The Philadelphia Eagles signed undrafted rookie free agent guard Darrell Greene shortly after the 2016 NFL Draft. The Eagles liked him so much that they gave him the most guaranteed money of any UDFA in the league this season ($105,000). In order to learn more about the new Eagles offensive lineman, I reached out to SB Nation's Mountain West Conference blog: Mountain West Connection. San Diego State writer Rafael Castillo was kind enough to answer questions about Greene.
1) What are his strengths?
"Greene has NFL speed, strength, and athleticism. Those are the main reasons he was signed obviously. When dissecting his game, the man has great technique and motor. He is an aggressive and powerful player that has tremendous timing at the point of attack. His college team focused on the running game, an area he excelled at, blocking for several 1,000 yard rushers throughout a long playing career (starting 32 games)."
2) What are his weaknesses?
"His weakness is his size, less than ideal measurements across the board. The most concerning of these is his short arms, arguable the most critical part of the body for lineman, those few inches swinging in either direction are what separate the NFL star from the guy sitting at home. Will Greene balance, power, and technique be able to override his length deficiencies like he did in college at the pro level? Who knows but we will soon find out. Greene's story is not unlike many undrafted guys. They might have the size, speed, etc. but they are missing something, in his case his short arms might prove to be his downfall."
3) Are you surprised Greene went undrafted?
"His draft grade/projection which was based solely on skill was of a 7th rounder, so whenever guys in that position fall off the draft it is never surprising. When factoring in the off the field issue he had this past college football season, him being drafted would have been a more surprising story than him going the free agent route as many expected him to do. Greene is exactly where he was supposed to be at all along in terms of him going into camp fighting for a roster spot whether drafted late or not."
4) Greene was suspended for failing a drug test. Are there any other character concerns to know about or was this an isolated incident?
"From all indications this was an isolated incident, if we believe his college coaches and teammates, however as we have been recently reminded with Art Briles’ Baylor football program implosion relying on these close collegiate sources can sometimes be problematic. Time will be the best indicator of Greene's true character, because anyone can act like an outstanding citizen for brief moments in time but keeping up the charade for long stretches can be difficult if it is one. So far all we know is that he is at least a self-aware individual by going through a school drug program and working his way back onto the San Diego State team after his suspension was lifted, which is a positive sign pointing to that it was in fact an isolated case."
5) How do you see his NFL career playing out?
"There are certain factors or attributes that can tell anybody right away if a person will make it in the NFL; those are their love for the game and work ethic. A player can possess all the raw physical talents and skill but if they do not love football or lack the commitment then they are going to be out the league fast. Greene might lack the raw physical tools to maybe be an all-pro player but his motor and drive will allow him to stick around the league. It was evident throughout his playing career that he loves the game and consistently beat guys in the trenches that could have possible been better than him by just displaying better technique and playing much harder. I expect Greene to be a contributor of some sort this upcoming year (and future) for an NFL team whether it is for the Eagles or someone else."
Thanks again to Rafael. Go check out Mountain West Connection.