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Xavier Grimble: Undrafted tight end is undeterred

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Undrafted rookie tight end Xavier Grimble is simply excited to have an opportunity with the New York Giants.

Xavier Grimble
Xavier Grimble

The fact that he went undrafted is really little more than a footnote for New York Giants' rookie tight end Xavier Grimble. The former USC Trojan has an opportunity with an NFL team -- one that doesn't happen to have an established player at the position -- and that is all that matters.

"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 told assembled media on Tuesday. "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 6-foot-5, 250-pound Grimble had an OK but not outstanding career at USC with 69 catches for 11 touchdowns and an average of 10.6 yards per reception. Grimble has a fan in former USC interim coach Ed Orgeron:

"I think Xavier is going to be an All-Pro in the NFL," Orgeron told "He has unusual body size for a tight end that looks like a left tackle. He can block, run and catch, and he's a great young man."

Grimble received calls from several other teams after the draft, including the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders. So, with all that interest why didn't anyone select him on Day 3 of the draft?

"It's definitely something you wonder about," Grimble said. "I was really just happy that there was still the opportunity there."

Grimble definitely has an opportunity. Nominal starter Adrien Robinson has yet to catch an NFL pass in two seasons. Larry Donnell caught three passes a season ago. Kellen Davis and Daniel Fells are veteran blocking tight ends.

"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," Grimble said."It seems to be sometimes lost in the game. I want to be the guy who can block and catch passes. I want to have an all-around game."

Grimble is currently wearing the No. 89, worn at one time by the best tight end the Giants have ever had -- Mark Bavaro. Grimble has seen film of Bavaro, and knows what he was all about.

"Just his toughness and his humbleness and just how he let his actions on the field speak the most. I always like to look at the guys who were great before and look at what they did and, you know, mold yourself after that," Grimble said. "You can't go wrong with following somebody who has already done it before. That's kind of my thing, to look back and try to envision myself doing the same type of thing."

If Grimble has an impact on the Giants anywhere close to that of Bavaro that would make him quite a find as an undrafted free agent.