Xavier Grimble NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report and More

Ryan McCrystalFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2014

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Xavier Grimble #86 of the USC Trojans runs after his catch against the California Golden Bears at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Xavier Grimble, TE, USC (HT: 6'4", WT: 257)

Combine Weigh In
604025733 5/8"10 1/4"
Combine Workout
40-Yard DashBench PressVerticalBroad Jump3-Cone DrillShuttle


  • Prototypical size and overall build for a well-rounded tight end with the potential to contribute as a possession receiver and blocker. 
  • Long arms and large hands to go with his frame give him the look of a natural pass-catcher. 
  • Has natural soft hands and is a reliable possession receiver. 
  • Modest speed, but he's fast enough to get down the field to the intermediate level. 
  • Tough runner after the catch and will look for contact and is capable of breaking tackles—often requires multiple defenders to bring him down. 
  • Gives an effort as a blocker and has the size and strength to win the battle when using proper leverage and overall technique. 
  • Somewhat of a throwback for the position—very physical and primarily lines up as an in-line tight end. 
  • Showed toughness by playing through injuries throughout his junior year.


  • Doesn't know how to use his size to his advantage in the passing game. 
  • Struggles to get into position to box out defenders as a possession receiver.
  • Never showed the ability to consistently win jump ball situations. 
  • Poor vertical at the combine (26.5").
  • Late to react to the ball down the field and struggled to position himself when going after poorly placed balls. 
  • Despite his size, his catch radius is limited due to his poor body control and lack of quickness in tight spaces.
  • Slow, choppy and deliberate in his cuts as a route-runner—makes it easy for more athletic linebackers and safeties to mirror his movements and stay with him in man coverage. 
  • Poor positioning and balance as a blocker—lunges a lot and loses control and gets overpowered by smaller linebackers and defensive backs who know how to throw him off balance. 
  • Frequently the last one to react off the snap. 
  • Career underachiever who never came close to living up to expectations with his obvious physical tools. 
  • Missed 2013 spring practices with a chest fracture and slowed by a shoulder injury during 2013 season.
Collegiate Statistics


Personal Notes

  • Cousin of Browns 2013 first-round pick Barkevious Mingo. 
  • Publicly blamed Lane Kiffin, while speaking to NFL.com, for his lack of a role in USC's offense.
  • Three-year starter who left after his junior year. 
  • Honorable mention All-Pac 12 in 2012 and 2013.


Ratings Chart

Chart created at nces.ed.gov



Grimble lacks the athleticism to be the type of pass-catching weapon teams look for in a starting tight end these days. However, he does have the size and strength of a well-rounded tight end who could be a reliable second option. His fundamentals are poor in nearly every aspect of the game, which will limit his ability to see the field early in his career. However, he has the types of tools you can't teach, which should earn him a spot on a roster with a team hoping to develop him into a solid second option. 


Draft projection: 6th Round