take a pass rusher or DB. Green will be drafted in the 2nd round by the Atlanta Falcons.