Christian Green: To Date
“Pops” was a dynamic dual-threat QB in high school and arrived at FSU in 2010 as a five-star recruit (#5 overall WR). After a redshirt year to learn the position, Green started four games as a RS-FR, finishing third on the team in receiving yards (450) on a team-leading 17.3 yards per catch. Became the seventh Seminole freshman to top 100 receiving yards in a game at Wake Forest. Flashed the ability to make the spectacular catch but fell victim to the turf monster with unusual frequency.
Green battled nagging injuries in 2012 and found himself buried behind younger players in 2012 and 2013, with only 33 receiving yards in 2012 and 157 in 2013, with the most notable aspect of his play in 2013 being his uncanny ability to get teammate Kelvin Benjamin to miss blocks on bubble screens (see photo above).
Physical talent has never been an issue for Green, who has outstanding size at 6’2, 205 and much better speed than most realize as receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey told me in 2010 that the then-redshirting Green was “faster than Burt [Reed].” Has big, strong, naturally soft hands and a knack for making the spectacular catch. Has good suddenness in the open field and good YAC potential. Has also become a reliable blocker as he has gotten older, though he is not the physical monster that Benjamin was on the outside.
Room for Improvement
It’s all upstairs. After battling through injuries and getting passed on the depth chart in 2012, Green seemed to lose his confidence and was a shell of the player that flashed as a redshirt freshman. Was not always in the right place as a route-runner, which drew the ire of Jimbo Fisher and Dawsey and limited his time on the field. Also continued to have difficulty staying on his feet at times.
That all seemed to change in the spring of 2014, where Green took several strides forward and began to look more like the prospect from early in his career. Has continued his solid play in camp and held off younger challengers to retain the starting role on the outside opposite Rashad Greene. He’s still not a great route-runner and could be smoother in and out of his breaks.
Floor/Ceiling & NFL Potential
Green’s floor basically involves a few bad plays early in the season affecting his confidence, leading to him going into a shell again and giving way to the youngsters behind him.
At this point, he would project well outside the draft and would have an uphill climb to make a roster, but he is capable of a senior season that could get his name called in the 2015 NFL draft. He’s more suited to a #2 or #3 receiver role, but there is little doubt that he has the physical tools to start at the receiver position in the NFL.
It’s really tough to find a reasonable comparison at this point. He’s physically comparable to his relative, E.G. Green, though he’s a bit bigger and faster. But the production gap is too significant to ride that similarity too far.
Outlook for 2014
The range is pretty big here, partially because Green has so much space between his floor and ceiling and partially because FSU will rotate as many as eight receivers this season, leading to more segmented stats at that position.
I’m going to take a more bullish perspective on Green, who I think will get about half the meaningful reps at his WR spot over the course of the year and will wind up going out on a high note.
Projections: 30 catches, 500 yards, 6 TDs.