T.J. Green is one of the most interesting prospects in this year's draft. Many Clemson fans, myself included, believed that he needed another year at the college level before going to the NFL. Green, however, had other ideas, declaring for the draft just days after the season ended.
6'2" 209 lbs
Vertical Jump: 35.5 in
Broad Jump: 129 in
TJ Green was a lightly recruited two star prospect from rural Alabama when Clemson coaches started recruiting him late in the 2013 cycle. He was initially a wide receiver/kick returner but he played sparingly his freshman season. After he moved to safety before the 2014 season, many of us at STS argued that he should have redshirted in 2013 and been placed at safety from the beginning, because the 2013 season was essentially a wasted year. Green was primarily a backup during the 2014 season but became a key starter during the 2015 season.
TJ Green is a great athlete, as evidenced by his combine numbers. In fact, he was one of the fastest safeties in combine history. Clemson would often times drop him into the box to help against the run and to blitz, two areas which he was pretty good at. Green wasn't afraid to get stuck in at the point of attack, even against running backs like Derrick Henry. Clemson also was not afraid to line him up in the slot in man coverage from time to time. Green's versatility gave Clemson a lot of options for defensive game planning. Because of his athleticism, particularly his size, and versatility, some teams, such as the Cardinals, are even considering TJ Green as a cornerback in the NFL.
TJ Green is very raw. He was raw coming into college as two-star prospect with two Power 5 offers. In his three seasons at Clemson he only spent two at safety and he didn't start until last season. Green can also get caught out of positions at times when looking in the backfield (see the national title game.) He also can miss a few too many tackles, such as his missed tackle on Dalvin Cook's touchdown run. His game still needs refinement.
TJ Green is a raw athlete that can be molded into a force of nature. Because of his athleticism, particularly his speed, teams have been able to overlook some of his more glaring faults and some mock drafts have Green rising all the way into the back end of the first round. He has so many visits scheduled with teams that he had to turn some down because his schedule was so full. For a player that was originally thought to be a late round pick at best, that rise is insane.
If TJ Green makes it into the first round a lot of us will be eating some crow. Even a second round selection will most likely have made his early entry worth it. Green has been mocked to the Cardinals in a mock draft or two and I think that the Cardinals would be a great fit for him. He would be able to play with some young defensive backs (Peterson, Mathieu) that are at the top of their game. Green wouldn't be forced to start right away so he could develop under the wing of some of the game's young defensive stars.