2021 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: LB Grant Stuard, Houston

Grant Stuard is an interesting prospect with a high motor that's capable of cracking the bottom part of the roster.
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LB GRANT STUARD 

Height: 6'1"
Weight: 225 lbs.
Class: Senior  
School: Houston 


A former two-star recruit out of Oak Ridge High School in Conroe, Texas. Stuard was a two-way player in high school, starring as a linebacker while also being a situational running back. He was a full-time starter by his junior year at Houston and earned a Second Team All-AAC bid while earning a First Team honor as a senior in 2020.

Finishes his time at Houston with 191 tackles, 16.5 for a loss, and two sacks while knocking four balls down to the deck. He also had 15 total pressures in Houston’s blitzing packages. 

He played a lot of nickel back for the Cougars before the 2020 season when he was switched to full-time linebacker. Before becoming a full-time starter in 2019, Stuard was an ace special teams player for Houston; he figures to be that if he’s going to make it in the NFL as well.

Stuard is undersized and only had a 30 ⅛” arm length with a 74⅛” wingspan. Had an impressive 28 reps on the bench at 225 pounds but did not partake in any other testing drills. Went down to the Reese’s Senior Bowl and opened people’s eyes to his crazy play temperament. He won’t be anything more than a very late day three selection.

Notables

Saw action in seven games as a true freshman before tearing his meniscus and missing the rest of the season. He also had sports hernia surgery in December of 2019.

Traits

An undersized linebacker who flies around the field with his hair on fire and plays with elite competitive toughness and drive. He does a good job attacking downhill and using key & diagnosing ability to avoid blockers and take good angles to the football. This is key because his ability to stack & shed will be significantly hindered at the next level due to lack of size, adequate play strength, and short arms.

In college, he showed solid pop on target at the second level to stack & shed, played with a low base, good center of gravity, and wasn’t bullied as much as one would expect for his dimensions. His range is solid, and he has good speed--he does show solid burst coming downhill in the A and B-Gaps.

Processing and will are his two most redeeming attributes; he’s very decisive, reads his keys well, and attacks the ball carrier to put the defense into a good position. He’s a low tackler whose tackle radius is sub-par.

Did a good job finishing his tackles with aggression and authority. He does a good job as a backside pursuit defender who chases ball carriers down the line of scrimmage using his speed, burst, and understanding of angles.

Short arms affect his ability in coverage--he can’t close throwing windows. He also doesn’t seem to be very aware in coverage--he is a much better processor in terms of playing the run. The lack of length and size hurt him in a lot of areas.

Overall, Stuard will be a fan favorite special teams type of player that can be one of the last guys to possibly crack the 53-man roster. He’s going to have to thrive on special teams to have a long career because his measurables do make it hard for his skill-set to consistently translate to all three downs in the NFL. He is the type of player people want to succeed. 


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