NEPD Stafff Writer: Mike Gerken
While many fans may not know much about the Patriots late Day 3 picks from this draft class, these were some of the more intriguing picks for me. While it may be tough to find a lot of tape on Kamu Grugier-Hill (KGH for short,) from what little I could find, I saw a player that is very intriguing. Here are my thoughts on what KGH could do for the Patriots and what his role might be for the team.
Name: Kamu Grugier-Hill (#32)
School: Eastern Illinois (SR.)
Pro Day Results:
Weight: 215 Lbs.
40 time: 4.45
Vertical jump: 38.5″
Broad Jump: 10’9″
3-Cone Drill: 6.89
20 Yard Short Shuttle: 4.20
I am sorry that I do not have a spider graph to show you visually his pro day results, but just in case you are wondering, those are very impressive numbers. KGH first came on my radar after his pro day and while tape on him was limited (you can find more now thankfully) what I did see was impressive. The first thing you notice is his speed. He looks like he is shot out of a cannon when he is in pursuit of the ball carrier. He is light on his feet, almost bouncing as he moves laterally before he explodes forward to make the play. He has impressive change of direction skills, making it difficult for defenders to get their hands on him. He has the speed and size to play Safety as well as the instincts and toughness to play Linebacker. He keeps his eyes up, diagnoses the play and reacts to the ball quickly, making him look even faster. Despite his size, he is a solid wrap up tackler rather than a dive at their ankles type that many of these hybrid safety/linebackers tend to do. I think he makes this team as a special teams contributor. He gets downfield quickly and can make plays in space and should be an excellent addition to the punt and kick coverage teams.
The flip side of all this is that he is a guy with no clear cut position. He is either an in the box type Safety or an undersized Linebacker. He played most of his college career at Linebacker, but he played at 208 Lbs. and that just will not cut it in the NFL. He made his plays in college coming downhill and if he moves to Safety, he has a much bigger learning curve. He comes from a small school and he could use his speed to avoid blocks. In the NFL, he is going to have to prove that he can take on blockers and still make plays. Coming from a small school, the level of competition is going to me much greater, and there were times even in college, that he would bounce off guys he was trying to tackle. The players in the NFL only get bigger and stronger, and I do worry he just isn’t big enough to be a regular contributor on defense.
I am really intrigued by this pick. I didn’t know much about him until he was drafted by the Patriots, but he fits that mold I have wanted on this team for awhile now. I have wanted to see what Belichick could do with a player like this for awhile now and I hope the KGH shows enough to stick on the team. If he can prove himself on special teams while learning and getting bigger, then he has a shot to be a contributor on defense down the line. Only time will tell, but this is one player I am excited about from this draft class.