As the NFL Top 100 Players show continues its countdown, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green has been voted as the 9th-best player in the league, climbing spots from last year’s ranking.
Green has now been ranked on the show in each of the past three years, climbing from 77th in 2011-12 to 16th in 2012-13. He's established himself as one of the two or three best receivers in the game while also rising into the 'elite' tier of NFL players.
In terms of box score numbers, Green deserves this ranking. This past season, Green set career highs in receptions (98) and receiving yards (1,426, second-most total in Bengals history), while also scoring 11 touchdowns. He had six 100-yard games, including a franchise record five in a row.
If you go based off PFF's advanced statistics, he actually should fall this year. In '12, Green had a 17.4 grade, but that dipped to 8.4 in 2013.
Perhaps Green isn't one of the 20 best players in the game, but he's far better than the No. 97 ranking PFF gave him. Regardless, it's nice to see his peers have so much respect for him.
What's even scarier is that Green turns only 26 this month, meaning he has four more seasons left until he reaches 30, the age which receivers have usually stopped improving by.
It's likely we have yet to see the best that Green can become. If you ask Hue Jackson, Green is capable of a lot more than what we've seen thus far.
"My challenge to him is, why not be the best? Why not be the best this league has ever seen? Because he has the ability to be that. And when they talk about A.J. Green, I want people to be talking about one of the greatest ever. Because he is and he has that."