I was in a sports bar last weekend watching the NCAA tournament, and the topic around the bartender came to the NFL. When I identified myself as a Giants fan, the barbs started coming in about all the players we’ve lost this off season…including the defection of Osi Umenyiora and the dismissal of fan favorite Chase Blackburn.
But before I could start feeling bad for myself, the poor guy with the Ravens logo tattooed on his arm ordered himself a double shot.
You can’t knock these players for “going for the greener pastures” if their old team isn’t going to pay them and you can’t knock the New York Giants front office for cutting these guys loose when they strongly feel that they are past their prime or not worth the millions. The system works.
The Giants have a TREMENDOUS track record of not being burned by the players they gave pink slips to, including Ron Dayne, Steve Smith, Mario Manningham, Antonio Pierce, Rich Suebert, Shawn O’Hara, Kevin Boss, Dave Tollefson, Brandon Jacobs, etc- the list is long. I hate to say it, but let’s hope that Chris Canty, Ahmad Bradshaw and Martellus Bennett make that list in the near future.
Moving forward the NY Giants have a chance to go for the green themselves in the 2012 draft…as in Elizabeth NJ and Rutgers University’s very own Khaseem Greene. As a red-shirt freshman, Greene led Rutgers in interceptions (Greg Schiano as coach), and in 2011 Greene led the Big East Conference in tackles with 141, as was named co-Defensive Player of the Year.
After suffering a broken ankle Greene came back strong in 2012 with 136 tackles and six sacks. His athletic ability was on display in coverage as he broke up five passes and forced six fumbles.
Greene will be a project at weak-side linebacker, but has potential to be an NFL linebacker if he can get stronger working through traffic. The man is quick at 4.6/40 and has good form. As the NFL evolves into a quarterback league (see: Flacco contract), it’s more important for defenses to have quick linebackers that can cover slot receivers and tight ends, and run quick blitzes- as opposed to Kiwanuka sized linebackers/converted defensive ends who struggle in coverage.
The word is out on Khaseem Greene, but there’s a very good chance that as the #5 ranked linebacker in the draft, he will be available to the G-Men in the 2nd round. At this point with the NFL Draft weeks away, Giants fans only want to hear about what Big Blue needs. They don’t want to hear about any new players unless their name is followed by LB, CB, FS or SS!
The Giants could consider Greene this April in round two; however, he will need to out perform Clint Sintim, the last bust linebacker the Giants had big plans for.
Andy Pritikin | Giants Rush Featured Writer