Actions speak louder than words and the decision to sign undrafted rookie free agent Trevon Grimes says volumes. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder was known as a “red-zone specialist” at the University of Florida.
Translation: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside’s days in midnight green might be numbered. Grimes, who transferred from Ohio State to Florida, was plucked off the scrap heap in the hours after the NFL draft ended on Saturday. He played in 11 games last season for the Gators before opting out of the Cotton Bowl and declaring for the draft. He hauled in 38 balls for 598 yards and nine touchdowns during his senior year, totaling 1,464 yards on 100 receptions over four college seasons.
The move was probably triggered due to Brian Johnson’s relationship with Grimes. The new quarterbacks coach for the Philadelphia Eagles served as his offensive coordinator at Florida where he ranked third on the Gators’ squad in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in 2020. More importantly, his numbers in the red zone were downright filthy. He scored a touchdown on almost 25% of his receptions and logged 15.5 yards per catch, per Pro Football Network. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds, too.
The stats shed light on Grimes’ best traits. He’s a spectacular athlete with late-4.4 speed, despite measuring in at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds. He also has solid vertical athleticism, as he frequently displays downfield. Grimes also has the body control and ball tracking ability to capitalize on his athleticism, making him a dangerous player in the deep third. Grimes’ contested catch ability expands off of his fundamental traits.
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Overshadowed by Famous Teammates at Florida
Are you a glass-half-empty kind of guy? Or glass half full? Grimes flashed immense potential during his three years in Gainesville, a five-star high school recruit who once nicknamed himself “Tregatron.” That moniker was due to his affection for legendary NFL receiver Calvin Johnson.
However, Grimes never seemed to put it all together in college despite a 118-yard performance in 2018. He couldn’t separate himself on the depth chart in 2020 and carved out a niche in the red zone as well as a fallback option if Kyle Pitts and Kadarius Toney weren’t open. Grimes’ Florida Pro Day was also overshadowed but his more famous teammates, but that didn’t stop him from stasying positive.
“We came out and competed, everybody did a fantastic job,” Grimes said, via WRUF-ESPN. “We were all just excited to get out here and get back. Throw with the quarterback that got me through my college career, so it was a pretty good experience. I’ll hold this, I’ll cherish this experience for the rest of my life.”
Not Drafting Backups in Philadelphia
It’s way too early to tell how Grimes fits into the Eagles’ long-term plans if he does at all. He could simply be a training camp body, like Mennessah Bailey in 2020. But the former high school track star should get a chance to compete considering so many unknowns in the Eagles’ pass-catchers group. It’s do-or-die for Arcega-Whiteside heading into Year 3 and there haven’t been too many positives.
His size — listed at 6-foot-2, 225 pounds — has been a big reason why he’s still on the roster, plus the fact the Eagles used a second-round pick (57th overall) on him in 2019. Grimes brings a similar skillset, only with a lot more speed in the open field. Arcega-Whiteside is officially on notice.
Prior to the draft, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman talked about his desire on finding guys — late-round picks and undrafted rookies — that could contribute right away. He wasn’t in the habit of signing prospective backups.
“But when we’re looking for late guys, we are looking for guys who have traits,” Roseman said. “We’re still looking to try to find guys who can be role players or even develop into starters in those rounds. We’re not trying to draft backups.”
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