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D. Orlando LedbetterD. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons’ draft board: USC TE Xavier Grimble

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Each morning, from now until the draft starts on May 8, we’ll do a short profile of a player who’s on the Falcons’ Draft Board. We’ll focus on team-needs, possible selections, players the Falcons have worked out and/or interviewed, etc. The Falcons own 10 picks in this draft. Today we’ll look at USC tight end Xavier Grimble, who recently meet with the Falcons..

Player: Xavier Grimble

Position: Tight end

School: USC

Height and weight: 6-4, 257 pounds

USC tight end Xavier Grimble lands in the end zone to score on a 30-yard pass play from Cody Kessler in the second quarter Saturday at the Coliseum. ( Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press / September 21, 2013 )

USC tight end Xavier Grimble lands in the end zone to score on a 30-yard pass play from Cody Kessler in the second quarter Saturday at the Coliseum. ( Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press / September 21, 2013 )

Numbers:  4.9 seconds in the 40-yard dash; 16 reps on the 225-pound bench press; 26.5-inch vertical jump (lowest of the tight ends at the combine); 9-2 broad jump and 4.79 in shuttle.

Projected Round: He’s the 9th rated tight end in the draft and is projected to be selected in the fifth or sixth round by NFLDraftScout.com.

Career Highlights: He was a Parade and USA Today Prep All-American coming out of the Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, NV. He entered the draft as junior. He missed time last season with a fractured rib and started six of 13 games and caught 25 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns. Overall, he had 11 touchdown catches. He didn’t live up to his hype and USC and likely should have returned for his senior season.

Quotes: “It was a good decision for me and my family. Having been at SC for four years, starting for three, coming out pretty healthy and in good condition, I just felt like it was a good time, took my chances. Athletically, I can create some good matchups between me and linebackers and safeties. I block pretty well, run good routes and have good hands. I just think I’m very athletic for my size.”

Falcons level on interest: Moderate. The incomparable Tony Gonzalez has retired. The Falcons know they can’t replace him, but at the very least, they need a blocker, who can also work well in underneath zones. At USC, Grimble played early in his career, but never blossomed into a major star. Needs to get stronger to be an in-line blocker in the NFL.

Here are the Falcons draft picks:

  • Round 1 — No. 6 overall
  • Round 2 – No. 37 overall
  • Round 3 – No. 68 overall
  • Round 4 – No. 103 overall
  • Round 4 – No. 139 overall (compensatory)
  • Round 5 – No. 147 overall
  • Round 6 – No. 182 overall
  • Round 7 – No. 220 overall
  • Round 7 – No. 253 overall (compensatory)
  • Round 7 – No. 255 overall (compensatory)

FALCONS’ DRAFT BOARD

–A look at Louisville LB Preston Brown

–A look at Iowa TE C.J. Fiedorowicz

–A look at Texas OLB/DE Jackson Jeffcoat

–A look at West Virginia RB Charles Sims

–A look at Auburn DE Dee Ford

–A look at Brigham Young OLB Kyle Van Noy

–A look at Arizona State OLB/DE Carl Bradford

--A look at Missouri DE Kony Ealy

–A look at Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro

–A look at Alabama S Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix

–A look at Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman

–A look at Boston College QB Chase Rettig

–A look at Oregon RB De’Anthony Thomas

–A look at Ohio State OT Jack Mewhort

–BLOG: A list of the confirmed players at LOCALS DAY on Tuesday

–BLOG: FSU linebacker Telvin Smith visited the Falcons on Monday

–Falcons check out Towson State RB Terrance West, CB Jordan Love (UGA transfer)

–MyAJC ($): Eye-test vs. Tape-measure test: Falcons must trust their eyes during draft prep. 

FALCONS REWIND

–Blog: Falcons are not switching to a 3-4 defense front, they’ve been using it for past 2 seasons

–Blog: New jersey numbers picked; Devin Hester to wear No. 17

–Blog: Falcons awarded three compensatory picks

–Blog: Lamar Holmes was a performance-pay leader in 2014

–Blog: Umenyiora will return in 2014, no restructured deal

–Blog: Falcons release FB Bradie Ewing

–Blog: Falcons WR Roddy White owes Mercer fan some prime tickets

–Blog: Falcons owner Arthur Blank engaged to be married.  

–Blog: Former Falcons WR Kevin Cone to work out for Carolina

–Blog: Falcons re-sign defensive tackle Peria Jerry

–Blog: NFL to move forward on cleaning up ‘on-field’ language

MEET THE FREE AGENT SIGNEES

–MyAJC ($): Falcons spend $80 million in free agency to buy toughness

–Las Vegas doesn’t like Falcons’ free agency moves

–Falcons Free Agency Tracker — Falcons have committed $107.36 million to salaries 

–Q&A with PR/KR/WR Devin Hester

–Q&A with Falcons right guard Jon Asamoah

–Q&A with Falcons defensive end Tyson Jackson

–Q&A with Falcons defensive tackle Paul Soliai

2014 NFL DRAFT CENTRAL

–Mock Draft 1.0: Falcons trade out of sixth spot to land Pryor and Ebron

–12 teams who could draft UGA star Aaron Murray

–Louisville LB Preston Brown to work out for the Falcons

–Louisville DE Marcus Smith to work out for the Falcons

–MyAJC ($): OT Greg Robinson, DE Dee Ford shine at Auburn’s Pro Day

–VIDEO: Tackle Greg Robinson on Auburn’s Pro Day

–VIDEO: Running back Tra Mason on Auburn’s Pro Day

–Blog & VIDEO: Clemson QB Tajh Boyd has stellar Pro Day showing

–VIDEO: Clemson WR Sammy Watkins on his Pro Day

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