Greene thinks Pro Day aided his draft stock
Khaseem Greene could not resist running.
Most expected the linebacker to sit out the 40-yard dash yesterday at the Rutgers football team’s pro day, but Greene pursued it anyway, running a 4.61, according to Rutgers Athletics Communications.
“I just wanted to run,” Greene said inside the Rutgers Practice Bubble. “I’m a competitor. Plus, everybody runs faster at pro day.”
Greene, arguably the Scarlet Knights’ best chance as a first-round pick in April’s NFL Draft, said he weighed in at 241 pounds yesterday. He also acknowledged outsiders’ concerns about his ability to put on weight two seasons removed from playing safety.
Greene said he could have run a 4.3 or 4.4 40-yard dash had he lined up at 225 pounds.
“I’m very comfortable with my weight,” he said. “It’s not like it’s a bad weight. Actually, I know it’s good weight. I know that I’m fast. Running a fast 40 is nothing because I know my game speed is a lot faster.”
Greene, a two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year, finished with 277 tackles in his two seasons at linebacker. He said former head coach Greg Schiano’s decision to move him from safety was one of the most impactful moments of his career.
“The fact that he saw this all happening before it actually happened … [and] to see the production that came out of it is amazing,” Greene said. “That’s probably one of my harder but better life decisions I’ve ever had to make.”
Greene continued his dominance under head coach Kyle Flood, recording six sacks, forcing six fumbles and scoring his first career defensive touchdown in 2012. Flood played host to scouts from all 32 NFL teams yesterday, according to Rutgers Athletics Communications, and has developed a clearer understanding of how the draft process works as a head coach.
“Year in and year out, as [scouts] ask me about different players, you get some idea in your mind about what might happen going forward, but you never really know,” Flood said. “It only takes one team to really like you and you can maybe go a little higher than people anticipated.”
Greene contemplated entering the draft last season, his fourth at Rutgers and fifth since high school — he spent a prep season at Avon Old Farms (Conn.). He says he reads mock drafts, but never pays too much attention.
“Personally I think I’m a first-round-caliber guy or early second round,” Greene said. “But you never know when it comes to April.”
The same uncertainty lingers for Logan Ryan, who decided to forgo his senior season.
Ryan, a 2012 All-Big East First Team cornerback, opted not to run the 40-yard dash after posting a time of 4.56 in February’s NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
“I’m a football player,” Ryan said. “I’ve been doing it the last two months. I’m focusing on being a better football player and trying to make an impact as a rookie and getting drafted high, not putting my hand in the ground and going through track practice.”
Ryan, a valuable asset for the Knights against the run, is up to nearly 193 pounds since training during the offseason. He says he has benefited from working with New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, who shares the same agent as Ryan, at Fischer Sports in Phoenix.
“That was the greatest thing I ever decided to do,” Ryan said. “A lot of pro guys train there [and] come in two or three times a week. He’s there five to seven times a week. To me, it’s obvious why he’s great, and I learned that firsthand.”
Knight Notes: Defensive tackle Scott Vallone did not run the 40-yard dash because of a previously tweaked hamstring. He said he projects best as a 3-4 defensive end in the NFL. … Running back Jawan Jamison, who had two years of eligibility remaining, ran times of 4.64 and 4.6 in the 40-yard dash. He said his right ankle — injured twice last season, including during the Knights’ Dec. 27 bowl game — is fully healed.