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NFL Prospect Focus: Xavier Grimble and Marcus Martin

How do the USC standouts grade out? Greg Gabriel

February 21, 2014
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Xavier Grimble – Tight End – USC

Size – 6040v – 257v – 4.75e

Strong Points – Size, hands, has long arms and big hands, catches the ball well, good runner after the catch

Weak Points – Plays like a one speed guy, no burst, adequate routes, doesn't show strength or power in his blocking

2013 Stats – 25 catches – 271 yards – two TDs

Summation – Grimble is a fourth-year junior and has shared starts in each of his three years playing. He red-shirted as a true freshman for developmental reasons.

He has excellent tight end size, measuring in at the Combine at 6040- 257 with long arms and big hands (10.25). Looking at tape, I would say Grimble is a good, but not great athlete. He has a little tightness to his movement and is a one speed runner. You don’t see a burst while underway. His change of direction is adequate.

As a receiver, he shows a good release. He has the strength to fight off a jam. He is not a fluid route runner, but he can break down to make a cut and is adequate at getting separation. He does a good job finding the open area in zone defenses. He has good hands with the ability to adjust to a poorly thrown ball. With his long arms, he shows a good receiving radius. He is used mainly as a short receiver and is fairly effective in that role.

Grimble is not a strong blocker. He is willing, but he lacks the explosive power to get movement on a consistent basis. He is more of a position blocker. He can get to the second level and adjust on the move but, again, just gets position. In pass protection, he can mirror but has just average anchor.

I do not see Grimble as a starter at the next level. He has enough speed to be a move tight end, but I have doubts that he can line up at Y and be effective. More of a mid-round type of player.

Grade – B 6.4 

Marcus Martin – Center/Guard – USC

Size – 6033v – 320v – 5.27e

Strong Points – Size, strength, and power, uses hands, strength and power, run block, pass block, plays in space, can play center or guard

Weak Points – Doesn’t consistently get and keep good position, not a consistent finisher

Summation – Martin is a third-year junior and has been a starter since his freshman year. He started at guard in 2011 and 2012 and was moved to center for the 2013 season. He has excellent size at 6033 – 320 with long arms (34”). He possesses good athletic ability with bend and change of direction. He is strong, powerful, and explosive.

As a run blocker, he gets off the ball quickly and has no wasted motion getting to his block. He can stay low and makes good contact. He doesn’t consistently run his feet, but he is better than most. While he is able to generate movement, he doesn’t consistently get good position. Part of this problem is because he doesn’t always take good angles to his blocks. When he has the proper positioning, he can control his opponent. He has the quickness and agility to adjust on the move and make productive blocks at the second level but, again, doesn’t consistently take good angles to the block.

I feel he is a better pass blocker then run blocker. He can snap and set while staying in balance. He has quick hands with a good punch and does a good job keeping his hands inside. He plays with bend and can anchor. He does a good job sliding and recovering versus moves. His agility and footwork are good.
Martin makes the line calls and is an alert player. I see no reason why he can’t be a first-year starter at either guard or center. He needs to work on his angles and keeping good position but that can be corrected with coaching. He should be a solid second round pick.

Grade – A 6.6

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