Following the NFL Draft this past weekend, the Eagles quickly went to work signing rookies who went undrafted. Among them was Florida wideout Trevon Grimes, a 6’4” red zone specialist who is everything the organization thought J.J. Arcega-Whiteside was.
While it’s not totally uncommon for undrafted free agents to have an impact in year one (Corey Clement was the leading receiver for the Eagles in Super Bowl 52 as an undrafted rookie), it’s easy to overlook Grimes because of the team’s selection of DeVonta Smith in the first round.
But in reality, aside from Smtih and Jalen Reagor being penciled in as starters, the rest of the depth chart is a bit of a mystery. Greg Ward is an average slot receiver who will face competition from Quez Watkins/John Hightower in camp, and the X spot is up for grabs, with Travis Fulgham and JJAW being the only two big-bodied receivers on the roster.
We shouldn’t automatically assume Grimes will make the roster, he went undrafted for a reason. But one look at his tape and I see someone with the body control and jump ball ability to make an immediate impact.
That Moss-esque catch was against the second cornerback taken in this year’s draft. While his game speed isn’t anything spectacular, Grimes has good straight line speed on go routes — he recorded a 4.47 40-yard-dash time during his Pro Day.
During his senior year at Florida, Grimes carved out a niche for himself as a deep threat and red zone machine. 23.6% of his receptions went for touchdowns, while averaging 15.5 yards per catch. His lacking quickness will hinder him at times, but Grimes’ big body and wide catch radius will allow him to get away with iffy route running.
I see a little bit of Alshon Jeffery in his game. He won’t burn anyone or beat a corner with his quick, precise route running, but if you throw it his way and give him an opportunity to catch it, more often than not he’ll come down with the ball.
The same role he found himself in at Florida is the same role I’d expect him to excel in at the pro level. The Eagles have two quick, shifty wideouts in Reagor and Smith, they desperately need a reliable big bodied receiver who can complement what those two bring to the table.
Can Grimes be that? I certainly think it’s possible. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he comes out of camp ahead of Fulgham and JJAW on the depth chart, his two main adversaries for the big receiver role in Sirianni’s offense.