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New York Giants 2013 NFL Draft Profile: Exclusive Interview with Rutgers LB Khaseem Greene

March 12th, 2013 at 6:55 PM
By Paul Tierney

After releasing weakside linebacker Michael Boley as a casualty of limited salary cap room, the New York Giants must  find a new starting WILL linebacker in 2013. With Jacquian Williams and Spencer Paysinger currently on the roster, Big Blue certainly has candidates to replace Boley from within. However, with the deep class of linebackers that have declared for the 2013 NFL Draft, the Giants could look to add depth to their linebacker corp. in April. Rutgers linebacker Khaseem Greene, who is a two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year, fits the mold of a prototypical modern day NFL linebacker.

In today's high-octane, pass heavy NFL, smaller linebackers capable of covering backs and tight ends down the field have become a valuable commodity. With each of the Giants' NFC foes possessing a quarterback with at least some measure of mobility, having speed at linebacker is crucial to putting forth a successful defensive effort. Greene, who stands 6'1" and weighs 241 pounds, projects to be the kind of player who can utilize his speed and athleticism to contain versatile offensive schemes.

Today, Giants 101 caught up with Greene as he prepares for his Pro Day tomorrow at Rutgers University. He says that, above all, his football instincts and natural ability will be his greatest asset in transitioning to the NFL.

"I think I cover very well out of the backfield," Greene said. "I cover tight ends, slot receivers and I think I do a great job of staying in front of people and just denying my man the ball. I also think I'm really fast and I'm quick when it comes to reading and going to attack. Some of the things I do well you don't have to teach me."

Greene came to Rutgers in 2008 after playing high school football for Elizabeth High School in Elizabeth, NJ. In 2009, he played in all 13 of Rutgers' games and garnered 33 tackles and two interceptions. He improved upon those statistics as a full time starter  at free safety in 2010 and was moved to linebacker in 2011, when he was named Big East Co-Defensive Player of the year.

In the 2011 Pinstripe Bowl against Iowa State, Greene suffered a broken ankle that sidelined him for the remainder of the game and required offseason surgery. Although there was concern about his health coming into Rutgers' 2012 campaign, Greene showed no signs of any lingering effects from injury and went on to become just the first player since 1999 to repeat as Big East Defensive Player of the Year. Greene says that although he has had success in the college game, he still has a lot to work on between now and when he gets into training camp.

"I'm still getting a feel for the linemen and their speed and the certain things that they do well," Greene said. "It's just like college in that I have to study a lot of film and pick up some tendencies to see what I can do to see if I can be the guy on a specific play. I want to do the little things that don't show up all the time."

The Giants have several needs they must fill in the 2013 draft and WILL linebacker may not be too high on the list. The team still has no viable option to take over at middle linebacker, no starting tight end and several holes on the offensive line. With that said, general manager Jerry Reese is in no position to turn down a player that can help contain the likes of Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson for the foreseeable future.

If Greene is still on the board when the Giants pick in the second round, Jerry Reese may strongly consider selecting him to bolster a linebacker corp. that is lacking speed and athleticism. However, if Greene has it his way, he'll come off the board well before the Giants get a chance to take him with their second selection of the draft.

"Honestly, my expectations are very high," Greene said. "I expect to go on the first day and in the first round. Whether it be late or mid, I think I'm a first-round caliber player. But at the same time, wherever I go, all I need is the opportunity to get into somebody's camp an show them I can play football."

Also…

Tags: Football, Jacquian Williams, Jerry Reese, linebacker, Michael Boley, New York, New York Giants, NFC, NFL, NFL Draft, Robert Griffin III, Spencer Paysinger

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104 Responses to “New York Giants 2013 NFL Draft Profile: Exclusive Interview with Rutgers LB Khaseem Greene”

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  1.  kujo says:

    Put me down as being 100% in favor of signing Dansby. Should’ve went out and got him a few years back, and now he can be had without the cost of draft picks.

    Also can’t imagine us signing Deangelo Hall.

    •  KingAndrewXXIII says:

      Agreed – wouldn’t mind Dansby at MLB for us. Think his asking price will be too high though. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him wind up in Oakland or Baltimore.

      Want NO PART of D Hall. The guy is a scumbag…and an overrated player. I’d add another high draft pick at CB…and probably even another mid-late round guy. But yeah, keep D Hall away from the Giants.

      •  TonyMW says:

        I’d be happy with Dansby as well, but I think it may be a bit premature to think he’ll want a lot of money. Older players that are cut tend to realize they are not exactly able to demand top dollar. I’m sure Reese looks into it either way.

        •  KingAndrewXXIII says:

          Pro Bowl players like Dansby with the agent that he has are going to want MAXIMUM value for their client! Someone will likely overpay…

  2.  KingAndrewXXIII says:

    Another great piece, Paul! Would like Greene, although I certainly wouldn’t take him in the first round. Depending upon any further moves, I wouldn’t mind him in the 3rd round or so if he was there.

    •  Paul Tierney says:

      Thanks man. He’ll be gone before the third round. He told me today he expects to run in the 4.5′s at his Pro Day tomorrow, which I think would vault him up the draft board for a lot of teams. I see him as a second round selection and a guy who we could really use to help stop the new wave of read/option offenses that seem to be taking the league by storm.

      •  KingAndrewXXIII says:

        I agree, he is more of an early-mid 2nd round selection. I wouldn’t be against it, but I want to see how the rest of our free agency pans out along with cuts, etc. Certainly a good player though.

  3.  KingAndrewXXIII says:

    Canty to the Ravens. Good sign for them…

    •  Paul Tierney says:

      I am interested to see him play in a 3-4. Not sure he’s that kind of player.

      •  GmenMania says:

        He started off as a 3-4 end for the Cowboys, so I think he’ll fit in well in Baltimore.

      •  TonyMW says:

        You know he was a 3-4 end in Dallas, right? It’s funny, I was just talking to a Ravens fan friend of mine about potentially landing Canty. I think end in a 3-4 is by far his natural position, and he excels in that role. I don’t know how much it is related, but Ware’s tackle numbers dropped substantially once Canty left Dallas.

        •  Chad Eldred says:

          Absolutely. I was disappointed with how he played for us when you compare to how he played as a 3-4 DE with Dallas. If he is healthy, he will be a force for them.

        •  Paul Tierney says:

          He’s a little older and slower now. Not sure he still has the athleticism to play that position.

          •  Eric S says:

            3-4 DE are primarily there to eat up blockers to free up LB’s to fly around and make plays. Hardly in need of great athleticism for that.

            •  Paul Tierney says:

              Canty was unable to do that this season. I just don’t see him working well within the Ravens system, especially given their lack of talent at linebacker. There is going to be a lot of pressure on the defensive line to make plays and I just don’t see them succeeding as a collective group. I hope he proves me wrong because he really is a genuinely good person.

              •  Eric S says:

                I think Canty’s down year had more to do with his mystery knee injury and his inability to come back at 100% this year. And honestly, our LB’s were terrible. How many times did we see RB’s drag our LB’s 3-4 yards down the field after being met at the line of scrimmage?

  4.  GmenMania says:

    I’m not a fan of Greene in the second. In the 3rd, sure, but I think the second is too early. He’s already 24 too, so he’s pretty old for a draft prospect. I think his ability is more late-second round, but I could definitely be proven wrong.

  5.  TonyMW says:

    Don’t know if its been mentioned, but it seems as if the Giants made an offer to Delanie Walker and he was prepared to become the newest member of the Giants. Tennessee seemingly swooped in at the last minute and offered him something we couldn’t match. The morale of the story: Reese will find a way to spend if it is someone he wants, and it’s at a reasonable cost.

    •  BillyS says:

      I’m glad. I don’t think Walker was a very good fit for us. He’s pretty one dimensional. He’s an H-back type who could provide pretty good offense if finally given the chance, but he doesn’t exactly offer much in terms of blocking. That’s something I liked about Bennett was he brought a lot to the table. He could make the tough catches and he could block. He made an impact. So I’m glad Walker was signed away from us. I still think we could find a decent TE in the draft.

      •  TonyMW says:

        Actually, Walker has a rep as a pretty good blocker. He may not be in line with what Bennett offered in that area, but I definitely wouldn’t consider that a weakness in his game. He does have hands of stone though, so in that sense I’m glad it didn’t work out as well.

        •  BillyS says:

          Eh, he didn’t really look it over the last few years. He reminded me of a poor man’s Jared Cook. Sub-par blocking, but give him a chance and he’ll make some catches. He’s in no way worth the $$ he’s going to get though so I’m happy we didn’t get him. Even if we have to go with Adrien Robinson. I’d much rather save our cap for our star players.

    •  Eric S says:

      If that’s true then thank you Tennessee. I want no part of an undersized TE who’s really more of an H-Back. We had one, his name was Beckum, Travis. Didn’t pan out so well.

      •  TonyMW says:

        In all fairness, Walker is better than Beckum. He’s had some production, and he’s built much differently than Beckum. He may be short, but he’s not small. He’s 3 inches shorter than Beckum and 10 lbs heavier.

        I get the notion that the Giants “don’t use H-backs” because of the lack of production from Beckum. Has anyone though that maybe it’s because he’s the only player on the roster that might be used in that role, but he’s just not that good?

        •  Eric S says:

          The knock on Beckum per the coaching staff, and the reason aside from injuries that he didn’t see the field was because they didn’t deem him a good enough blocker, not that he couldn’t be a factor in the passing game.

          As for Walker, he turns 29 this year, and his “production” isn’t at all impressive considering how much teams had to focus on Davis. Like many players hitting FA from successful programs he’s being vastly overrated.

          Where did you hear that the Giants made him an offer?

          •  TonyMW says:

            I read it on BBI via “In Reese We Trust”. While definitely not the most credible source, whoever runs that page said their source was Delanie himself. Take it for what it’s worth….

  6.  BillyS says:

    I’m one of the ones that also thinks 3rd round is where he’ll most likely go. He’s just one of those guys that falls in the middle without a real set place. The 2nd round seems way too early for him, but on the other hand the 3rd seems too late. And 24 is pretty old for a prospect, but it’s not unheard of. The Eagles took that one guy who was like 26 or 27 and the Browns took that old QB. But keep in mind that if you take an older player it means less time for them to develop and have an impact on the league…so they have to be good from the get go. I just think we could get better value elsewhere. Now if he’s in the 4th round that’s a different story.

    And good for Canty getting one last pay day. It’s what we gave Jenkins, but Canty hasn’t been all that healthy lately and sometimes a change of scenery can do wonders. I hope he does well there because he always seemed like a really good guy.

    Oh, and Percy Harvin just got his $$…

  7.  TonyMW says:

    FF55′s boy Tollefson was just released, along with DHB. I can’t express how happy I am that Reese didn’t trade up for him.

    On a sidenote, I’m getting this sneaking suspicion that Dansby is a Giant by the end of the week. I may be totally wrong, but going after a guy for cheap that you had previous interest in seems like a Reese move.

    •  BillyS says:

      Tollefson looked washed up last year (which was sad) and DHB…wow, we dodged a bullet with that one (same with McClain). Dansby is an interesting name, though. Reese always seemed to like him and I think he’d actually fit this team well. He’s a decent sideline-to-sideline player, but his coverage skills aren’t what they once were. He’s a sure tackler and about the best we could hope for at the moment. If the price is right I would be thrilled with him. I think he’ll be 33 when the season starts, but as long as Reese doesn’t go crazy with years and guaranteed money then I’m alright with him as a stop gap.

    •  KingAndrewXXIII says:

      I would LOVE to add DHB to our receiving corps! It really doesn’t make sense to bring him in, as he would start on just about any other team on the league – but would be a great fallback plan if Cruz isn’t signed to a long term deal or someone does indeed pony up a pick for him.

      I have had several interactions with him personally – he is a good guy, smart kid and works hard. Did he deserve to go as high as he did? Probably not. But was he a first round talent? Absolutely! The problem with Oakland was that his cap hit was going to be too large this year and with them rebuilding, it just wasn’t a fit. DHB has the strength and size to play on the outside and is a speedy receiver…but he is also built enough to go across the middle. I would look for a team like the Rams or a team like the Texans who are in dire need of a solid #2 to go after him. Either way, he won’t hurt for a new home.

  8.  TroyThorne says:

    Delanie Walker definitely wasn’t an H-Back type at SF (why would they need one with Vernon Davis on the roster?). In fact, his hands are his absolute worst attribute and he dropped a ton of balls. Good blocker and pretty good on special teams though.

  9.  The Original G Man says:

    Wow … the Raiders have released WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, DB Michael Huff and DE David Tollefson

  10.  TroyThorne says:

    Looks like the Dolphins signed Phillip Wheeler as well. Putting together their own “Dream Team” it looks like.

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