Yesterday we covered the Bears' first and second-round picks; today, we'll do the Bears' fourth and fifth round picks, starting with Khaseem Greene. Greene is a player that was mocked to go in the second or third round for the last month prior to the draft, but the Bears were able to pick him up in the fourth round - and to some, this is where the Bears' draft turned.
Greene is a converted safety with great range in coverage and good speed with the ability to play all three linebacker spots. He makes tackles (had outstanding production in college, though he does miss some high or low from time to time), he has solid ball skills, and he has a good finishing burst to his plays.
MORE: Bears Draft LB Khaseem Greene 117th Overall
One really nice thing about him is his ability to punch the ball out, similar to Charles Tillman's supreme skills - naturally, with ball-punching comes a few missed tackles. Greene was a two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year, so he carries a pretty nice resume with him. His major knock is that he's a little smaller, can't really bulk up any further, and will get lost in traffic, but hopefully, playing in coverage doesn't stick him in traffic too much.
MORE: 2013 NFL Draft: Rutgers LB Khaseem Greene
|Weak-Side LB||MLB||Strong-Side LB|
|Lance Briggs||D.J. Williams||James Anderson|
|Khaseem Greene||Jon Bostic||Khaseem Greene|
|J.T. Thomas||Khaseem Greene||Jon Bostic|
|J.T. Thomas||Blake Costanzo|
Hey, this looks familiar!
Looking at it from Greene's perspective, I think he's more suited to playing the middle than Jonathan Bostic is if the Bears continue to stick with the Tampa 2 scheming. Obviously he'd be no Brian Urlacher, but he's got the coverage and speed to make plays in the passing game. I think Bostic is more suited to the strong-side, hitting the run-lane and finding the ball, but as he's played the interior at Florida, he could stay there in Chicago.
Either way though, the material here is the same as when we discussed Bostic. Lance Briggs isn't going anywhere. Williams and Anderson were signed because the Bears literally needed bodies and they have extensive starting experience at the middle and strong-side, respectively. Bostic and Greene are draft picks and young, promising players - they aren't going anywhere. Who fills the final two spots? Blake Costanzo with his special teams play? Does J.T. Thomas leave? Do Patrick Trahan and Dom DeCicco have a shot at all?
1) Greene Starts At MLB
That'd be an awful lot of responsibility to throw at a young player, but Greene's coverage ability might just warrant the move if the Bears continue making Tampa 2-type calls.
2) Greene Starts At SLB
This would put Greene at the position he played at Rutgers.
3) Developmental Backup Role
I think Greene's more ready-to-go today than Bostic is, but if Williams and Anderson take the starting spots, Greene in spot-duty as a backup or a substitution specialist LB on passing downs would be acceptable.
MORE: The Plan: LB Jon Bostic
The question really boils down to, is Greene an MLB or an OLB? Between he and Bostic, if one or both pan out, the Bears' future linebacking position is a little more locked down. Like I've said, I like Greene's coverage better in the deep middle than I do Bostic, but then you're flipping an ILB to an OLB and vice versa. It does open up for a few interesting coverage calls, though.
But if the Bears are able to use this duo to eventually field a trio of linebackers all on rookie deals (i.e., if Bostic and Greene both pan out), then they'll have set themselves up really well in revamping the defense.