The majority of the NFL labor pool is constantly on edge.
The threshold between active playing time and unemployment is incredibly thin for most players. As we’ve worked up the back of the Los Angeles Rams’ roster in the 2017 Rams Roster Preview Series, it’s been clear that most of the players we’ve covered thus far are fighting more for professional survival than for professional accolades.
Such is the case for second-year linebacker Nicholas Grigsby.
An undrafted free agent last year, Grigsby was cut to start the year but replaced LB Brandon Chubb on the practice squad just three days into the season. In late November, he got the call up to the active 53-man and played in the final six games of the season.
I’m not sure where new Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips intends to play Grigsby. At Pitt, he had MLB and SLB experience in a 4-3 defense. So we’ll have to see where he lines up when camp breaks in less than two weeks.
If it’s at OLB, he’ll be in the mix with rookie draft picks Samson Ebukam and Ejuan Price, Carlos Thompson (roster preview), Cassanova McKinzy (roster preview), and perhaps Rams 2016 Rookie of the Year Cory Littleton (roster preview).
If it’s inside, he’s battling with Bryce Hager, Josh Forrest and Kevin Davis (roster preview).
Grigsby might have some pressure on him after seeing the field last year. If he’s at OLB though, two new draft picks probably carry a bit more on their shoulders.
Chances of Making Final Roster (4.5/10)
In last year’s roster preview installment, I gave him a 2/10 shot to make the roster saying:
The upside with Grigsby is what intrigues me. If his improvement from 2014 to 2015 suggests a similar leap coming as we head into camp, he's the perfect practice squad candidate. Someone you develop with a legitimate chance at a meaningful NFL career.
That turned out to be the case.
I wouldn’t be surprised at all if his career continues to grow and we see him log some substantial time at LB this season.