Greenwood's physical attributes are what distinguished him from others in the draft

Posted Jul 5, 2012

When the Lions selected cornerback Chris Greenwood in the fifth round (148th overall) of this year’s draft, they knew they were getting a developmental player, with impressive physical attributes.

A product of Detroit, the 6-1, 193-pound corner became only the fourth player from Albion college, a small liberal arts school in Michigan, to be selected in the NFL Draft.

And while the path from Division III to the pros isn’t necessarily the easiest, Greenwood said his decision to play at Albion was based on getting to play immediately, which ultimately paved the way to the draft.

“I went to two different colleges before Albion, and it just didn’t work out for me,” he said. “I actually heard about Albion College through a friend who was trying to get my brother to come play. At the time, I was at Eastern Michigan and because of credit transfer I wouldn’t have been able to play.

“Going to Albion gave me the opportunity to get back on the field, so I took it.”

In 2011 Greenwood received the American Football Coaches Association All-America and Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Defensive MVP awards.

After his collegiate career was in the books, he went straight into training.

“I went off to train in New Jersey,” he said. “I just made sure I did everything that was in my power to be ready when that day came, when I got my pro day and all of that.”

Despite coming from a small school, Greenwood said he never once felt overwhelmed by the evaluation process leading up to the draft.

In fact, he enjoyed it.

“It got a little bit repetitive, but it was exciting every time,” he said. “I mean, what more can I ask for? I’m getting looked at and that’s what I wanted and that’s what ultimately got me here.”

In college, Greenwood had the support of his family for every home game. On draft day, that same group got together to wait for his name to be called.

“My mom, dad, aunt, everybody, at least 20 people were at each game,” he said. “On draft day, I watched it with them. Everybody got together, my auntie and my mom cooked, and we watched.”

Once Greenwood got the call that he’d been selected to his hometown team, his dream of reaching the NFL became a reality – and being able to stay in his home state made it that much more special.

“I didn’t know that it was going to happen, I was just hoping and waiting and then I got my name called,” he said. “I always rooted for the Lions, even though it was not always the easiest, but I definitely did.

“Being here has been good. It’s definitely a lot faster of a game, but we’re all working hard and we’re all getting better.”