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Greene to wear Jets’ green

New York trades up to take Iowa running back in third round

April 27, 2009
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK - If there's an NFL executive Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum hasn't approached with an offer to trade up in the draft, he should be ready for a call next year.

With Brett Favre retired and Thomas Jones threatening to stay away without a renegotiated contract, Tannenbaum was super active at the beginning of both days of the draft this weekend. His aggressiveness landed quarterback Mark Sanchez in the fifth overall spot.

After Tannenbaum caught his breath - his team had no more picks in the first two rounds - he began Sunday's session by dealing with Detroit to start things off. The Jets filled a potential hole with Iowa running back Shonn Greene, who merely rushed for at least 100 yards in all 13 games last year, his only season as a regular.

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T-R FILE PHOTO
University of Iowa running back Shonn Greene was the first pick in the second day of the NFL draft Sunday. The New York Jets traded three draft picks to the Detroit Lions for the 65th pick to take Greene, who rushed for 1,850 yards in 2008 for the Hawkeyes.

"I won't get into any specifics, but to say that our phone bill was pretty significant over the last couple days would be fair," Tannenbaum said. "But we had to assess what was best for the Jets and those were hard judgment calls to make."

At least Tannenbaum is consistent. In the last four drafts, he's traded up to get key players: in 2006, quarterback Kellen Clemens; in 2007 cornerback Darrelle Revis and linebacker David Harris; and last year, tight end Dustin Keller.

The Jets sent a third-rounder, a fourth-rounder and a seventh-rounder to the Lions to get the All-American Greene.

"I think they really believe in my talent and my potential to trade up and get me," Greene said. "I'm just going to work my hardest to satisfy ... and help the team win."

Greene, from Sicklerville, N.J., set Iowa single-season records last year with 1,850 yards and 20 touchdowns after sitting out the previous year when he was ruled academically ineligible. Powerfully built at 5-foot-11 and 227 pounds, he could provide a nice complement to the bulldozing Thomas Jones and speedy Leon Washington.

"I think I can do a lot of things, but mostly, I'm good between the tackles and I'm going to get those tough yards and just move the chains," Greene said.

Greene, who found out the Jets drafted him while he was in the shower, was a backup his first two seasons at Iowa. After leaving the school, he worked at a furniture store in Iowa and improved his grades at Kirkwood Community College before he rejoined the Hawkeyes. He then had to beat out five others to win the starting tailback job.

"I just think that situation just really helped me out and it's the reason I'm here today," Greene said. "It's crazy to think about where I was last year to now."

Four from the University of Iowa were drafted. After the Jets took Greene, the St. Louis Rams followed by choosing cornerback Bradley Fletcher, guard Seth Olsen was taken in the fourth round by the Denver Broncos and tight end Brandon Myers was a sixth-round pick by Oakland.

 
 

 

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