The diamond in the rough is always a great sports story. And there's no doubt it always will be. The Chiefs, for one, hope that one such acquisition becomes just that.
One of the most intriguing maneuvers of the off-season for the Chiefs is the under-the-radar signing of linebacker Cory Greenwood. The undrafted free agent made a blip in the headlines because of his Canadian Football League draft status as the number three overall pick in the draft by the Toronto Argonauts. The linebacker apparently made the choice to join the NFL than stay in his native Canada, because he's here under contract as a free agent rookie. So who exactly is Greenwood and why even make a fuss about him here?
Well, the Rudy factor plays into things, of course. Who doesn't love a story like that? And at the very least, Greenwood seems to have the raw athletic talent and instincts to make enough waves to secure a roster spot. Perhaps it's speaking a bit too soon, but the Concordia University graduate (Montreal) earned high marks at the Great White North's version of the NFL Combine. As the university's press release explains:
"He is one of hardest working athletes to ever wear the Stingers’ uniform. Greenwood is in superb physical condition and has earned a lot of respect for his devotion to training. At 235 pounds, he can do an amazing 24 reps at 225 pounds on bench press. Greenwood also has an exceptional vertical leap that is now at 40 inches. He runs a 4.50 40-yard dash."
Statistically, the Stingers only play an 8 game schedule, so his 62 total tackles may not seem like much. But he did have five tackles for loss and two sacks, which were both team-leading numbers. He was also given the President's Trophy as the top Canadian college defender. Of course, the level of competition, the shortened season and the fact that every NFL team passed over him multiple times certainly puts him at a disadvantage. At the same time, we all know the number of guys who have similar stories who have went on to storied careers.
If I had to make a guess, I think Greenwood sticks and lands himself a spot as a solid special teams player. And if any team gives a promising young linebacker a chance to make an impact, Kansas City is that place.
You can check out his CFL Draft Profile video here. You can also check out his highlight film below: