The Philadelphia Eagles signed undrafted rookie free agent wide receiver Trevon Grimes following the 2021 NFL Draft. In order to learn more about him, I reached out to SB Nation’s Florida blog: Alligatory Army. Gators writer Andy Hutchins was kind enough to answer my questions.
1) Can you recap his college career?
Grimes came to Florida as a transfer from Ohio State with significant respect on his name despite little production with the Buckeyes. Gators fans, especially the recruitnik variety, knew him as a five-star player from one of the state’s powerhouse programs, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Florida missing on him the first time around, while explicable and largely not vexing, was a minor frustration for some.
Picking Florida as a transfer destination erased any of that ill will, and Grimes having a fairly good — if not totally spectacular — career in orange and blue made him a player most Gators are quite fond of. While he was never Florida’s No. 1 receiver, and mostly served as a very good option in an offense full of them, Grimes combined size, speed, and a penchant for spectacular catches, including ones against stiff competition, to be the sort of player whom most thought of as better than his numbers and a likely steal in the NFL Draft because of it.
2) What are his strengths?
I think Grimes is close to an archetypal big-body receiver who is not quite at the hulking, physically imposing level of a Mike Evans or Calvin Johnson. He’s got long arms and good paws; he can elevate and make difficult catches outside his frame, even against tight coverage. And after the catch, Grimes has decent speed in the open field. He also improved as a blocker over the course of his career, to my eye, and is probably par or better at that.
3) What are his weaknesses?
Reported 4.4ish 40 times from his Pro Day workouts aside, I never really considered Grimes to have elite-level breakaway speed, just very good speed for his size, and I also don’t love his lateral quickness. He wasn’t a guy Florida used over the middle a whole lot, which might speak to what coaches think of his agility and close-quarters burst, too. And I wouldn’t say that he was an exemplary route runner; though he did work open plenty, I’d guess film shows him doing so more as a second or third option.
4) Are you surprised he went undrafted?
That all said: Yeah, I’m pretty well stunned that Grimes went undrafted. SEC-tested wideouts who run 4.4 40s at 6’4” and don’t have significant known injury histories are not common, and though no one’s confusing Grimes for, say, Julio Jones, that’s the physical profile he favors. I thought he was a potential steal on Day 3 and would have said as much anywhere from the fourth round onward. The draft ending without a team spending a draft pick on him as a low-risk, high-reward gamble is legitimately shocking to me and makes me wonder if there’s something about his medicals or his makeup that NFL teams know about that I don’t.
5) How do you see his NFL career playing out?
If I’m bullish on Grimes as a potentially snubbed UDFA, I’m also realistic that the odds are long against him having a seriously successful NFL career just because they are long against anyone having one. The Eagles already having Travis Fulgham, whom I thought looked a lot like Grimes in what I saw of the 2020 Eagles, probably also augurs poorly for Grimes’s chances of making the roster. But having former Florida offensive coordinator Brian Johnson around to help (and maybe advocate for him) is obviously not a bad thing, and I think Grimes could be a guy who catches 40 passes for 500 yards if he finds a role in an offense, with a smallish chance of developing into even more.
6) Anything to know about him off the field?
This is where things are harder to scry. I don’t know of anything about Grimes the person that would give me pause, and the only significant stories reported about him revolved around his close relationship with his mother, a nurse whose illness spurred Grimes to transfer to Florida (though Ohio State would later dispute the legitimacy of his motives, that got pushed back on rather strenuously) and whose presence as a frontline nurse at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic made headlines.
Is that stuff worth knowing about Grimes, and not his mother? I can’t say. The narrative, to me, just seems like he’s a human being who loves his mom, which isn’t really remarkable. But that’s what we do know.
BLG’s take: Given the combination of Grimes’ talent and the Eagles’ unsettled wide receiver depth, it feels like he has a chance to actually make the roster with a strong summer. Of course, he’ll have to prove he can contribute on special teams. Grimes seems like a good bet for the practice squad at the very least.
Peep that 99% athletic comparison: