DT Howard Green (6022, 330, 5.04-5.30) Lousiana State
Personal: Born Howard Green, Jr., on Jan. 12, 1979. Parents are Howard and Veronica Green. Has two sisters, Ursula and Robin. Was an All-State offensive lineman and had 72 tackles and 8 sacks on defense as a senior at Donaldsonville (La.) High School. Played every play except kickoffs and returns. Had a 370-pound bench-press and 500-pound squat.
College: Due to academics, he began his college career at Southwest Mississippi Valley Junior College in 1998-99. Vikings' DL coach Karl Dunbar was LSU's strength and conditioning coach while Green was there. Generally operated in a rotation system with the Bayou Bengals. Started 8-of-10 games at LSU in 2000, posting 39 tackles, 9 tackles-for-loss and one sack. Had 38 tackles, 5 TFL, 3 sacks and one forced fumble in 2001. General studies major.
Pro: Put up 29 reps at 225 pounds in workouts before being drafted. Was originally a sixth-round draft choice (190th overall) by the Houston Texans in 2002. Was waived by the Texans and subsequently claimed on waivers by the Baltimore Ravens in September, 2002. Released by the Ravens about a month later, he re-signed with Houston and spent most of the season on their practice squad, though active for one game. A final roster cut by Houston in 2003, he was signed to the New Orleans Saints practice squad and was promoted to the active roster for four games in 2003. Green beat out former Saints' No. 1 pick Johnathan Sullivan for the starting nose tackle job to begin the 2004 season and had a career-high 53 tackles in 14 games. Slowed by a shoulder injury in training camp, he was waived by the Saints and did not play in 2005. Went to training camp with the Miami Dolphins last season but was waived on the final roster cutdown. Signed a two-year contract with the Vikings, May 8, 2007.
Positives: Big, wide, powerful frame with natural two-gap strength at the point of attack. Very strong upper body. Overpowering at times. A hard working, blue-collar player who has received some sound coaching over the years. Understands the scheme the Vikings will play. Can occupy blockers and keep them off the linebackers.
Negatives: Plays too high at times, negating his strength. More a read-and-reactor than naturally instinctive. Will not provide much in the way of pass rush. Questionable stamina.
Summary: He reportedly weighed 343 pounds when the Vikings signed him. If he gets his weight down to the prescribed 330 pounds, and he stays healthy, he could provide some quality downs on run defense. Given the team's lack of veteran depth at defensive tackle, particularly behind Pat Williams at nose tackle, he has a legitimate shot to make the team as a guy who could occasionally spell the Pro Bowler and help keep him fresh.
What they said:
"True widebody in the middle of the line with excellent upper-body strength. Can be overpowering when he stays low and plays with leverage." -the late Joel Buchsbaum, PFW
"A run-stuffing 300-pound interior presence who can maintain his feet and really hunker down in the middle of the defensive front. Green is capable of working on the nose, doing a real good job of controlling the oppositions overland attack. While he can operate iin a read-contain situation, don't expect Green to provide much in the way of a pass rush. A solid, albeit one-dimensional performer." -Mel Kiper