Redshirt Junior | Tight End | 6’5, 250
Career Stats: 22 starts, 69 receptions, 731 yards, 11 touchdowns
Xavier Grimble arrived at USC as a highly-touted tight end expected to continue the tradition set by outstanding Trojan tight ends like Fred Davis and Anthony McCoy. As such, Grimble always seemed on the edge of a break out, but a combination of injuries and an offense shifting away from reliance on tight ends in the passing game limited his impact.
During his college career, he was honored as a CollegeFootballNews.com Sophomore and Freshman All-American honorable mention as well as a two-time Pac-12 honorable mention.
Grimble’s greatest asset is his size. NFL scouts and draft gurus agree that his frame gives him a solid starting point in the league. Decent ability to stand in as a blocker and good skill in terms of pass catching help his case. However, they question his strength, speed and worry about his lack of explosiveness.
A very limited combine performance could be explained away by a lingering injury, but his subpar Pro Day did him no favors. In particular, his 4.98 40-yard dash left observers underwhelmed and questioning his decision to leave USC early.
Still, former Trojan head coach Ed Orgeron insists that Grimble will be an All-Pro player in the NFL, so the potential is there.
CBS Sports and NFLdraftscout.com list Grimble as the ninth available tight end and project him to go in the fifth round.
Both New York franchises, the Giants and Jets, are in the market for a tight end, though both seem likely to snatch one up before Grimble becomes a possibility. The Atlanta Falcons, St. Louis Rams, or Houston Texans could be in the market for a tight end in the later rounds.