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Coach doesn't see offense in rookie Geneo Grissom's future

Rookie Geneo Grissom's college coach Mike Stoops doesn't believe he'll make it as an NFL tight end despite tremendous athleticism and versatility.

Geneo Grissom has it all. At 6-3, 262 and a 4.81 40 time, he has the size, speed, strength and quickness to excel in the NFL. What Grissom doesn't have – at least during his college days at Oklahoma – is a position.

Sooners defensive coordinator Mike Stoops tried him everywhere, and he believes Grissom's varied skillset would allow him to succeed at most spots along the defensive front. Stoops says Grissom was equally effective playing standing up as well as with his hand on the ground, both inside and outside, and showed he could operate in space as an outside linebacker.

But one thing Grissom did in college that Stoops doesn't feel is in his future in play tight end. Although Bill Belichick raved about his Pro Day workout at the position, calling it "as good of a tight end workout as we saw all year," Stoops didn't share that enthusiasm.

"He was kind of a guy without a home at tight end. Basically he never played," Stoops began. "I think he was raw as a tight end. It didn't come quite as natural at tight end in terms of the learning element as it did on defense. There are a lot more intricacies to playing offense than defense, which is more of a technique. You're playing more of an inside eye or an outside eye or whatever the case may be and I think the techniques are a little bit easier to master.

"Offense there's more of a learning curve. He's athletic, but I think the lack of repetitions at the tight end position and it being a bit more unnatural for him – the blocking and different angles of departure – that takes more of a unique skill."

Stoops wouldn't completely rule it out of Grissom's future, however. He's been around football for a long time and watched how Belichick's Patriots have operated over the years.

"But he could give them some flexibility in their goal line package there so who knows. New England sees a lot of different things in players," Stoops added.

While Stoops may not be convinced the Patriots just drafted their next two-way performer, he does feel the potential for Grissom to emerge as a contributor exists.

"He'll continue to grow and learn," he said. "I think he can do a lot of different things. Maybe he hasn't mastered them all but he's good at a lot of different things and that gives you great versatility in his game."

For a more in-depth profile of Grissom and the rest of the Patriots 2015 draft class check out the latest edition of Patriots Football Weekly on newsstands now or call 1-800-494-PATS.

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