Virgil Green’s 3-catch, 44-yard debut (with 5:34 left in the game) with Peyton Manning might be a surprise to some. However, the tight end from Nevada is a well-known stash for those who get the Rookie Scouting Portfolio publication each April. I don’t know if Green will be an option once Joel Dreessen returns from his injury but he is a talent to keep an eye on despite the fact that his draft status didn’t match my evaluation and Julius Thomas was the more regarded prospect. His performance was indicative of what I saw from him as a collegian. Below is my evaluation of Green prior to the 2011 NFL Draft.
1. Virgil Green, Nevada (6-3, 249)
The safest TE in this draft is Kyle Rudolph. So if you’re looking for surer things, the Golden Domer has the combo of blocking skills, receiving, and toughness after the catch that should earn him a starting opportunity within the first 12-18 months of his career in the NFL. However, if you’re looking for the most dangerous TE in this draft, Green is the differencemaker at the position in this class. The Nevada TE still needs work as a blocker, because right now he’s a lot more punch and pop without consistent technique and strength to sustain his blocks.
In fact, Green may never have the frame to add enough muscle to become a great blocker at the position. Although Green is a willing and aggressive blocker and he should develop into a technically sound player, his lack of polish will initially limit his opportunities to see the field on an every down basis. That’s okay. If a team drafted Green as a blocker, the GM should be fired, because the Nevada tight end is much closer to Shannon Sharpe than
he is Alge Crumpler.
Green has the quickness to consistently get 15-20 yards downfield against most NFL defenders and his agility separates him from most of the tight ends in this class.
When he catches the football, he’s capable of making that quick cut, spin, or dip away from a defender and accelerate for significant yardage. And that physicality that I mentioned with his blocking carries over to Green’s ballcarrying. Because he’s a
flexible, explosive athlete, Green is also very good at getting his pads low at the point of contact and bouncing off hits. What’s most impressive about Green is that he
combines his athleticism with terrific hands and toughness over the middle. He catches the ball in high-traffic areas and takes the punishment.
The team that drafts Green will be able to move him around the field as a x,y, or z receiver in addition to using him at the line of scrimmage because of his receiver-like skills, size, and strength. If Green can add another 10 pounds and taper his reckless tendencies as a
run blocker, he has the athleticism to be a statistical leader at the position.
For more analysis of skill players entering the NFL, download the 2012 Rookie Scouting Portfolio or previous RSPs (2006-2011). Better yet, if you’re a fantasy owner the 56-page Post-Draft Add-on comes with the 2012 RSP at no additional charge. Best, yet, 10 percent of every sale is donated to Darkness to Light to combat sexual abuse.