The Hokie alumni presence is strong in the Tampa Bay area and the support of Grimm and the interest in the story has been outstanding, thank you to my readers. After I posted the “Taking a closer look: Cody Grimm” story, the response was so high that I wanted to take some extra time and re-evaluate my stance on his potential and what he truly means to the Bucs, not only for this upcoming season, but for years to come.
Grimm is 5’11″ and 202 lbs. His height is a bit below average for the NFL (average height of an NFL linebacker is around 6’1″). His weight is a bit off as well, (average weight of an NFL linebackers is around 215 lbs.). Now while these numbers are the averages, Grimm is close enough to both of the averages that it is not a major concern. The major concern that NFL scouts and other teams saw with his size, is his frame. Grimm is not an imposing player, he has a much smaller frame than a normal starting linebacker in the NFL may have (compare body size of Barrett Ruud to Grimm). Now, Grimm is fresh out of college, while the NFL starters have had the training and playing time to gain size and strength. Will this be the same for Grimm? The answer, yes and no. Grimm will add muscle and strength as he gets older and plays more, but his frame will not allow him to become a huge monster at linebacker, like Ray Lewis is.
Grimm’s speed is one of the issues that I keep getting asked about. In the short field, meaning in the box at the linebacker position, Grimm has enough lateral speed to make tackles and has decent quickness to get off a block and secure the runner. Grimm always seems to be near the ball, due to his drive and high football IQ. While under Coach Beamer at VT and defensive coordinator Bud Foster, Grimm was well disciplined, never out of position and placed into special packages that would allow him to use his skill set to cause chaos for quarterbacks and come up with huge plays for the Hokies. Grimm’s lack of elite speed and straight line speed is evident when he is needed to cover a wide receiver one on one. This is rare, but at times he would have to shadow a receiver. In one on one scenarios, Grimm can’t keep up with a fast receiver, especially if the receiver is able to get a first step on him. His average lateral speed is also a factor if the receiver makes a break in their route, Grimm does not have the speed to recover from a move like that.
Grimm will most likely play at the safety position in the NFL because he lacks the size to play inside the box, but expect to see special packages designed for him to come into the box and either shadow the quarterback or blitz. He has sound technique and a motor that never stops. As Coach Beamer and company said, “Grimm is a coach’s dream.” Grimm is a hard working player, never given a division 1 scholarship, decided to walk onto Virginia Tech, and made the team. This shows his drive to prove everyone wrong. Grimm has great technique, but in the NFL, it won’t be enough to compete at the highest level.
Grimm will start at special times and his love of the game and IQ will serve him well, I can see him making a huge play, whether diving on a loose ball or coming up with a key tackle, he will find a way to get his name known around Tampa Bay. I don’t think he will be a starter anytime soon though, but will come onto the field in certain situations as part of the rotation at safety and even linebacker for matchups. Grimm is a late round bargain for the Bucs, no risk, great reward. I know the Buc and Hokie fans out there are excited, as well they should be. Grimm is going to be a great player for years to come.
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