Saturday, April 27, 2013
Khaseem Greene: More LBs for Bears
By Kevin Seifert
Khaseem Greene isn't that big at 6-foot and 241 pounds. He doesn't test particularly fast, having run his 40-yard dash in 4.71 seconds. But Greene was an awfully successful and productive playmaking linebacker at Rutgers and appears to be a particularly inspired choice by the Chicago Bears with the No. 117 overall pick.
Greene set an NCAA record by forcing 15 fumbles in his career at Rutgers. According to ESPN Stats & Information, he also led all defensive players from automatic-qualifying schools with 27 "impact tackles" last season. That statistic is defined as "a tackle made for gains of two yards or less that prevented a first down or touchdown."
Overall, Greene appears to be a good fit as a weakside linebacker in the 4-3 defense. That's the position currently manned by Lance Briggs, who will be 33 this fall. It's way too early to start talking about Greene as a possible replacement to one of the Bears' best players of a generation, but it's better to start accumulating options before you're forced into a more desperate situation.
The Bears entered the draft with five overall selections and they've used two of their first three on linebackers. Florida's Jon Bostic, taken in the second round, could end up as their middle linebacker. One day, Greene could start next to him. Regardless, it was past time for the Bears to start addressing the future of this position.
Related: Kevin Weidl of Scouts Inc. was among those lauding this selection: "Khaseem Greene going in the 4th is a steal in my opinion. Finds the ball and consistently manufactures big plays. Love the Rutgers program."