The Buccaneers led off the seventh round yesterday looking for depth at the safety position and at linebacker. They managed to snare a guy who theoretically could give them both.
OLB/S Cody Grimm is the son of Class of 2010 Hall of Fame OL Russ Grimm, so he's got an appreciation for the game. He's been a hard-working guy since turning down his only scholarship to William & Mary and walking on at Virginia Tech, where he worked his way up the depth chart and secured the starting gig at SS in 2009. After finally earning the starting spot, he didn't disappoint, leading the team in tackles with 106 and forcing 7 fumbles.
He's a bit of a tweener physially at 6'1, 203 pounds, although his size and skill set makes him much more likely (almost a certainty I think) to land at safety on the Buccaneer depth chart. As his name would indicate, prospects for wide receivers who come into his area in zone coverage are "Grimm" when having to face against the hard-hitting Cody in zone coverage.
His strength appears to be sound tackling in run support and dislodging the ball from receivers and tight ends in zone coverage. His 40-yard dash time is decent at 4.64, but he's not rangy enough to play free safety in most defensive systems. He'd probably be a best fit at strong safety due to his adept tackling skills and aggressive hitting ability....sort of like another Buccaneer from a golden age not long gone who we used to know and love, yet shall remain nameless as to avoid pressure or a jinx....not to mention said player is a hall of famer and probably worldly better than Grimm will ever be.
For now, Grimm has a better-than-decent chance to catch on the 53-man roster, namely due to the absence of safety help picked up in this draft, the lack of quality depth at the safety position behind Sabby, Sean Jones, and T-Jack, and the aggressiveness and effort that Grimm seems to play with on an every-down basis.
This type of play gives you hope for Grimm's future with the Buccaneers.
Hit the jump for what the media and draft experts have been saying about Grimm.....
Tough kid who plays bigger than his measurables. Reads fast and has a nose for the ball. Takes good pursuit angles and is a technically sound tackler. Reads quarterback's eyes dropping in zone coverage and can jump underneath routes. Athletic enough to stick with tight ends in man coverage.
Lacks adequate height and bulk and does not have the top end speed to make plays all over the field. Struggles to disengage from blockers and can be blown out of the play. Does not locate balls in the air well and will not make picks. A bit stiff in the hips and will be exposed by wide receivers at the next level in man coverage.
Well, let's see here....good in zone coverage with adept route-recognition skills and a nose for the ball. Good hitter and sound tackler. Not a rangy player or particularly able to stick with wide reveivers in man coverage. Seems as though if he fits any system, it's the limited zone of the Tampa 2....so he's got that going for him.
Cbssports.com (via NFLDraftScout.com) has a good scouting report on Grimm, which includes the following:
Against man coverage:
Lacks the height and straight-line speed that scouts would like. Changes direction quickly and accelerates smoothly, making him effective against short and underneath routes. Doesn't have the straight-line speed to handle one-on-one coverage against slot receivers and could be exposed deep against NFL athletes. Similarly, his lack of height could be exposed in the NFL against big receivers and tight ends. Good hand-eye coordination and timing to leap and compete for jump balls against bigger, more explosive athletes.
Against zone coverage:
Like most safeties, is too high in his backpedal, but his instincts and quickness make him a quality zone coverage defender. Disciplined defender that can make the tackle in the open field.
Seems as though there's a consensus that Grimm is indeed a good short-range zone defender and a capable tackler. That would seem to be a fit with the duties of a Tampa 2 safety.
So what do you think, Buc'Em? Do you think Grimm's got a chance to make the 53-man roster as a special teamer? Possibly more? React.