Even with the active free agency the New York Giants had, they did very little to fill arguably their biggest hole on the roster in the tight end position. The 2014 NFL Draft came and went without a tight end being selected either, as the value for players of the position did not match where the Giants were selecting. They did add a tight end after the draft in UDFA Xavier Grimble out of USC.
At USC, Grimble was not overly productive, as they had top flight options on the outside in Marqise Lee and Robert Woods playing wide receiver. The quarterback troubles USC had, coupled with poor coaching, did not do him any favors either.
What he does possess though is the prototypical size you would like from a tight end, standing 6-foot-4 and weighing in at 257-pounds. He has long arms and big hands but does not always focus enough to put the advantages he has to good use.
Grimble is definitely a project for the Giants. He has a good base for them to build off of as his size will be an asset, but outside of that there is a lot of work to be done. He is not the fleetest of foot, lacking top-end speed and quickness. He also struggles to gain separation off the line of scrimmage, running routes at only one speed.
It is fair to say that Grimble will be deep down on the depth chart to start. Adrien Robinson has been getting run with the first team thus far in OTAs, but Kellen Davis, whom the Giants signed this offseason, figures to get some looks as well. Davis is the superior blocker, with Robinson possessing outstanding athleticism, something easy to show off during OTAs when practice is held in shorts.
Larry Donnell and Daniel Fells are also ahead of Grimble on the depth chart, as they have been with the team since before the draft even occurred. Grimble will have a fair shot at moving up the depth chart, though, as this is as open a competition as any team will be having. No one player truly has too much of an advantage over the other outside of maybe being with the Giants organization for a longer period of time.
Grimble has plenty of work to do before being able to give the Giants any production when the games count. He will be a player worth keeping an eye on throughout OTAs and training camp. If he can show improvement during the offseason, he should be able to at worst get an invite to the Giants’ practice squad. Being an UDFA his roster spot is far from guaranteed, but ask the Giants and Victor Cruz how little that means in the long run. If he works hard and gives the Giants reason to keep him, they will find a spot for him.