Why the Slide?: Jon Greenard

Why the Slide?: Jon Greenard, DE, Florida
By Charlie Campbell, @draftcampbell

Six years ago, we started a series of articles on why certain prospects went undrafted. In that series, I reach out to sources with NFL teams to find out why their organizations passed on drafting a given player, and/or, what were the reasons for other teams to pass on that prospect. We got a lot of positive reader feedback about the series, so we decided to expand in the genre to investigate why some prospects slid in the draft. Four years ago, we started the Why the Slide? series, and this year it is back. Feel free to email me requests for Why the Slide? and Why Undrafted? at [email protected]. I can’t promise to get to all of them, but I will do my best and definitely will respond to the email.

During the pre-draft process, Florida edge rusher Jon Greenard was viewed as an early-round pick. Some teams thought Greenard even had a shot at being a late first-round pick because the 2020 NFL Draft was thin for pass rushers and Greenard had shown a consistent ability to get after the quarterback when on the field. As a senior, Greenard had 9.5 sacks for Florida while missing some time with injuries, and he had seven sacks in 2017 while playing for Louisville. Thus, many were surprised when Greenard almost fell to the fourth round.

Greenard slipped for a few reasons according to team sources. First, some had medical and durability concerns after he missed the 2018 season and was banged up in 2019. Some teams also felt that Greenard is about tapped out physically and does not have a lot of athletic upside for the NFL. Additonally, Greenard did not wow at the combine after a solid Senior Bowl. Thus, perceptions over skill-set limitations and medical concerns caused him to slide in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Texans ended Greenard’s slide late in the third round, which was a good landing spot for him. Houston badly needed more young talent among its edge rushers. Jadeveon Clowney was traded away; Whitney Mericlus is aging and has dealt with injuries; and J.J. Watt has been lining up inside more and has also had major injury issues in recent years. Thus, the Texans were looking thin in the pass-rush department, and they were fortunate to land Greenard. Immediately, Greenard can compete for snaps to be the starting pass rusher across from Mercilus. Greenard will have to beat out players like Brennan Scarlett, Duke Ejiofor and Peter Kalambayi. Therefore, it is very possible that Greenard ends up getting significant playing time as a rookie.

2024 NFL Mock Draft - April 16

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19

NFL Picks - Feb. 12