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August 9, 2007

The Battle for No. 1: WR

There hasn't been a better battle for the top wide receiver slot in a recruiting class than the one brewing for the class of 2008.

Everyone wants to know: Is it Julio Jones or A.J. Green?

The best part about this argument? There is no perfect answer.

  • Jones or Green: Who would you rather have?

    Battle for No. 1: Wide Receivers
    Julio Jones vs. A.J. Green

    Jones is currently ranked ahead of Green in our latest Rivals100. The Foley, Ala., wideout checks in at No. 2 overall and holds the coveted No. 1 wide receiver slot. However, Green checks in at No. 5 in the country. If there were a 1B ranking, he'd have it at wideout.

    The point of this breakdown was to explain what separates the No. 1 player at the wideout position and other contenders. For me, that's tough to do. As much as I love Julio Jones, I like A.J. Green just as much.

    So let's take a look at each player's strengths and see why they are so closely matched. Each has excellent size. Jones checks in at 6 feet 4 and 215 pounds; Green is 6 feet 4 and weighs 184 pounds. Jones is the stronger of the two wideouts and is clearly thicker. He draws comparisons to Calvin Johnson at the same stage of development. Green is lanky and thin, drawing comparisons to a young Randy Moss. Those comparisons run beyond just physical appearance.

    The strength of Jones' game is his power, leaping ability and outright athleticism. He's a downfield receiver with good speed. He has the size to go over the middle, and he's going to win almost every jump-ball thrown his way. If you were drawing up the blueprint for a red zone receiver, Jones would be the model.

    Green is shiftier in the open field. He uses amazing body control and balance to win matchups in traffic. He also has an extra gear, which makes him a deep threat. He can create big plays in space off of wide receiver screens, slants or reverses.

    So which would you rather have? It's like choosing between two supermodels; it all depends on personal taste. Jones is currently ranked higher because he's more of a sure thing in college. He has a more stable academic situation, and there have been no questions regarding work ethic or his love for the game.

    Jones has also been out to compete on the national stage more often. However, this race won't be done until very close to Signing Day. It could come down to which receiver dominates more in January all-star games.

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