Jonathan Greenard Reacts to Being Selected in NFL Draft: 'Man, It's Crazy'
"Man, it's crazy. I'm not supposed to be here."
Those were the words of former Florida BUCK defensive end Jonathan Greenard after realizing his dreams of entering the NFL upon drafted by the Houston Texans in the third round (90th overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft on Friday.
Greenard was a graduate-transfer to Florida last season after playing the previous four years at Louisville. Highly successful immediately after stepping foot on campus, Greenard accounted for a team-high 10 sacks, and 16 tackles for loss - showcasing just how impactful he could be for the team.
In speaking to local Houston media on Friday, Greenard reflected on the lasting impact Florida had on him, even if only for a short time, nothing that now he's only 18 credit hours away from getting his MBA, a huge accomplishment for anyone, even more so for a former student-athlete, essentially working a fulltime job along with his schooling.
"Just learning – playing at a faster pace, playing in the best conference, the SEC ball," said Greenard. "Just playing against the top-notched guys day in and day out, going to practice and enjoying the life of an SEC athlete and learning more about the game of football with Coach (Todd) Grantham and Coach (Dan) Mullen. I couldn’t ask for a better situation going into my last year of football.”
Much like some of the players selected this weekend, Greenard was stunned to even get drafted but still had the Texans high on his list of teams that could potentially pick him up.
"When I saw their name come across the screen, I kind of had a feeling that they would call and then God willed it."
For the Texans, Greenard will play a variety of positions in their base 3-4 defense, much like he did for the Gators, standing up, and oftentimes playing down in a three-point stance. Texans head coach and general manager Bill O'Brien sang Greenard's praises for how many different ways he could be used on defense.
"I think if you’re talking base defense, I think he’d probably be at the outside backer, I think he’d be at a SAM," O'Brien told the Texans media. "I think he’d be able to play at a SAM. I also think he could go to the open side and play a five-technique. He’s got size, he’s got strength. Then when you get to sub defense, it’s just anywhere."
In the NFL, the more you can offer, the more likely you are to remain on the team. Versatility is everything, and likely why Greenard was selected in the third round yesterday.
"When you go into a program like that and you were coached the way you were coached and you were a part of the team like, I think that that's always a big part of your experience and your football journey," O'Brien said of the University of Florida and what it probably meant for Greenard's development and readiness.
Greenard is just the latest Gators defensive player to be selected in this year's draft thus far, going just after his pass rushing-mate Jabari Zuniga who was selected by the New York Jets at 79th overall, also a third-round selection, and of course cornerback C.J. Henderson was selected ninth overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday.
"I'm going to come working hard, have my same mentality I had in college and high school," Greenard said. "just to be an underdog mindset and learn from the greats, soak up all the knowledge that they have and the wisdom, so that way I can be successful just like them.”
Greenard is off to the NFL, but the impression he left at Florida will not be forgotten. Living his dream, this is just the beginning for
"Now it's finally here, so I'm just thankful. This is only the beginning. This is the first step to where I want to be. I've got a long way to go, a lot to learn, so I'm ready. I'm just ready to work."