Ex-Vikings star Chad Greenway dismisses early NFL Draft concerns, sees promise in new leadership

Ex-Vikings star Chad Greenway dismisses early NFL Draft concerns, sees promise in new leadership thumbnail

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Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has gotten less than raving reviews for his first NFL Draft but for one former star linebacker, one night doesn’t necessarily define a team’s fate, especially as a new — and promising — regime takes over.

Former Minnesota linebacker Chad Greenway, who spent his entire 11-year career with the Vikings, told Fox News Digital in a recent interview that while he too was rather confused with the decision to trade over two picks to NFC North rivals, history has shown that “guys miss on drafts all the time.”

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“There’s a couple of people you can’t trade with in the world, the Lions and the Packers — right, if you’re a Vikings fan. So that trade goes down, and we give up that ticket in the first round and they go get a receiver and now with all that being said we get to go cover that receiver now for the next 10 years which is really interesting. “

Chad Greenway #52 of the Minnesota Vikings runs down the sideline after an interception during the first half of the game on November 6, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Chad Greenway #52 of the Minnesota Vikings runs down the sideline after an interception during the first half of the game on November 6, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

“The new regime is exciting. What you do with Kwesi or Coach (Kevin O’Connell) is that you bring in an exciting new staff, that people are excited to be part of, but then there are questions. Greenway said that it comes with questions in experience and other queries. “So, you go through the draft. The national pundits said it was a really bad draft. They didn’t give it an excellent grade. But, I know from experience that that doesn’t always imply that that’s the right answer. Right? We all know that drafts are often missed by guys even when they are high-picks. So let’s just let it happen. Let’s see how it turns out. These kids deserve to be able to prove their worth and value. “

The Vikings selected former Georgia safety Lewis Cine with the No. 32 overall pick. The Vikings traded down from No. 12 selection with Kyle Hamilton, who was considered one of the best safeties in the draft, still on the board at the time. Greenway is happy with the direction Minnesota has taken.

Georgia Bulldogs DB Lewis Cine (16) celebrates with Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart and ESPN host Rece Davis after the Alabama Crimson Tide versus the Georgia Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship, on January 10, 2022, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. 

Georgia Bulldogs DB Lewis Cine (16) celebrates with Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart and ESPN host Rece Davis after the Alabama Crimson Tide versus the Georgia Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship, on January 10, 2022, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.
(Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“I had a chance to meet Lewis Cine, our first-round pick from Georgia. He is a truly impressive and impressive man. “

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Greenway acknowledged that the road ahead will no doubt be a challenging one but for the Vikings, who have missed the playoffs for the second year in a row and have failed to earn a division title since his last season with the team (2017), change can be good. The reality is that it’s a culture change. I’ve spoken to some active players and they were excited about the foundation being built in offseason. Coach O’Connell was very open about ‘hey, we need to discuss X’s, O’s, and football but let’s get to know each others first. Let’s get to know each other and understand what we are trying to accomplish.

O’Connell was named head coach after serving as the Los Angeles Rams’ offensive coordinator last season. He replaced Mike Zimmer who started with the team in 2014.

Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears is tackled by Chad Greenway #52 of the Minnesota Vikings during the second quarter of a game at Soldier Field on November 16, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.

Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears is tackled by Chad Greenway #52 of the Minnesota Vikings during the second quarter of a game at Soldier Field on November 16, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

“I was really impressed by his ability to coach defense, his ability to motivate and how he’s a little bit of a throwback,” Greenway said of Zimmer, who he spent three seasons with. “And I appreciate that because it comes from my experience from the guys who coached me. While I love that he was there, I can’t help but react to it. I also think his approach was too aggressive. It’s a bit more pressure and more serious than I would like. That’s okay. Because I was in the league for nine years, I was able to adapt. I was able to adapt and adjust. However, many other guys couldn’t. It was difficult for them and I could see why. “

Zimmer led the Vikings to the NFC North title in his second year. However, after a 2-3 record and two consecutive losing seasons, Minnesota decided to leave after eight years.

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“I think he’s a very good football coach — an elite football coach, an elite football mind — and at the end of the day is a great guy that I loved playing for. “

Greenway also spoke to Fox News Digital about a new recruitment platform called Signing Day Sports he partnered up with which aims to make the recruitment process easier for athletes to get discovered and recruited by coaches using a unique digital ecosystem.

Chad Greenway #52 of the Minnesota Vikings is introduced before the game against the Chicago Bears on January 1, 2017 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Chad Greenway #52 of the Minnesota Vikings is introduced before the game against the Chicago Bears on January 1, 2017 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

“I put myself back in my 17 and 18-year-old shoes. It was impossible to recruit a small-town kid from South Dakota. I grew up in a town of about 400 people. I graduated with 26 kids in my class … For any college to come recruit me was an uphill battle,” he said. This is, in a way, making the process a bit cleaner — a little visible to everyone and also forcing people to do it right. I love that individuals can control their own process. This was a very important thing. “

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