Bengals coach Marv Lewis is like everyone else down here at camp raving about No. 1 pick A.J. Green. He catches everything, no one's covered him, and when he is, he jumps up and takes it away.
"He showed his physical prowess out there today," said Lewis with a shake of his head at his own news conference.
Even though the Bengals had a pair of 10,000-yard receivers last year in Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens, Lewis offered, "He's an upgrade … we're improved athletically."
The 6-4 Green, who turned 23 Sunday, launched himself over safety Chris Crocker to make one of those "wow" catches where you can hear him snap the ball like some amphibian at the top of his jump. It came on the first play of an 11-on-11 after quarterback Andy Dalton play-actioned and rolled out of his pocket to the right and threw one that hung high enough for Green.
Later Dalton threw a beauty of a bomb down the right sideline that Green caught in stride. In one-on-ones Green bedeviled that very good corner in Hall and in 7-on-7 he beat him in the slot on a quick move to the corner and Dalton completed a nice touch pass over the shoulder.
"He's in the upper echelon right now, I'd say," said Crocker, a vet of 110 NFL games.
Green ranks 49th on our WR list, but that could change by the time draft day rolls around. It seems like the days of rookie WRs not making an immediate impact are gone, with guys like Hakeem Nicks, Jeremy Maclin and last year Mike Williams of Tampa really coming on.
Green seems to have the potential to be at least on par with all of these guys. He'll be a popular name, though, and if you really want him you may have to reach before the eighth round to get him - and that may be risky.