Q & A: Khaseem Greene joins Bears’ LB corpsContinue reading.
Bears try to shore up LB corps with Khaseem Greene
The Bears continued to fortify their linebacker corps by drafting Khaseem Greene of Rutgers in the fourth round of the NFL draft.
The 6-1, 241-pound Greene is an intriguing prospect, because like so many defensive players these days, he’s “moving down,” having started at Rutgers as a safety. And he was moved there by coach Greg Schiano, the former Bears assistant and current Buccaneers head coach who knows a thing or two about football talent and getting players to the NFL. Greene had a second- and third-round grade by a lot of teams, according to NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock.
”I don’t know where I’d be right now if I stayed at safety,” Greene told me at the NFL scouting combine in February. ”I don’t know if the opportunity to contribute in the way that I did at Rutgers would have come about. But I’m definitely blessed and I’m glad coach Schiano saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself and made the switch.”
The Bears like his versatility. Greene says he can play each of the three linebacker positions. His coverage skills that he developed as a safety could make him more valuable in the middle in the Bears zone defense.
”I could play anything,” Greene said. ”If a coach told me to punt the ball, I’d learn how to do it, just to be successful and make a team. I can see myself playing Sam, Mike, Will — whatever coach needs me to do or wants me to do, I’m going to work my hardest to be the best at it.”
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. had Greene ranked as the No. 6 outside linebacker in the draft. He ran a 4.67 40-yard dash at the combine, did 17 reps of 225 pounds and had a 30-inch vertical.
“He is a tackling machine who jumps out on you when yo watch him on film,” Kiper, Jr. wrote in his 2013 draft report. ”He has great read-react ability and he as disruptive all over the field. Greene is your prototypical weakside outside linebacker in the NFL. In a pro game that has become so pass-happy, his coverage skills make him even more valuable. Green isn’t the biggest guy in the draft, but pound-for-pound he is one of the best football players in this group — at any position.”
Greene, a church-goer from Elizabeth, N.J., was listed at ”6-006” at the combine, which equates to 6-0 3/4. He weighed 241 at the combine.
”Right under 6-1? That’s crazy,” Greene said, ”because I’m like 6-2 with my sneakers on.”