NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken
I am back with the second installment of the post draft scouting reports. Grissom was a player I watched very late in the process and my viewing of him was limited. What I saw was enough for me to put him on my final big board. Now that he is officially a Patriot, I went back as much tape on him as I could find. Here are my thoughts on Grissom.
From a physical standpoint, Grissom has an ideal frame for the NFL. He has good muscle definition to go along with his long arms and huge hands. His weight is well proportioned and he plays with good power in both his upper and lower body. Like I said in my write up of Wells, Grissom is another player with immense versatility. He played Defensive End, both 3 tech and 1 tech Defensive Tackle, Outside Linebacker, Inside Linebacker, and even Tight End. He can play with his hand in the dirt as well as from a two point stance. Grissom plays with a nice combination of speed and power. He plays with great leverage and uses his long arms to keep defenders off him. He has very active hands and you can see that they deliver with good power. He can drop into coverage and shows enough athleticism to stick with Tight Ends and Running Backs in short areas. He does an excellent job of setting the edge against the run. Grissom has a good first step and has shown flashes as a pass rusher from both the edge and from the interior. He is a hard worker and hustles to be involved in every play. Grissom has used his smarts and his length to his advantage, knocking down several passes. He is a disciplined player who knows his assignments and does not get out of position.
While Grissom has impressive athletic traits, he is rigid in his lateral movement. He does not have that bend or quick twitch movements that you see from the better pass rushers in the NFL, and I don’t think he will ever be that type of player. He needs to work on his pass rush moves to be more effective when asked to so. He doesn’t always play to his strength and can struggle to shed defenders if they lock on. Grissom has not had a chance to develop any one of his particular skills because he has been asked to play so many roles in college. He seems to play at one speed and does have that extra gear that is needed some times to make the play.
Maybe I am just drinking the Patriot flavored Kool-Aid here, but the more I watched this guy, the more I liked. I think the 3rd round was still a little high, but I can see what the Patriots liked about his game. You can see why Belichick got so excited when he talked about Grissom in his post draft press conference. He gets a player that has all the physical, athletic, and mental components, but they just need to be nurtured and developed. If Grissom can buy into that, he has the potential to be special. My number 4 player in the entire draft was Owamagbe Odighizuwa because I thought he had a well rounded game that blended speed and power. I never considered Diggy a great pass rusher in a conventional sense because he to struggles to bend the edge. He did however win in so many other ways while still being a pass rush presence. Grissom also plays with a good combination of speed and power, and while he may be less of a pass rusher than Diggy will be, his movement skills in a two point stance and his potential versatility are much higher than Diggy’s. If things play out right, I think Grissom has a chance to be like Mike Vrabel and if you get that in the 3rd round, the Patriots just got a steal.