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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