NFC South: Matt Grothe

Odds and ends from USF's pro day

March, 30, 2010
3/30/10
6:03
PM ET
TAMPA, Fla. -- It’s obvious we can’t be at every pro day around the country. But there was one almost literally in the backyard of NFC South Blog headquarters on Tuesday, so I went and checked it out.

My main purpose was to work ahead on an upcoming column on University of South Florida defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul that will come out as we get closer to the draft. But I took down a bunch of observations that I’ll share with you now.

  • Read into this whatever you want, but the three head coaches I spotted out there were Tom Coughlin, Marvin Lewis and Lovie Smith. Head coaches generally don’t show up to watch potential late-round picks.
  • I didn’t see an NFC South head coaches or general managers out there. But I did see New Orleans defensive line coach Bill Johnson. He helped lead some of the drills. Not sure Pierre-Paul’s going to last anywhere near where New Orleans is scheduled to pick at No. 32. But South Florida had another defensive end, George Selvie, working out and he could be around in the third or fourth round.
  • Speaking of NFC South defensive line coaches in attendance, I also spotted Carolina’s Brian Baker. Carolina doesn’t even have a first-round pick at the moment, so I don’t think Pierre-Paul was the main reason Baker was there. He might have been checking out Selvie.
  • Safety Nate Allen didn’t run the 40-yard dash. He said he passed because he’s not completely healthy. But he did the other drills and said he believes he fared well.
  • Besides the head coaches mentioned above, I saw a few other dignitaries out there – Tampa Bay personnel executive Doug Williams, mega-agent Drew Rosenhaus (he represents Pierre-Paul), new South Florida coach Skip Holtz, Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and Cleveland defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
  • Nice move by South Florida quarterback Matt Grothe to full take part in the workout. Grothe suffered a major knee injury last season. He worked out with a bulky brace on his left knee and his throws didn’t appear all that spectacular. But this was a kid who came in with doubts about his height and arm strength even before the injury. He had nothing to lose by working out. In fact, he probably scored some attitude points just by showing up. Grothe is a long shot to even get to camp with an NFL team and admitted he may have to head to the Canadian Football League. But he’s got a private visit with the Bucs coming up in less than two weeks and the workout might have reminded some teams Grothe is out there.

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

This one might be a stretch. But, when it comes to Jon Gruden and quarterbacks, anything is possible.

Sometime after the season, Gruden will begin assembling his list of 42 quarterbacks to bring to training camp and there might be a guy out there with lot of experience in Raymond James Stadium.

South Florida junior Matt Grothe told The Tampa Tribune he will ask the NFL's draft advisory panel for guidance on what his stock could be like if he came out in 2009.

It's a pretty safe bet that Grothe isn't going to hear he's a first-round talent. But he said a third- or fourth-round prediction from the advisory board probably would be enough to convince him to leave the Bulls.

Again, I'm just throwing out a hypothetical here. There's long been thought in Tampa that Gruden wants (and needs) to draft a quarterback of the future. But what's Gruden's profile for his type of quarterback? We don't really know.

What we do know is Gruden has had a fair amount of success with Jeff Garcia, an undersized and mobile quarterback, who the coach never has been completely sold on. I'm not saying Grothe is the second coming of Garcia. But he's a bit undersized (6-foot and 205 pounds) and he can scramble. He also, theoretically, would start off with a clean slate with Gruden, which would put him a notch ahead of Garcia in that area.

Hey, it's worth pondering.

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