May 11, 2012; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions cornerback Chris Greenwood (33) makes a catch during rookie mini camp at the Detroit Lions training facility. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Since the Lions drafted him in 2012, Chris Greenwood has been an absolute enigma of a player.
An athletic marvel out of tiny Albion College, Greenwood might still be the most physically gifted player in the Lions’ secondary, but frequent injuries combined with a lack of NFL (or even top-tier college) experience have made him primarily a non-factor thus far.
For the first time in his career, Greenwood took the field last week against the Patriots, but played only 16 snaps. Results are inconclusive, but expect him to get a lot of reps against the Bills. The one thing he really needs is experience.
That being said, we’re talking about a 2013 fifth-round pick playing in his second preseason game this week. As impressive as he is physically, there’s no guarantee the Lions are willing to wait another season for his upside to surface if he doesn’t show some flashes sooner rather than later.
Greenwood could be a practice squad player, but given his immense upside, it’s hard to say whether he would clear waivers. More to the point, the Lions aren’t exactly deep in the secondary. So whether Greenwood’s roster spot is in any real trouble or not is up for debate.
Greenwood could make that decision a lot easier if he showed as a solid special teams contributor, but given his size and potential, the Lions may not even want to use him there.