Tight ends coach Kevin M. Gilbride recenlty said the tight end position for the New York Giants was "fully open for all five guys." One of those five is Xavier Grimble, an undrafted free agent from USC. Let's look at Grimble today as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.
2013 Season In Review
Grimble caught 25 passes in 10 games for USC, averaging 10.8 yards per catch and scoring two touchdowns. For his career, Grimble caught 69 passes, averaged 10.6 yards per catch, and scored 11 touchdowns.
2014 Season Outlook
Through 12 practices, including OTAs and mini-camp, no one has really grabbed the tight end job. Grimble, like the four veterans he is competing with, has had his moments. In the few practices media has seen, the 6-foot-4, 257-pound Grimble has shown an ability to catch the ball underneath -- similar to what he showed at USC. Whether he can block, get open when linebackers are allowed to be physical with him and how comfortable he is moving around to different positions remains to be seen.
Grimble said during OTAs that the Giants, who surprisingly did not draft a tight end, were the first team to call him. It would be an upset if Grimble were to leap-frog all four experienced players in front of him on the depth chart, but with no one having really stood out throughout the spring workouts there is still an opportunity.
"If you look around the NFL, there's a ton of undrafted free agents and late-round picks that are great players. I don't really think where you get drafted matters that much," Grimble said. "I think it's all about the opportunity you get and what you do with it. That's my approach. I wasn't drafted but it doesn't really mean much to me. I got an opportunity, so if I do well, nobody will probably remember it."
The Giants are moving their tight ends around quite a bit in their new offense, so the ability to do a variety of things will be critical.
"I think I bring versatility. When I was at USC I think that was one thing that we always focused on - being an all-around tight end. It seems to be sometimes lost in the game," Grimble said. "I want to be the guy who can block and catch passes. I want to have an all-around game, that's what I work towards."
Will Grimble be part of the Giants' 53-man roster in 2014? That remains to be seen. He does, however, seem to have just as good a chance as anyone else.