The New England Patriots signed an underrated undrafted free agent defensive tackle this offseason in Cory Grissom, who was a star for the South Florida Bulls in college. The Combine and Senior Bowl attendee was scouted out by the Patriots at his USF pro day, and the Pats evidently liked what they saw out of Grissom.
Projected as a sixth-round pick, Grissom likely went undrafted likely due to concerns over his ability to shed blocks and get up field as a pass rusher. Grissom is a run-stopper through-and-through, and he is a solid one with his ability to eat space. He has a great motor, a low center of gravity, and enough ability in run defense to be able to make the back-end of a 53-man roster at the defensive tackle position. He has a solid shot at making the New England Patriots 53-man roster, with his closest competition being Marcus Forston and fellow UDFA Joe Vellano. After the Pats released Kyle Love and Brandon Deaderick (both are now on the Jacksonville Jaguars, along with former Pats- and Northwestern- players Mike Kafka and Jeremy Ebert), Grissom became a likely candidate to steal a roster spot.
Grissom, however, will have to earn that spot with a good training camp, and I actually have him as my fourth DT on the roster right now. Tommy Kelly and Armond Armstead already give the New England Patriots two much-needed pass rushing defensive tackles, and Grissom can give the Patriots the depth they need against the run that they lost after releasing both Love and Deaderick.
I can’t see Grissom ever being anything special in the NFL, because that’s not the type of player he is. Grissom has no lateral movement, he’s not athletic, and there’s nothing about him that says “game-changer”. Heck, he probably won’t be a starter in this league. However, all the New England Patriots need him to be is a solid run-stopping DT on the depth chart, and “Pork Chop” can do just that. He is a very good run defender, was a huge snub in the draft (he should have went in the sixth), and he has a massive 6’2″, 306 pound frame.
I wonder if Grissom truly runs a 40 closer to the 4.82 time he ran at his pro day than the awful 5.21 that the second-team All-Big East player posted at the combine. Grissom is a player who has “injury issues” written up on his scouting reports, but he is such a tough player and consistently played through the pain at USF.
To me, Grissom was a steal for the New England Patriots in undrafted free agency, and he should have been a sixth-round selection in this draft. Grissom is a solid run-defender, and I have a feeling the Patriots like him quite a bit. They scouted him out at his pro day, and they seem prepared to give him a roster spot as the fourth DT and a quality depth guy against the run. I would regard Grissom as a player worthy of making the Patriots 53-man roster, and he’s somebody to keep an eye on at camp.