Chicago Bears NFL Draft: AJ Green could give Bears a lockdown corner

Chicago Bears (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, AJ Green
Chicago Bears (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /

Q&A with AJ Green

DaWindyCity (DWC): Hi AJ, thank you so much for taking the time out to meet with us — we really appreciate it.

AJ Green (AJ): Yeah absolutely.

DWC: Can you talk a little bit about your preparations for the NFL Draft?  What has the process been like?

AJ: Now that the Combine and Pro Day are over, I’m in Oklahoma at my campus still training, working out, and doing defensive back specific drills on the field. I’m still doing meal prep, eating healthy, and staying on top of things.

DWC: On March 10th, you had your Pro Day at Oklahoma State. How did that go?

AJ: I felt it went pretty well. I was smooth and fluid in the drills. I caught all of the balls, and ran a good 40. I think overall I had a pretty good outing.

DWC: And what were some of the things you were hoping to show the scouts on your Pro Day?

AJ: At the Combine, I didn’t run a very good 40 time. I had an injury coming off the bench press and had some back tightness. So I know there was some question about my speed, but I feel like I went out there and answered them on my Pro Day.

DWC: I saw reports of a 40-yard dash time between 4.4 and 4.5 at your Pro Day. Have you received the official results?

AJ: No I don’t think I’ve received those yet. My agent would likely get those, but those were the times I was hearing from the scouts.

DWC: You performed really well at the Senior Bowl this year. Tell me about that experience and what you think you showed scouts during that week.

AJ: Unlike the Combine and Pro Day, the Senior Bowl is just flat out football. It’s you going 7 on 7. It’s you picking up the defenses. It’s you learning on the fly. And that’s my style. I know with the Combine and Pro Day you have to be a good “tester” but the Senior Bowl where you can just play football is something that gave me a huge advantage and I feel like I went there and maximized my opportunity.

DWC: Whether it was a tip or suggestion regarding technique or just words of wisdom from a coach, what are one or two things you took away from the whole Senior Bowl experience?

AJ: Just to take it one day at a time. A lot of people were telling me it is going to be a long process but you just have to stay focused, stay grounded and keep working.

DWC: With Pro Day and the Combine behind you, it’s sort of time to move to the next phase of the process where you might start meeting with teams. Have you had an opportunity to meet with anyone from the Chicago Bears?

AJ: Yeah, I talked to them at the Senior Bowl and the Combine.

DWC: Who were some of the toughest wide receivers you faced in the Big 12 and how did that experience help you?

AJ: I would probably say the toughest receiver I faced was on my own team — Tylan Wallace. Going up against him in practice every day, we made each other better. You know I’d tell him what he did to give a certain route away or a certain move he did. And he’d tell me what I did that gave him the upper hand or made him react the way he did. So yeah we definitely helped each other get better.

DWC: Another one of your strengths seems to be your scheme versatility, in terms of your ability to play press-man and zone. Talk to me a little about your versatility.

AJ: Yeah I definitely agree that’s one of my strengths. In the Big 12, we face loaded offenses and they do a lot of different things and use every inch of the field. We used a lot of different coverages. I can play a number of different coverages and schemes. I can play Cover-1 man, Cover-3, or hard technique Cover-8, so you know, I feel like I have the versatility to play just about any coverage coming from the Big 12.

DWC: What are some of your other strengths?

AJ: I would say my size and speed. I’ve got the size to match up with the bigger receivers, but the speed to stay with the smaller, shiftier, faster receivers. So you’re not going to come across a corner with my size, speed, and technique, and I think I’ve displayed that on film game after game.

DWC: Is there a current NFL wide receiver you’re looking forward to facing in the NFL?

AJ: Yeah there’s one for sure, and that would be AJ Green.

DWC: What are some of the things you are working on heading into the Draft?

AJ: I’m just fine-tuning my mechanics. I’m like a sponge soaking up all the information I can to add tools to my toolbox. I’m just adding things to my arsenal. In the pros the quarterbacks and receivers have a different level of chemistry where they still find a way to fit the ball in there, so I’m just trying to overall fine-tune my mechanics.

DWC: Tell me a little bit about how you got into playing football?

AJ: I got into the game at the age of three. I have a very athletic family and they’ve always been very supportive. My family members, my cousins, and I were always playing sports — football, basketball, and track growing up, but I just always had a different love for football.

DWC: If you could talk to all 32 NFL general managers, what would you want them to know about you?

AJ: I would tell them you’re getting a lockdown corner. You’re getting someone who can hold their own and who has plenty of experience playing corner. I can play inside corner or outside corner. I would tell them to take your best cornerback prospect in this class and put his film and my film side by side and you tell me why you shouldn’t pick me over him. And that’s what  I would say because I think my game speaks for itself.

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DWC: What are some things you like to do off the field?

AJ: I like to bowl, play dominoes, Madden, and 2K. Off the field, I’m pretty chill.

DWC: AJ, thank you so much again for taking the time to talk with us. We really appreciate it and wish you the best of luck the rest of the way.

AJ: Thank you for the opportunity. I really appreciate it.