In last week's AFC North chat, I was asked where the Cincinnati Bengals' A.J. Green would rank among wide receivers at the end of the season. My answer: third right behind Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald.
So imagine by surprise when I scanned Cris Carter's list of the top 10 wide receivers in the league. Carter, a current ESPN analyst who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday, also put Green at No. 3 behind Johnson and Fitzgerald. Obviously, I agree with the top of his list.
Here is what Carter had to say about Green:
There's no player I enjoy watching more on film than Green. He is smooth in his routes and has fluid hips, and his ball skills are tremendous. He can adjust to the ball no matter where it's thrown, and his feel for the game is sick. He already knows plenty of veteran moves to create separation and get open. There's a reason why he's been to two Pro Bowls in his first two seasons. If Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton continues to grow, Green should be producing 100-catch, 1,400-yard seasons for a long time.
It looks like many agree with his assessment. As of today, Green ranked third overall on the SportsNation poll behind Johnson and Fitzgerald. But, in terms of No. 1 votes, Green was surprisingly fifth. He trailed Johnson, Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, Brandon Marshall and yes, even Reggie Wayne.
It should be noted, however, that Green is off to a stronger start than Johnson and Fitzgerald. He has had more catches and receiving yards in his first two seasons than Johnson and Fitzgerald had in theirs.