Strengths: Great length, physical players, intuitive pass defenders with above average technical skills, great acceleration.
Weaknesses: Great change-of-direction athletes will consistently have some advantages on them.
As a sports writer, I’m very happy. Now I get to stow away a groan-worthy “double the trouble Michigan defense” headline for sometime in 2019. Yes!
Gemon Green’s junior season:
There are a lot of awesome aspects to this recruiting win for Jim Harbaugh. Of course, invading a southern state (in this case Texas) is good. Getting defensive backs who are both 6’2” in only their junior year is also good.
But what really encourages me is the fact that both these guys are natural defenders who flash the ability, and the desire, to be technical wizards - guys who could frustrate and embarrass college receivers at the next level. They’re long enough, physical enough, and play with the perfect amount of anger to really get in a defender’s head. (Sometimes they get just a little grabby, but that’s fine for now. You can tell they love winning and take their assignments with pride.)
What gets me even more giddy is this: there’s something about their acceleration, and their hitting, that makes them potentially great on an island with no other defenders around. They’re fine at lateral moves, held up a little bit by their long bodies but helped enough by their footwork and hand-checking, but they’re even better as north-south defenders. The acceleration is very impressive and once they see where they need to go, they can shoot out of their position and lay the wood on some poor ball-carrier.
Some have said they could end up at safety, and that’s certainly possible. But a move there would be a distant Plan B, I think. They’ve got a lot of potential as on-the-ball weapons for a great defense. Worst case, they can bulk up and roam from a safety position.
By the way, I should say that German missed 2016 with an ACL injury, but what I’ve seen of him in spring of ‘16 mirrors his brother Gemon.
Player that they could turn into: I’ll go with an obvious choice here and say Jeremy Clark. Like the Green brothers, Jeremy survived as a bigger body at a smaller position because of his ability to accelerate to the right speed to keep up with all types of receivers. With that, his length became a great asset in fending off passes.
But it was all made possible by what he had in the engine, and Gemon and German have the same kind of speed. That’ll be important as they develop technique and pack on muscle.