Greene wows NFL scouts at Pro Day

Former Iowa running back Shonn Greene blasts through South Carolina's defense for a touchdown in the 2009 Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla. (Jonathan D. Woods/The Gazette)

Former Iowa running back Shonn Greene blasts through South Carolina's defense for a touchdown in the 2009 Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla. (Jonathan D. Woods/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY – Former Iowa running back Shonn Greene wowed NFL scouts at Iowa’s Pro Day on Monday.

Greene, a consensus All-American last fall, sprinted a 40-yard dash in 4.59 seconds at Iowa’s indoor facility, according to one scout. That’s about .06 seconds below his time at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last month. Others had him running as low as 4.5. Those times could also send him up the draft charts as well.

Scouts from at least 29 NFL teams attended Iowa’s Pro Day and three different NFL scouts – all of whom spoke anonymously – were excited about Greene’s performance. Along with lowering his speed, Greene increased his 225-pound bench press repetitions from 19 at the Combine to 23 on Monday.

“He looked good,” one scout said. “Very good.”

Greene, 23, is projected as a late second-round to early third-round draft choice. Many draft predictions have Greene ranked as about the fifth running back slated for the draft. That has Greene somewhat agitated.

“My take on that is I think (Ohio State’s) Beanie Wells and (Georgia’s) Knoshown Moreno … I think (they) are great backs, they just had another year whereas I had only had one year to show what I could do,” Green said. “Ohio State gets a lot of publicity but I don’t make that as an excuse. I just do what I can do.

“If you look at the stats and all that, it will tell you that I’m the top back. You look at some of those guys that I went head-to-head with and some of them I faced the same defense, and I did much better. I’m not worried about that. Whoever takes me is going to get a good running back. That’s how it goes.”

Greene said he uses some of the draft projections as motivation.

“It just makes you work harder,” he said. “When people don’t recognize you as much, it makes you want to work harder and do much better.”

Greene earned the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s best running back last fall. He was the only running back to rush for more than 100 yards in every game. He finished the season with 1,850 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns, school records in both categories. Greene also earned the Big Ten’s Most Valuable Player Award.

Greene announced his intentions to enter the NFL draft minutes after Iowa thumped South Carolina 31-10 in the Outback Bowl. He has slimmed down from 235 pounds to 227 and has emphasized strength and speed in his pre-draft training.

“Just being more explosive for the 40, just getting out good and maintaining my speed,” Greene said about his off-season workout. “I’ve been working on my bench a lot, so that improved.”

Greene has stayed in Iowa City to train, except for his combine workout. Several draftniks have downgraded Greene because of character issues. Greene became academically ineligible for the 2007 season and went to Iowa City’s Kirkwood Community College before transferring back to Iowa last fall.

At the combine, Greene said, he repeated the story several times. He told scouts about his part-time job that fall delivering furniture and how it helped mature and re-focus him on football.

“Nobody really asks here,” he said. “I think that’s pretty much under the mat now. I got that story out and everybody knows the deal with that.”

Greene said he plans to keep training in Iowa City for a few more weeks then leave for his hometown of Sicklerville, N.J., shortly before the draft, which takes place April 25-26. He’s unsure who might take him, and he’s not focused on the possibilities right now. He grew up 30 minutes from Philadelphia and often rooted for the Eagles, but he’s not picky.

“I have no idea,” he said. “I’ve been watching (the draft) for the last three years, and it only takes one team. You never know. Hopefully I’ll go as high as I can and just wait for the best.”

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14 Responses to Greene wows NFL scouts at Pro Day

  1. EP says:

    Well done Shonn, and thanks for the update. He’ll be a great pickup for someone and fun to watch on Sundays.

    How did everyone else do?

  2. Todd says:

    If “draftniks” are downgrading Shonn Greene because he had some academic issues….that only shows these “draftniks” are nothing more than a bunch of idiots.

    Shonn Greene has more character in his pinkie than most NFL prospects do in their entire body.

    This is a guy who did what was asked of him every time, no questions asked. He didn’t act the fool, he didn’t become a cancer on his team. He was the complete team player for the Hawks.

    NFL scouts should know that when a team drafts a player from Iowa..they’re getting a kid who’s going to bust their tail every play..they don’t take plays off.

    Yet, I guarantee you’re going to see NFL teams pass over Greene because he’s not “flashy” enough or whatever BS reason they give.

    Those will be the teams that I hope Shonn Greene runs over someday for whatever team he plays for.

  3. […] Greene wows NFL scouts at Pro Day IOWA CITY – Former Iowa running back Shonn Greene wowed NFL scouts at Iowa’s Pro Day on Monday. Greene, a consensus […] […]

  4. Juan says:

    I think Shonn Greene did an outstanding job this season. His work ethic, humbleness and ability to speak through his incredible actions separate him from the other backs in the draft. I don’t think it was a mistake for him to leave for the draft this year. Could he have possibly gone higher next year, with another productive season on his resume? Sure, but he might have gotten hurt, too. Setting Iowa’s season rushing record and winning the Doak Walker prove he’s got the juice. Any “character issues” NFL scouts mention only show the depth of his commitment and character.

  5. Bill says:

    Unfortunately, Shonn is not likely to be a 1st Round pick due to concerns about his total body of work compared to the other top backs (only 1 full season), his skills as a receiver (12 catches for a career). Earlier concerns about his character have been quieted somewhat or I doubt 29 teams would have been in Iowa City this week…but NFL owners will use anything to keep his pay down.
    Brown had the best NFL Combine, Shonn and Wells have helped themselves the most with their Pro Days, with both Knowshon’s and McCoy’s pro days failing to impress. None the less, Knowshon’s career in the SEC continues to prop up his stock although, now it appears that he has the slowest 40 yd dash of the top 4!

    I see the RB draft in this order…
    1 – Brown/Wells
    3 – Knowshon/Greene
    5 – McCoy

    Placing Shonn squarely in the second round.

    I think a lot of NFL teams secretly rate Shonn higher than they want to say….in hopes he will be available.

    Draft experts say the Seahawks, Houston, Eagles, Colts, Pats, Cards all have needs for a Running Back in their top 4 picks. Some think the Chargers will surprise the draft with a 1st round RB pick as well.

  6. Kim says:

    Great Stuff.. keep up the great stuff.
    Kim Cidy

  7. […] All-American Iowa running back and likely NFL draft pick Shonn Greene was one of six witnesses listed in court documents.  It was undetermined whether it was Greene who restrained Clayborn during the altercation. […]

  8. […] Ferentz did say it was almost impossible to replace Greene, who rushed for 1,850 yards and 20 touchdowns last year. Greene was a consensus All-American and was named the Doak Walker Award winner as the nation’s best college running back. He likely will be selected in the second or third round in next week’s NFL draft. […]

  9. […] draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. complimented former Iowa players Shonn Greene and Mitch King during a conference call with reporters this […]

  10. […] good film from this year,” Myers said. “I thought with our success we had and having Shonn (Greene) and Mitch (King) and everyone was watching, getting first-team all-Big Ten, I thought for sure […]

  11. […] In February, Greene struggled in measurable categories at the NFL Combine. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.66 seconds, but then cut that time to anywhere from 4.59 to 4.50 seconds at Iowa’s pro day, depending on t… […]

  12. […] Iowa running back Shonn Greene sat unwanted and unloved through the first two rounds of the NFL draft […]

  13. […] Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said former Iowa running back Shonn Greene has a solid opportunity to play this season for the New York Jets. The Jets moved up 11 spots in […]

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