One of the things that I noticed right away when watching Green-Beckham play was that he had a habit of letting the ball get into his body in order control it. He has the ability to catch the ball with his hands away from his body but doesn’t show this consistently enough.
On this fade route here, he actually mistimed his jump, and not only that, he compounds the mistake by trying to corral the ball into his body. If you look closely, the ball actually hits his shoulder pad first. Fortunately, it takes a favorable bounce into his left arm and he’s able to secure the touchdown.
Not so lucky this time as the ball takes an unfavorable bounce off his pads.
This happens quite often and is a habit he needs to break.
He didn’t attempt to catch the ball with his body on this one but shows that he needs to look the ball into his hands before running. You can see that as the ball is approaching, his head is already turned towards the inside where he is looking to run. This causes him to improperly frame the ball as it first hits his right hand then ricochets off his left before falling incomplete. Although they are bad habits, these are habits that can easily be corrected.
As is the case with his route running and his hands, inconsistencies show up in his blocking as well. There are times where he’s not content with just walling off his blocking assignment but actually drives the defender back. And this wasn’t only displayed against smaller DBs either; he did this against linebackers as well.
He shows tremendous effort here in not only getting his QB extra yardage and the first down but he keeps his QB from being touched as well.
And then there are times where he doesn’t properly gather himself and completely whiffs on the block.
This is just downright ugly as he is on the play-side and really has a choice between blocking the linebacker and the DB. He blocks neither and the two combine to make the play in the backfield.
Similar situation here and again both the linebacker and DB are within his vicinity but he’s extremely passive here and is content with just getting a hand on the DB.
Pro Comparisons and Projections
Pro Comparison: While it’s easy to see Green-Beckham’s measurables and instantly be reminded of Calvin Johnson due to his frame, I feel A.J. Green is a better comparison. Although he doesn’t quite display the same route running ability, Green-Beckham has the speed, fluidity, body control and leaping ability reminiscent of the All-Pro Cincinnati Bengal.
Draft Projection: Due to off-the-field concerns, Green-Beckham can possibly slide all the way into the 3rd round. Criticisms of his route running ability can also lower his stock however as seen with Mike Evans and Kelvin Benjamin, you don’t need to be an exceptional route runner coming out of college to excel in the NFL. Teams often are willing to take a chance on a prospect with his unique blend of size and speed and I believe that happens in the late 1st to early 2nd round.