2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Dre Greenlaw
Position: Outside Linebacker
School: The University of Arkansas
Weight: 230 pounds
Draft Projection: Day 3
If Greenlaw’s game can be boiled down to his best trait, his ability to run stands out. Whether in coverage, playing the run or blitzing, he flashes the skills to operate in a three-down role. Greenlaw varies his acceleration, depending on the situation. For example, as a blitzer, he takes a sharp path into the backfield. No false steps or any deviation from this approach.
In today’s NFL, linebackers need the athleticism to stay with a myriad of backs, tight ends, and the occasional wideout. Greenlaw checks the boxes. In intermediate coverage, there is no awkward or indecisive technique. Whereas some will show the hesitation of venturing that far from the line, Greenlaw takes smart angles and does not trail that far behind.
In watching his film, Greenlaw displays good feet. That is to say, he excels with twitch. When he does crash in and the play bounces to the outside, watch for the spin back into the middle of the play. Moreover, when defeating blocks, he needs to use his quickness, as strength is not going to shed a lineman block.
If you look at Greenlaw’s technique, observe how he approaches the ball, and makes the play. If speed is his best attribute, tackling will be the skill in need of development. Granted, the potential and athleticism exists, but he needs refinement. With a sound coach and deconstruction of his film, Greenlaw will immediately improve. Now, you will see the occasional flying tackle, reaching for the stop. As mentioned, all he needs is extensive drill time. With his speed and potential for explosion, Greenlaw could be a factor. To his credit, Greenlaw dislodges the ball with excellent vision and coordination. Four forced fumbles for a 230-pound linebacker shows the willingness to improve.
If you honestly look at the Raiders, especially at the linebackers, the need for improvement exists. Travis Kelce and Hunter Henry are the two reasons why Oakland needs a speedy linebacker. Greenlaw can run with either. While Paul Guenther’s defense shows the need for diverse athleticism, the current linebackers lack that skillset. After years of not covering tight ends, the Raiders could address this with a Day 3 selection of Greenlaw.