2013 NFL Draft Player Preview: USF DT Cory Grissom

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Will USF's beloved Pork Chop hear his name called at this weekend's NFL Draft?

We're putting together profiles of any USF football players who may get picked in this weekend's NFL Draft, so our NFL blog partners have information ready to go if a Bull hears their name called. Here's one of our profiles.

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Cory "Pork Chop" Grissom has been a staple of the Bulls' defensive line for the past three seasons, and may very well be the first (or only) Bull to hear his name called this weekend. Cory has been pretty much unanimously tabbed as a late-round draft pick, ranging from a sixth-to-seventh rounder to, in a few cases, missing the board entirely.

Here are Cory's measurables:

Position: Defensive Tackle
Height/Weight: 6'2", 306 lbs.
40 Time: 5.31 at the combine, 4.82 at USF's pro day. Go figure.
Stats: Started 40 games over four seasons, including every game the past three seasons. 38 tackles, seven TFL and 2.5 sacks in 2012, all career highs.

I always thought Cory was a pretty underrated part of the Bulls' defense. He never really got much hype, but he basically served as a 300-plus pound anchor on the defensive line for each of the last three seasons, including a really stingy run D in 2010. He's big, strong and has a low center of gravity --basically a perfect space-eater on the defensive line. You didn't tend to focus on Cory when the Bulls were on defense, but that's a testament to how consistent he was. He rarely lost the battle up front and was able to engage sometimes even a couple of offensive linemen.

Therein lies the biggest problem with Cory as well: he's really not a dynamic player. He did a good job over his career progressing from a pure space-eater to an actual factor in the backfield. He started the entire season in 2010 and only came up with 16 tackles, 3 TFL, and a sack. His numbers steadily increased throughout his career, but the NFL is going to require a whole new level of athleticism.

I'm not sure if Cory is at that level. He definitely developed the ability to get into the backfield and disrupt the passer as he got older and stronger, but his lateral movement isn't really there. If you watch highlights, he's basically moving in a beeline right at the QB every play and fails to make plays outside the hashes. It should be mentioned that he's got a bit of injury history as well, but as noted earlier, he never missed a game over the last three seasons.

At any rate, he's certainly a solid player who can earn a spot on an NFL roster. Unlike many prospects out there, it's pretty easy to diagnose what he does well and where he needs to improve. If he can become a more dynamic player on the line (and that 4.82 40 time, if it's legitimate, is certainly a promising stat. That 5.31 is not quite as promising.), Porkchop could really carve out a niche for himself in the NFL. With a couple seasons of grooming, I can see him becoming a pretty solid nose tackle.

Here is some essential Cory viewing:

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