Falling in Love with Rutgers’ Khaseem Greene

Written by Jon Dove on December 28, 2012



It’s easy to fall in love with Rutgers’ Khaseem Greene, as this is a player with the potential to do great things in the NFL. Greene is the complete package who’s capable of fitting in any system. Look for his draft stock to continue to rise through the draft process.

In today’s NFL, a linebacker must be able to play multiple roles. Greene boasts the athleticism to support the run, drop in pass coverage and rush the quarterback. This versatility only increases Greene’s value, as he can potentially fit in either a 4-3 or 3-4 attack.

The image below shows the quickness and balance Greene has coming off the edge. It’s important to note that he’s under control and also keeping contain. Too often, edge-rushers take a straight shot to the quarterback but lose contain. This typically results in a big play.

It’s inaccurate to say that Greene is a top-notch pass-rusher. However, he possesses the athleticism, timing and suddenness to develop.

Greene’s athleticism and balance make him an above-average cover linebacker. The image below shows his ball skills and ability to gain depth. This skill set would make him a great fit as a cover-2 middle linebacker. We’ve seen someone like Brian Urlacher do this his entire career.

Outside of his versatility, Greene brings a ton of attitude to the field. He loves to deliver big hits and always looks to create a turnover. His big-play potential comes from his explosive first step and closing speed. It also helps that his motor constantly runs on high, which allows him to make plays sideline to sideline.

Greene isn’t just a physical talent, as he was highly productive through his college career. This season he was named to ESPN.com’s 1st-Team All American squad. ESPN’s Andrea Adelson had this to say about Greene:

“Greene was a beast of a linebacker last season. He was even better this year. The Big East Defensive Player of the Year did more than just rack up tackle after tackle, to the tune of 125 on the season. He also ranks second in the nation with six forced fumbles, led his team with 5.5 sacks, broke up five passes and had two interceptions from his weakside spot. He essentially doubled his career sacks and forced fumbles in the span of 12 games. There is no defensive player in his league as consistent or as good”

One concern surrounding Greene is the fact that he can become a little hesitant at times. He must learn to trust his instincts and attack the football.

Greene also must do a better job using his hands at the point of attack. He isn’t afraid to attack the line of scrimmage, but can get taken out of the play from time to time. He’d be much more effective if he used his hands to create space.

The image below shows how Greene took on the block with his shoulder, which limited his ability to reach the edge.

Depending how the draft order shakes out, Greene has the potential to be a top-15 pick. The only way he doesn’t reach that height is because of team needs. However, I have a hard time believing there aren’t a ton of teams in the NFL that need a game-changing linebacker like Greene.

Teams like the Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants and Cincinnati Bengals could all consider taking Greene in the first round.

Jon Dove

Jon Dove has followed and loved the draft since he was a little dude. His life has been filled with many sleepless nights wondering just how the next draft would shake out. He took that obsession and started working with Dan Kadar at Mocking the Draft. Jon subsequently headed NFL Mocks, where he honed his skills in the areas of SEO, site organization and running a team of writers. Later, Bleacher Report approached him to join their NFL coverage team. See all posts by Jon Dove.