Top 50 Players of 2016: AFC Superstar One of NFL's Most Consistent Players

(Editor's Note: With the offseason in full swing, the focus is now shifting to the 2016 season, where the Cowboys have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL. Not only do the Cowboys face five playoff teams but many of the top players in football. So the writers of DallasCowboys.com have ranked the Top 50 players expected to be on the field this season, including the Cowboys. Today, we continue the list with Bengals receiver A.J. Green.)

Name: A.J. Green
Team:Cincinnati Bengals
Position: Wide Receiver
Height/Weight: 6-4 / 205
Experience: 5 seasons
College: Georgia  

2016 vs. Cowboys: The Bengals will make their first visit to AT&T Stadium for a regular-season game. They last played in Dallas at Texas Stadium during the 2008 season. This year, the Bengals and Green will play in Week 5 on Oct. 9.

What's the Deal: Arguably one of the best receivers in the NFL, Green is coming off his fifth straight 1,000-yard receiving season as he recorded 86 catches for 1,297 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2015.

Now with Calvin Johnson retired, Green is among a handful of receivers lobbying to be the NFL's best. In that group is Dez Bryant, and the two will get to square off against each other rather early in the season.

Expect This: When he's on the field, Green is a threat to score a touchdown. Not every receiver can make that claim but Green is one of the rare players that is a goal-line threat down in the red zone because of his leaping ability, but he's also capable of home-run hitting touchdowns as well. In his career, Green has posted an 80-yard touchdown or longer in each of the last three seasons. But he's the most dangerous when he's leaping over defenders down by the goal line.

Previous Meetings: In Green's only game against the Cowboys in his career, he caught just three passes for 44 yards in a 20-19 loss to Dallas up in Cincinnati. Green was targeted eight times on the rainy Sunday, but wasn't much of a factor as the Cowboys rallied for 10 points in the fourth quarter, including a game-winning field goal by Dan Bailey as time expired.

Bryan Broaddus Scouting Report:

  • A natural hand catcher with good focus. It's rare that you see him miss play a ball. There are times where he has to make an adjustment to a less than perfect pass. He extends to catch the ball away from the frame of his body. Ball doesn't get on top of him. No blind spots to his game. Can make the overhead circus catch as needed.
  • A good athlete who is quick in and out of his breaks. Demonstrates rare quickness that may be more important than his speed. A polished route runner while at Georgia and he has carried that over to his pro career.
  • Will come back for the ball. Outstanding sideline awareness. A wiry and strong build to compete for the ball in a crowd. Takes full advantage of his size and physical ability. Can adjust to the ball with good hip flexibility and knee bend.[embeddedad0]
  • Has the speed and acceleration to eat up a cushion. Puts pressure on the cornerback right off the snap. Finds the ball quickly in transition out of route.
  • Adjusts to the flight of the ball. Good body control. Catches the ball with the intent to break a tackle or make a defender miss. Can run routes off of motion. Snaps off a dig route or square in with suddenness.
  • Extremely long arms for the position. A consistent competitor. Uses his tall rangy build to his advantage as a blocker on run plays. Makes plays on all levels of the field. Have to worry about him especially with the deep ball. Home run hitter – game breaker.
  • Overall, just a hard match-up to deal with.    
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