Patriots draft Eastern Illinois linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill with 208th pick

Representatives from NFL teams begin their work during the last day of the 2016 NFL Draft. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

FOXBOROUGH — The sixth round of the draft is the time for NFL teams to select players that many fans have never heard of. The New England Patriots dipped into the pool of relatively unheralded players by drafting Eastern Illinois linebacker/safety Kamu Grugier-Hill with the 208th overall pick on Saturday.

At 6-foot-2 and 208 pounds, Grugier-Hill mostly played linebacker at college. But he is significantly undersized for an NFL linebacker, and he may be primed for a move to safety at the professional level. There’s only one problem with that potential transition: safety is one of the most well-stocked positions on the Patriots’ roster.


Grugier-Hill didn’t demonstrate the coverage skills to adequately hold up on the back end of the defense, but he showed off some leaping skills and long speed in pre-draft workouts with a 38.5-inch vertical jump and a 4.4-second 40-yard dash.

Grugier-Hill’s best chance to make the Patriots roster will likely be on special teams; but he may also be competing with Nate Ebner and Jordan Richards for the final roster spots at safety.

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