Dec 23, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Chad Greenway (52) smiles after the game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. The Vikings won 23-6. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Is Chad Greenway Legitimately a Top 100 Player?

Okay NFL. You put the top 100 players thing out there to generate conversation during the deadest part of the offseason? I’ll bite. Let’s discuss Chad Greenway being selected as the 70th best player in the NFL.

I think I’ve made my feelings about Greenway pretty clear. I think he is a solid player. I think he does a fine job holding down the strong side linebacker position in the Vikings’ defense. He racks up tackles. Every now and then he makes a big play.

His coverage is not great. We know that. We also know that he is not the most physically gifted of athletes. Frankly I think in a lot of schemes he would be at best a marginal player. If you put him on San Francisco, for instance. Would he even start?

But that’s probably not fair. Frankly you can say that about a lot of defensive players. Scheme always plays a part. Get a guy in the right scheme and he can flourish. Get him in the wrong scheme and he can disappear.

Greenway is in the right scheme. He doesn’t have to be a great athlete. Does it matter that he seldom makes a tackle behind the line and does very little in pass coverage? Is it enough to rack up tackles without showing up much in other stat columns? Keeping in mind that the “tackle” stat is highly subjective to begin with and can easily be goosed in order to make a guy look better than he is.

I’m just asking the question. Frankly I don’t see Greenway as a top 100 player. Certainly not a top 70 player. You get into the top 70 you’re talking near-elite. We’ll see how many more linebackers are taken in the top 100. I can’t believe there will be a ton more. Will there be 10 more taken? Probably not. So we’re saying Greenway is one of the ten best linebackers in the NFL?

I’m not sure I would rank Greenway that high. But at the same time I am not outraged by the selection. I can live with it even if I’m not entirely sold. Obviously Greenway is well-respected for the way he goes about his business. He’s a solid human being as well as a good workmanlike lunch pail sort of football player. If John Kuhn can be top 100 like he was last year? Then Greenway can be top 100.

So there you go NFL. You want to generate conversation during the offseason? You succeeded. Good job as always.

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Tags: Minnesota Vikings

  • Matthew Ask

    Ok, i don’t comment on these, but i absolutely love chad greenway. If you have ever been to a vikings game you would understand that greenway is one of the most valuable pieces to the defenses puzzle. He is in on almost every single play. He is DEFINITELY a top 100 player.

  • Eric Klitzke

    this dudes on crack so hes not great at pass coverage but he stop almost every play from becoming a great play

  • Rob

    Greenway would probably have many more big plays if he wasn’t far and away their best linebacker. If I’m an offensive coordinator against last year’s Vikings, I’m calling plays to expose Jasper Brinkley first, then Erin Henderson, but avoiding Greenway.

  • Real Viking Fan

    Seriously, not top 100 material? Do you even watch Vikings games? Chad Greenway is finally getting some attention at a high level and you are knocking him down. This guy has been a solid LB since he’s been on the field. I give Greenway kudos, and the writer of this article needs to stop smoking whatever it is that is impairing his ability to see a great football player when others obviously see it.

  • Justin Emmerich

    I’m surprised Joe Buck isn’t writing this article…

  • Brian Lietz

    Chad Greenway is a standout member of a team that known for its defense. You, Dan, might know a lot about the game, but you’re clueless about measuring talent. Why would you use the 49ers defense as an example of a team that Greenway wouldn’t start? They use a 3-4 defense, and Greenway is a 4-3 guy!!!

    Greenway does exactly what he’s asked to do on a 4-3 “Tampa 2″ defense that loves to run the nickle package.

    Your the kind of guy who would see Jesus walk on water, and report the next day that he can’t swim!

  • novakid89

    And thats why the players voted not you