In the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select Rutgers linebacker Khaseem Greene.
Greene is a converted safety who moved to linebacker his junior season at Rutgers. He led the conference in tackles (141) that year and was named co-Big East Defensive Player of the Year. His senior year, he tallied 136 tackles, 12 for loss, with six sacks, five pass breakups and six forced fumbles. For his efforts in 2012, Greene as named All-Big East and first-team All-American by ESPN.
During his collegiate career, Greene forced an NCAA all-time record with 15 forced fumbles, a very attractive trait in Chicago.
Greene looks the part of a prototypical 4-3 OLB. He’s a chase linebacker with good tackling skills. He’ll struggle at the point of attack, and doesn’t have the thick frame to take on big blockers, which is why he’d be great on the weak side, where he can utilize his speed.
At the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, Greene (6-1, 241) ran a 4.71 40-yard dash and posted 17 reps in the bench press. His 4.20 20-yard shuttle, used to measure quickness, was one of the top times at his position.
Before the draft, most experts had Greene as a second- or third-round pick, so the Bears just could not pass up on his value, even if the club already drafted a linebacker two rounds earlier, Jon Bostic. With Bostic and Greene, the Bears have the makings of the future linebacker corps.
Interestingly, GM Phil Emery said yesterday that he sees Bostic as a middle linebacker. Yet on film he appears to be much better suited for the strong side. Most feel Greene is best suited on the weak side, yet that position is already manned by Lance Briggs. But Greene, on film, shows the quickness and speed to play inside, so don’t be surprised if he ends up at MIKE. Either way, both of Chicago’s new linebackers are versatile and should provide long-term stability at a position that was very sketchy just two days ago.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.