Commentary

Julio Jones is 2011's No. 1 receiver

The former Alabama WR is a better all-around threat than A.J. Green

Updated: April 25, 2011, 5:44 PM ET
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider
Getty ImagesA.J. Green and Julio Jones are the top WR prospects in this year's draft. Who's the better pick?

One of the quandaries facing teams looking to take a wide receiver early in the 2011 NFL draft is whether to go after a Randy Moss-like vertical threat or more of an all-around type of wideout in a Reggie Wayne mold.

The Moss types are often valued higher because of their long pass skills, but the master-of-all-trades receivers often are equally if not more valuable.

In 2007, Moss joined a New England Patriots team that had maybe the greatest dink-and-dunk pairing in NFL history in Tom Brady and Wes Welker. That duo's short pass abilities meant Moss could set his focus almost exclusively on running vertical routes. It was the primary reason he had the second-most vertical pass attempts, the seventh-highest vertical pass percentage in the league that season and scored 23 touchdowns.

In that same year, Wayne actually topped Moss in the vertical yards per attempt (YPA) category (14.7 to 11.5), even without a healthy Marvin Harrison in the lineup. He also nearly equaled Moss in vertical receiving yards (1,031 versus 1,124) and beat him in overall yards as well as the short, medium, deep and overall YPA categories.

This should be kept in mind when it comes to comparing the relative skills of A.J. Green and Julio Jones. Both are dominant physical talents, but after doing a review of their 2010 seasons, it is clear that Jones' skill set is much more varied than Green's.