Nic Grigsby, RB, Arizona

Scouting reports of the running backs and fullbacks in the 2011 Draft.
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Nic Grigsby, RB, Arizona

Postby Pudge » Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:27 pm

Arizona Senior
40: 4.38


Has good lateral quickness and burst to the hole, allowing him to sneak through creases. Shows ability to sidestep defender with a decent jump cut and ability to bounce things outside. Will fight for extra yards and plays with nice pad level for his size, showing some ability to bounce off tackles. Is an effective receiver in the flat, adjusts to the throw and can make the tough grab.


Undersized and plays soft at times. Lacks game-breaking speed and explosiveness. Doesn't show great burst out of his cuts and tries to bounce things outside too much considering lack of ideal burst. Doesn't always play with great balance. Misses assignments in pass protection.


Grigsby has a thin frame and doesn't show the durability you like at the next level. But he flashes the tools to think he could be a decent change of pace runner and third down option. Despite his strong 40 time, he doesn't play with that sort of top-end speed and explosiveness. He was Arizona's leading rusher his first two seasons, combining for 375 carries for 1857 yards (5.0 avg) and 15 touchdowns with 47 receptions and 2 more scores. But injuries limited him as a junior, as he missed 3 games and parts of 3 others with a shoulder injury. He finished the year with 79 carries for 567 yards (7.2 avg), 5 touchdowns, and 13 receptions. As a senior, he split carries with Keola Antonin (his replacement his junior year) and was the second-leading rusher with 118 carries for 533 yards (4.5 avg), 8 TDs, and 25 catches.


Grigsby is a comparable player to Jerious Norwood, with similar build and potential niche at the next level. Despite his 40 time, I think Norwood is probably a more explosive straight-line runner than Grigsby, but Grigsby probably has better lateral quickness and burst. But in the end, they will both be limited on the ground because they don't have the bodies to hold up against NFL-level punishment. Like Norwood, Grigsby can make up for that if he contributes in the passing game. He is the type of guy that can give a team 5-10 touches per game if you count his receptions, rushes, and potentially in the return game. He did not do that at Arizona, but with his speed and quickness you think he can work as a kickoff returner, at least a stopgap guy if need be. If he shows an affinity for that role, like Norwood it will give him added value. If not, then he's probably a marginal No. 2/No. 3 running back that will have a hard time sticking long-term because of durability concerns. Eventually teams will be able to find No. 2 rushers with comparable skill and better durability that will limit his ability to get a second contract with teams. In the end, he'll probably be a journeyman that projects to being a pro player comparable to someone like Aaron Stecker long-term.


Grigsby would be a good competitor for the No. 3 position, but offers very little upside that Norwood doesn't already bring to the table. Unless he shows he's a natural as a kickoff returner, then his value is mainly as a practice squad guy that they can develop. If Norwood wasn't re-signed, he could beat out guys like Johnson and Smith for the No. 3 job, but again doesn't do anything that Norwood didn't and a few years down the road, the Falcons would be looking to replace him with a more durable option as well.


Grigsby is good enough to get looks in the late rounds, such as the seventh. BUt because it's not a slam dunk he'll be able to prove himself on special teams, he's better value going undrafted and being a priority free agent.

1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Speed: 3.5
Power: 2.0
Agility: 3.0
Vision: 2.5
Hands: 3.0
Blocking: 2.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.

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