Atlanta Falcons Potential Draft Target: Ladarius Green
By Greg Huseth
As we move towards the draft, from time to time we’d like to take a look at some players that the Falcons would be likely to pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Ladarius Green is one of those players.
Ladarius Green is a 6’6″ receiving monster at the Tight End position from Louisiana Lafayette. Scouts are very high on this kid, and it also seems that the Falcons are one of the NFL teams that are extremely interested in Green.
There are some pros and cons for Green. First of all, he is a huge receiver, that presents a huge target, runs exceptionally well, catches with his hands and not his body, and runs after the catch very well. He is the type of player that Jermichael Finley is for Green Bay. He runs down the seam very well, is a big body that can go up and snatch the ball out of the air, and can be the quarterback’s best friend while working down the seam of the defense. He is too big for defensive backs, and too fast for linebackers; Green could be a match-up nightmare in Dirk Koetter’s offense.
There are some things that Green does very poorly. We drafted Julio Jones because he was a complete package. He could run down the field, catch the ball away from his body at its highest point, run good routes, and block downfield. Aside from stretching the field and catching the ball, Green isn’t the whole package. He is not a very polished route-runner at this point, and he is certainly not a good down the field blocker. That may not be as important when a receiver is not a good blocker, but it is far more important that a TE be able to block. We do know, however, that Green is a very durable player, is solid from a character standpoint, and is a very hard worker. We know that Tony Gonzalez has a wealth of information to pass on to a player like Green, and Green would be more than willing to listen to all that Gonzalez has to say.
Green projects to be a 4th Rd. pick, so the Falcons would either have to reach a dozen spots and take him with their 3rd round pick, trade into the 4th and hope he is there, or wait until the 5th Rd. and pray that he is available. After all the wheeling and dealing to get Julio Jones, I think it would be wise to keep as many picks as possible. The Falcons should use their 3rd round pick on Green. He could be an important piece in offsetting the loss of Gonzalez after the 2012 season, and making the TE position more explosive in the future.