Khaseem Greene: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Rutgers Linebacker
Khaseem Greene is one of my favorite linebacker prospects in the entire 2013 NFL Draft. His pure athleticism and tackling ability make him a dynamic option for teams looking to add a high-ceiling 4-3 weakside linebacker.
If a team running that scheme can find someone to go sideline-to-sideline in a heartbeat, especially if that someone can provide a high ceiling, that team will be incredibly happy come Day 2 of the draft.
Let's take a look at who Greene is, his background and some interesting facts as he prepares for the next leg of his journey into the National Football League.
Full Name: Khaseem Greene (February 4, 1989)
Hometown: Elizabeth, New Jersey
High School: Elizabeth High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey
Major: Labor Studies
Khaseem Greene graduated with a degree in labor studies this past season, and just couldn't be happier that he met a goal many had considered unreachable considering the environment upon which he grew up.
In his "farewell" letter to Rutgers University, Greene had the following to say....(via NJ.com).
Thank you to my professors and academic advisers who challenged me to work as hard in the classroom as I do on the football field. Of all the honors I've earned during my time here, there's nothing I'm more proud of then my degree from Rutgers University. I'll be a “non-player” in life way longer then I'll be a “player” and I will always have my degree.
Yes, Greene seems to be mature beyond his years as he looks forward to playing in the National Football League.
It really is refreshing to see.
2009 (Freshman): 12 games, 33 tackles, 22 solo, two for loss, two sacks.
2010 (Sophomore): 12 games, 77 tackles, 45 solo, 2.5 for loss, two interceptions and four forced fumbles.
2011 (Junior): 13 games, 140 tackles, 74 solo, 14 for loss, 3.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.
2012 (Senior): 13 games, 136 tackles, 70 solo, 12 for loss, six sacks, two interceptions, six forced fumbles and two touchdowns.
Khaseem Greene was named Defensive Player of the Year in the Big East for two consecutive seasons, joining only Virginia Tech standout Corey Moore (via My Central New Jersey).
Greene led the conference in tackles in 2011 and finished second in that category this past season behind only Greg Blair of Cincinnati. He finished first in solo tackles each season, a more telling statistic.
The Rutgers product was named to both the AT&T and ESPN All-American team as well as the Walter Camp Football All-America second team.
The accolades and production are obviously there for Greene.
Whoever gets him after the first round will be acquiring a young linebacker that has a ceiling nearly unsurpassed by any linebacker prospect in the draft.
In reality, Greene reminds me a great deal of Bobby Wagner, who was one of my biggest sleepers of the 2012 NFL Draft. Wagner went on to surpass any previously set expectations as a rookie for the Seattle Seahawks this past season.
All statistics provided by CFB Stats
Weight: 241 pounds
Arm Length: 32 5/8"
Hand Size: 9 5/8"
Broad Jump: 116"
40-Yard Dash: 4.71
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.20 (No. 1 among linebackers)
Three-Cone Drill: 7.58
Vertical Jump: 30.0"
Bench Press: 17 reps at 225
Greene really didn't stand out a great deal at the combine in generic drills. He finished outside of the top 10 among linebackers in the 40-yard dash, broad jump, vertical jump and three-cone drill. That being said, Greene did finish second in the 20-yard shuttle, which is an extremely underrated drill.
Where Greene might not have stood out in the generic drills, he was dominating in the position-specific events. He showed great sideline-to-sideline speed, which is a necessity for starting linebackers in the NFL.
Greene also excelled in what has been dubbed the "pass drop and hip rotation drill." This looks at whether a linebacker has the necessary fluidity in the hips and technique to drop back in coverage. Watching it from my television set, Greene seemed to excel in every possible way during this drill.
All numbers provided by NFL.com
Prior to starring for Rutgers, Greene was teammates with his brother and fellow 2013 NFL Draft prospect Ray Graham at Elizabeth High School in New Jersey.
Their father "Big Ray Graham" has spent multiple stints in prison during their lives, the most recent starting when Greene was beginning his freshman campaign at Rutgers.
"Big Ray" has since stayed out of trouble and become much closer to his children. For his part, Greene has accepted his previously wayward father back into his life (via The New York Daily News).
It’s been nice to have him around......And he's different now.
His father was able to attend Rutgers pro day and seems to be doing everything right to earn the trust of his children.
For his part, Greene was thrust into maturity at a young age with his father out of the equation. He spoke about this at length to The Daily News....
My father, he was like in and out, and there was a lot of us...So basically it left us to take care of ourselves, doing everything on our own.
It's great to see a young kid use a bad experience like that as motivation to grow as an individual. Any team that is lucky enough to nab him next week will be getting a prospect with outstanding character and maturity.
Our very own Matt Miller believes that Khaseem Greene and DeVonte Holloman are the two best cover linebackers in the draft.
That doesn't surprise me a great deal. The Rutgers product is great dropping back into coverage and possesses fluid hips down the field. These are two things that scouts look for when assessing 4-3 linebacker prospects.
Meanwhile, Ryan Lownes seems to indicate that the St. Louis Rams would be a great fit for Greene in the second round.
OLB is a huge need for St. Louis and will need to be addressed. Khaseem Greene and Sio Moore are among Day Two options.
I personally believe that Greene's bottom in terms of draft stock is the late second round. The Seattle Seahawks, who need to replace LeRoy Hill, also seem like a fit here. Imagine Greene lining up with K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner in Seattle's hybrid 4-3 scheme. That would represent one of the better young linebacker groups in the entire National Football League.
Greene's ceiling, however, is late in Day 1. I could see a contending team taking a shot on his upside as the first round draws to a close.
Time till tell.
Vincent Frank is an NFL featured columnist here at Bleacher Report. Vincent is the head sports editor over at eDraft, co-host of Draft Sports Radio, which airs every Monday and Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. ET, and a fantasy writer for Pro Football Focus.
Go ahead and give him a follow on Twitter @VincentFrankNFL.
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