Sometimes the hardest thing to do in the NFL –- and the most important –- is simply holding one’s ground. That’s why teams are always looking for low center-of-gravity defensive tackles that can stand up to one or more of the league’s best offensive linemen shooting off the ball. Grissom has that ability, and despite his injury issues, still owns enough athleticism to challenge not only the strength of guards and centers, but also their agility.
Grissom had 13 sacks as a high school senior in Georgia, and decided to go to USF over Arkansas, North Carolina and others. Unfortunately, he couldn’t take advantage of his opportunity to play as a true freshman because after the first game of the year (two tackles) he suffered an ankle injury. He returned for the beginning of the 2009 season, but again ended up on the training table during the season due to injuries before coming back for the last three games (three starts, 11 tackles in eight games). Grissom finally stayed healthy enough to start – and consistently make an impact in – all 25 games in 2010 (16 tackles, three for loss) and 2011 (38 tackles, six for loss, 1.5 sacks). His luck couldn’t hold out through 2012 spring practices, however – he broke a bone in his right ankle. He still played in 12 games, and recorded 38 tackles (seven for loss) and two sacks. He was selected to the Coaches All-Big East second-team.
True nose tackle with girth in his midsection and through his lower half that he uses to hold up single blocks and double teams off the snap. Strong legs. Has a powerful punch when attacking his man off the snap, and also possesses the strong upper body and heavy hands to move opponents to either side to get to the ballcarrier while keeping himself square to the line. Occasionally swims past a drive-blocker or pulls a leaning guard forward to slingshot around him into the backfield, showing a bit more quickness than most linemen of his size and build in order to pressure quarterbacks into unloading the ball. Moves well laterally, and stays square to the line of scrimmage.
Won’t be making many plays outside the box or in the backfield due to a lack of closing speed. Will get lazy and stand up off the ball, and lose leverage. Injury history.
Injuries have been an issue for Grissom during his career, but he worked hard to return for the start of his senior season after breaking an ankle in spring practice. When healthy, he looks like a mid-round pick as a space-eating nose tackle with enough quickness to win a gap to wrap up running backs get into the sight of quarterbacks.
Future Hall of Famer
A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.