NFL Draft 2013: Khaseem Greene prospect profile

Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE

Khaseem Greene may be the greatest defensive player in Rutgers history.

It's difficult to imagine that Rutgers linebacker Khaseem Greene could've done anything more on the field to bolster his draft stock. In his final two seasons with the Scarlet Knights, Greene was nothing short of dominant; however, his size disadvantage will threaten his spot in the first round and could result in a second-day selection for the 2012 Big East Defensive Player of the Year.

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In his senior season, Greene accumulated 136 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, six sacks and two defensive touchdowns as he shredded Big East competition. How good was he for the Scarlet Knights? The best defensive player the school has ever had, says Tom Liucci of the Star-Ledger. He capped that illustrious career with yet another dominant showing against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl. Via DraftBreakdown.com:

When it comes to scouting players from the collegiate ranks, though, the question turns to whether or not a player will be able to have the same type of success against bigger, faster and stronger players. At just under 6'1 and 236 pounds, Greene played two seasons of safety for Rutgers before he was moved to weakside linebacker in 2011. At the NFL level there are questions if he has the power to be effective, although he has shown himself as a very good linebacker in coverage.

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In his preview of the Senior Bowl, SB Nation's Dan Kadar called Greene the fourth-best player in attendance and discussed what he can prove during his time with the North squad:

A fast and active linebacker, Greene was among the nation's leaders in tackles this season with 136. The All-American may not be the most powerful, but he can make plays all over the field. Greene is similar in style and size to Lavonte David of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He can track the ball down in a hurry and takes great angles to the ball.

What we may find out this week: Greene excels when he can get to the ball after a completion or on a run play. Where he's a little untested is in coverage situations. He'll have to show awareness in zone situations to prove he's an all-around linebacker.

Positives:

  • Greene has the athleticism and closing speed necessary to be a very good coverage linebacker and stay with linebackers and tight ends./li>
  • A very instinctive player, Greene often sniffs out screens and diagnoses quick passes fast enough to make a play.
  • Due to his flexibility and athleticism, Greene has the potential to be a strong blitzing linebacker in the NFL.

Negatives:

  • Although he has good weight for a linebacker, he's a little short for the position and has a safety build.
  • Greene may lack the power necessary to take on and shed blocks at the next level.
  • His hustle has been questioned at times, as he is prone to jog when a play goes to the opposite sideline.

2013 NFL Combine performance:

Greene measured in at a fraction of an inch under 6'1, but carried 241 pounds very well and looked the part. The former defensive back didn't have a poor showing, but it wasn't overwhelmingly impressive either as he posted many times and numbers near the average for linebackers.

His 17 reps at the bench press were among the fewest in the linebackers group, which doesn't bode particularly well for a player that has been called a player with a safety build and has endured questions about his strength.

NFL fit:

Greene's best fit in the NFL is as a weakside linebacker in a 4-3 where his responsibilities would primarily include playing in coverage, sniffing out screen passes and blitzing the quarterback. While several teams could use Greene, the Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and St. Louis Rams may be the teams that are most in need of his services.
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