LB Khaseem Greene- Rutgers
Summary: Greene gets lost in this year’s draft class for two bad reasons. He is not a pass rusher but he is an outside backer. And, he is small (6’0, 236). Neither of those two reasons were a problem for him at Rutgers, where he led the team in tackles two years in a row. As a converted safety, Greene stretches the field and demonstrates a unique sense of speed and strength. The fact that he was a safety his first two years also shows his versatility. He is also a good coverage linebacker which is a quality that almost every linebacker needs in the pass happy NFL. Like I said before, he is not a traditional pass rusher although he did lay out some nasty hits on QBs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhb83_ASFuk) which means he will fall more than he should. He can rush the quarterback but that was not his job at Rutgers, as the defense really struggled against quick offenses. As a result, Greene became the classic case of a player who was much better than those surrounding him. The fact that he is small is irrelevant because he is strong enough to make almost any tackle. Greene is the textbook example of an underrated player.
NFL Transition: Most experts say Greene will only be able to play for 4-3 teams due to his size and lack of pass rush ability. But, as I have debunked that myth, it doesn’t really matter what system he is in. While it would be easiest for him to adjust to a 4-3, he could be an inside linebacker in a 3-4 or even a linebacker/safety combo in a Tampa 2. Since he does have versatility, which should make him an attractive option for almost any defense.
NFL Comparison: Daryl Smith
The average NFL fan will not know Daryl Smith, but he is considered by most to be a top 10 NFL line backer and may be the best 4-3 outside linebacker in the game. Smith is great in coverage, like Greene and shows an incredible amount of speed with strength. If Greene maximizes his potential, he could become the next Daryl Smith.
NFL Dream Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
Speaking of Daryl Smith, the Jaguars let him go into free agency, which opens a major hole at outside linebacker. In comes Greene, who can make a major impact on a team, which has a history of underperformers and busts. Greene’s aggressive play fits well with new head coach Gus Bradley’s defense, which requires athletic linebackers. While Greene can probably fit well into any team’s system, his versatility is best suited in Jacksonville where they also have problems in coverage. Next to Paul Posluszny, who is an effective run stopper, Smith can be the complimentary coverage linebacker. Greene is not just an upgrade, but a culture change in Jacksonville.