Scout's Notebook: LB Chad Greenway

A knee injury wiped out his entire rookie campaign, but since returning Chad Greenway has become a stalwart on the Vikings defense and appears to be in the prime of his NFL career. Here's an in-depth analysis and scouting report:

#52, Chad Greenway, LB
(6-2 ½, 242, 4.75 est.) Iowa

Personal: Born 1/12/83 in Mount Vernon, SD. Parents are Alan and Julie Greenway. Three-time South Dakota nine-man football all-state performer; earned MVP honors and was team captain as a sophomore, junior and senior. Played quarterback, free safety and returned punts and kickoffs, helping prep team win two consecutive state titles as a junior and senior. Career totals include 364 rushing attempts for 3,118 yards; completed 171-290 passes for 2,572 yards. Recorded 407 tackles and 23 interceptions on defense. High school coach was Myron Steffen. Also lettered in basketball, baseball and track and field (49-foot triple-jumper). Comes from a good, solid, hard-working family. Grew up on a farm with 4,000 hogs and 100 cattle.

Off the field, Greenway is active in the Twin Cities community and a year-round resident. He was recognized by teammates as the 2007 winner of the Ed Block Courage Award for his dedication to coming back from season-ending knee injury as a rookie. Married in July 2006 to Jennifer Capista, a former track and field athlete at Iowa, together they have a daughter, Madyn. Joined his wife and members of the Vikings Women's Organization in hosting the annual Vikings Gridiron Gallop 5K fun run on Father's Day.

College: Despite prep career was not heavily recruited, with Iowa being the only Division I school offering him a scholarship. Redshirted in 2001. Suffered a right torn ACL in spring practice in 2002 and underwent surgery; came back to record 15 tackles and 1 pass breakup late that season. Started every game in 2003, with 132 tackles, 13 tackles-for-loss, 2 sacks, 6 pass breakups, 1 blocked kick, and 1 forced fumble. Posted 113 tackles, 8 TFL, 3 sacks, 3 INT (54 yards, 1 TD), 5 PBU, 1 BLK, 1FF in 2004. Had 156 tackles, 10 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 INT (16 yards), and 8 PBU in 2005. Team captain as junior and senior. Communication studies major.

Pre-Draft: Measured 6024 (6'-2 ½"), 242 at the combine. Only ran a 4.78 forty there but reportedly wore different shoes during his on-campus workout later and ran 4.54-4.62 on the same surface. Did 19 reps at 225 pounds, posted a 1.61 10-yard dash, 2.75 20-yard dash, 39-inch vertical jump, 10'-0" broad jump, 4.22 short shuttle, 11.40 long shuttle and 7.00 three-cone drill. Wonderlic score was 29.

Pro: Originally drafted by the Vikings in the first round (No. 17 overall) in 2006. Suffered a Chad Greenwaytorn ACL in left knee on kickoff coverage in the preseason opener and spent his entire rookie season (2006) on injured reserve. Bounced back from knee injury to become a starter in 2007; posting 105 tackles, 2 FF, 4 FR, 4 PBU, 2 INT (39 yards, 1 TD). Put up near-Pro Bowl production last season (2008) with 115 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 3 FF, 5 PBU. Off to a strong start in 2009, earning Defensive Player-of-the-Week honors in Week 2 for his performance against Detroit (Highlight Video) that included 4 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery and 2 PBU.

Positives: Good athlete with nice size. Very rangy and active with a nose for the football. Understands the scheme and usually plays smart, disciplined and within the system. Solid character, intelligence and competitiveness. Plays hard on every down. Generally positive to the ball. Has good feet, agility and a burst to the ball. Good sideline-to-sideline range and pursuit. Gets good depth on his pass drops and has developed a nice feel for filling the passing lanes underneath. Good awareness and instincts. Makes plays on the ball. Good hands for the interception. Is generally a reliable open-field tackler. Can blitz off the edge. Solid special teams player. Quality person and citizen who you do not have to worry about off the field.

Negatives: Is not a knockout hitter and occasionally fails to wrap up tightly. Can struggle at times when isolated in man-to-man coverage situations against top backs and tight ends. Better avoiding blockers than taking on and shedding them. Will overpursue at times and tends to make too many diving-type tackle attempts.

Summary: Greenway has developed into a near-Pro Bowl caliber performer for the Vikings. He fits the team's defensive scheme nicely and is a steady, consistent producer who seems to still be ascending as a player in terms of making big plays. He's been everything the Vikings envisioned him beings since being drafted in the first round in the first year under Brad Childress in Minnesota.

Scout's Notebook Archive:

WR Greg Lewis
C Kory Lichtensteiger
LB Kenny Onatolu
QB Brett Favre
CB Antoine Winfield

Kevin Brown has been providing personnel analysis and writing about the Vikings for more than 20 years with Viking Update. Follow VU on Twitter and discuss this and other topics on our message boards.


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