Prospect: Khaseem Greene, OLB, Rutgers
Grade: 6.5 (Grading Scale)
+ Former safety, has good top-end speed.
+ Does appear to strain himself while running, but still high-end shows burst and acceleration
- Not a good lateral mover, tends to let his heels “click” rather than shuffle.
+ Not great at using his lower body to gain leverage.
+ Very instinctive, evident film study based on how he reads and reacts to runs.
+ Keeps his eyes in the backfield and his hands from getting engaged with lineman.
+ Sifts through trash to find the ball carries
+ Big hitter when given the opportunity
- Not overwhelmingly powerful; he is not one to blow up fullbacks and guards to to open things up for other players.
- Makes a lot of tackles far beyond the line of scrimmage.
- Can be moved around by guards on the second level.
- Rarely asked to play in man coverage against backs
+ Very good in play-recognition, constantly reading and reacting to quarterback’s eyes.
+ Can run with tight ends in the seam
- Not very fluid in lateral movement; feet tend to “click” rather than shuffle.
- Loses his man in coverage because he is looking at the quarterback’s eyes .
+ Willing to lay the big hit over the middle.
+ His best trait, terrific closing speed
+ Patient in waiting for gaps to shoot, then explodes at the opportune time.
+ Dips under blockers.
+ Big hitter
+ 5.5 sacks on the season
+ Evidence of film study in his play
+ No off-field incidents
- Sometimes shows inconsistent effort
Greene is a very intriguing prospect on many levels. He is a former safety, but he hardly plays like he has any experience in the defensive backfield. He has great instincts and play-recognition, but he does not attack open gaps unless there is a designed blitz. He fights through trash to make tackles, but they are often being made well beyond the line of scrimmage. He shows potential in coverage, but he can be targeted in the passing game at the next level.
Greene is a contradictory player where he does good and bad things in all areas of his game. It is also worth noting that he is coming off a bad injury in last year’s Pinstripe Bowl that may still be having an impact on his movement skills.
By far, the best part of his game is his ability as a blitzer and on special teams, where he makes a lot of game-changing hits for the Scarlet Knights.
If Greene continues to heal from his injury and get better in coverage, he can possibly make it as a starter in the NFL. For now, he looks like a mid-late round selection that will be a special teams ace in his first few years in the league.
-Sheds blocks well for his size, active in the middlle of the field
-Fills hole with authority in run game, staying low and balanced
-Not finishing edge tackles as he usual does, allowing running backs/receivers to escape
-Struggling to sort through zone blocking in this game
-Needs to react better on inside zone coverage, delayed in his recognition
-Seems to be pressing to make big play, allowing underneath/middle routes
Overview: Similar to the other Rutgers top players, Greene didn’t have his best game in their loss either. He’s still among the most talented and most active linebackers. As I noted, he seemed to be trying to make too many bit plays in this game and not being as consistent as usual. He’s still a top rated linebacker prospect, and certainly worth a 2nd round pickd espite lacking ideal size.