Violent, Intense Ballhawk

May 1st, 2021

Bucs LB Grant Stuard.

OK, this guy looks the part. But can he play?

Combine Ryan Jensen’s red-hair-flying intensity with Alex Cappa’s violence and Devin White’s heat-seeking missile attitude and you have Grant Stuard, Mr. Irrelevent, the final pick of the 2021 draft.

This Stuard has all the intangibles. But is he an NFL player? On a loaded Tampa Bay roster?

Dane Brugler of The Athletic thinks Stuard, while he has the tools any coach would want in a linebacker, is likely destined as a “core” special teams player.

And who doesn’t like a description of a linebacker as playing with a “full tank?”

STRENGTHS: Plays with a full tank and relentless motor on every play…runs like the wind with sideline-to-sideline range…chases down ball carriers from behind, never giving up on a chance to make a stop…slippery athlete and avoids blockers without taking himself out of the play…physical tackler and drives through his target…light feet in his pedal to stay on top of backs in coverage…extensive special teams experience…toughs out injuries – played the 2019 season with a sports hernia, receiving six injections throughout the season…team captain as a senior and known as one of the hardest workers in the program…community involvement and religion are important to him…versatile experience – played at weakside and middle linebacker as a senior after playing nickel safety as a junior.

WEAKNESSES: His tweener size and length leads to position-fit questions…stiff hips…too easily eaten up by blockers and doesn’t have the take-on skills to win many battles near the line of scrimmage…overaggressive run fits, attacking before reading…fooled by misdirection and movement and takes himself out of plays…often plays too fast and struggles to break down on the move (combined for 10 missed tackles the last two seasons)…doesn’t have the arm length to corral shifty runners unless he is square to the target…below-average pass defense production (four career pass break-ups, no interceptions)…has an injury history, including a sports hernia (Spring 2019) that required surgery (December 2019); tore a meniscus (October 2017) and required surgery.

SUMMARY: A two-year starter at Houston, Stuard played the weakside and middle linebacker positions in defensive coordinator Doug Belk’s 4-2-5 scheme. After leading the team in tackles as a nickel safety in 2019, he moved to linebacker as a senior captain and again led the team in tackles, averaging 8.3 per game over the last two years. Stuard is easy to spot on tape because of his long, flowing hair, but also because he is the most active player on the screen and tackles like a rattlesnake, attacking low and not letting go. Although his unrelenting motor is a strength, he needs to play more controlled with his reads and movements, struggling to come to balance in space. Overall, Stuard might not have a natural fit for a base defense, but he will be a core special teamer because of his play speed, energy and football character.

Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht described Stuard as “big hair, don’t care.” Licht also said Stuard has great speed.

Have fun watching his fun video.

46 Responses to “Violent, Intense Ballhawk”

  1. Colin in Canada Says:

    He can play.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    That is the last pick of the draft? Wow looks good to me

  3. geno711 Says:

    Seems like the kinda guy that even though he makes just a special team tackle could just ignite the whole Buc sideline because of intensity.

  4. Joe Says:

    Joe would give this guy a spin at safety.

  5. SB~LV Says:

    I like this guy more than the Auburn LB … anyway filled out the back of the draft with special team candidates, the DB was written up in a pre draft bio as a possible ST Gunner.
    Now on to the hungry dogs signed as UDFA’s

  6. Drunkinybor Says:

    Looks like we have theme from Bruce. Fast athletic aggressive captains and play makers, side line to side line speed. Grand looks like a baller to me, you just can’t have enough guys like this with super energy. He can pump up a whole team by making a great play on special teams. This is one of my favorite picks.

  7. WHO 😀❗️ Says:

    Sounds like a fullback to me 😀😀😀❗️❗️❗️GO BUCS ❗️

  8. Costa Rica John Says:

    Love his highlights. Coach this guy up.

  9. Cobraboy Says:

    ST ace…

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Looked through the Bucs’ current roster a little while ago and came up with 45 guys (out of 65 signed) who SHOULD be shoo-ins to make the final 53 … NOT counting any of the rookies just drafted. Competition for those last 8 spots between guys who played for us last year and this year’s draft picks should be fierce. And that’s not counting any FAs we might pick up between now and start of the season. Competition brings out the best in every position group. Love it.

  11. adam from ny Says:

    if he truly has sideline to sideline type speed, we just got a player

  12. Bird Says:

    Big hair , dont care. Im dying.

    Thats great

    Look at last 3 picks – db and two linebackers
    All great tacklers

    The linebackers extremely physical
    Cant wait to see who makes those last spots because of special teams

    My guess is mickens and justin watson gone
    Or mickens back on practice squad.

  13. Bradinator Says:

    Special Teams!!! We needed some tacklers last year. Gave up too many big returns.

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Cichy & Mickens will be gone….I think Watson survives.

    As for this guy…..”Tackles like a rattlesnake”……WOW!!!

  15. Joe Says:

    Cichy & Mickens will be gone….I think Watson survives.

    Cichy is gone. Mickens, not sure. Think Watson survives for one more year (final year of his contract) and after 2021, if he is still on the team, Bucs let him walk.

  16. TOM Says:

    Seen him play against Cincy. He was disrupting things the whole game. Kept hearing his name called.Kinda surprise he lasted till the last pick. I’ll certainly be rooting for him. I think he’ll surprise some people. Especially the coaches. High motor, never stops.

  17. Colin in Canada Says:

    Compared him to larry izzo one of the great special teamers

  18. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We are replacing Mickens with Darden

    Replacing Ryan Smith with Wilcox

    Replacing Jack Cichy & Andrew Adams with Britt/Stuard

    The great thing about this draft is that all of the players were drafted for a role that they are capable of playing…..Backups, Depth, Special Teams……fantastic.

  19. SKBucsFan Says:

    Would be nice if he could develop into a safety. Seems like he just needs to slow down and give himself a chance to make the tackle.

  20. SB~LV Says:

    Watson.. I don’t get it , his reputation coming out of Penn was great hands

  21. I CARE NOW Says:

    Looks like he sheds blocks pretty well to me

  22. SB~LV Says:

    Chichy … tough guy , excellent LB by every measure. A knee gone bad as a senior in college then a couple of knees as a Buc and a supreme athletes professional dreams and career down the tubes

  23. Bojim Says:

    Looks pretty damn good on that tape. I’m already pulling for him.

  24. NashvilleBuc Says:

    In those highlights there’s a lot of PI, roughing the passer, helmet to helmet *and* he dives for tackles a lot. He will get burned doing that. Needs to clean up his game but I love his speed, strength, nose for the ball and intensity.

  25. Bellingham Bucs Fan Says:

    Are all of you who were yelling a couple rounds ago about Licht drafting a kick returner/offensive weapon instead of a gunner going to come forward and eat your crow, or do we have to go back to your comments?

  26. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    That is the most impressive Mr. Irrelevant I’ve ever seen. Go Grant!

  27. Red86 Says:

    I have to agree with fellow Bucs fans. He looks like The Honey badger to me. Under size in height, but a giant with his mentality. The guy looks like he got heart.

  28. Bogiedr Says:

    And we now have two Mr. Irrelevant, the first one worked out ok, Ryan Succop. This guy may turn out to be a steal. Honeybadger comparison is a good one.

  29. JGhotier Says:


    You’re saying we keep Mickens?! That’s means we are keeping SEVEN RECEIVERS….

    Evans, Godwin, Brown, Miller, Johnson, Darden (Mickens???)

    You ain’t sliding any of those to the P.S. w/o getting claimed. Darden ain’t sneaking onto PS (when you not only trade up to get him, but in the 4th Round and you were “worried” and “stressed” you might not get him at bottom of Round 4 🤯🤷‍♂️ Doesn’t seem sensical to me

    Love the Darden and Grant Stuard picks today!

  30. JGhotier Says:

    Watson, not Mickens ***

  31. JGhotier Says:


    No way we keep Watson UNLESS we keep 7 Receivers. You ain’t trading up, using a 4th Round Draft pick, “worried” and “stressed” some other team is gonna take him and sneaking that guy on the PS, nor is Miller and Johnson not making the team (barring injury) imo.

    Evans, Godwin, Brown, Miller, Johnson and Darden is 6 WR’s

    Mickens or Watson would be the 7th (IF they keep that many)

  32. David Says:

    Sounds like a special teams gunner and a project at linebacker over the next two years

  33. EA Says:

    This guy reminds me of hard knocks star Riley “Fabio” Bullough.

  34. Joe Says:

    You’re saying we keep Mickens?!

    Specifically, Joe wrote “not sure.” Which means, well, Joe’s not sure.

    That a far cry from “you’re saying we keep Mickens.”

    Bucs liked Mickens’ return abilities. Guessing that hasn’t changed.

    Watson is good on special teams. And if you don’t start, you better be able to play special teams, which he does. Can’t imagine the Bucs re-sign Watson next year, unless he blows up this year. He was a bubble player last year. Good guy. But don’t cry for him. He’s got a degree from the Wharton School of Business.

    Cichy will get injured for some other team.

  35. Joe Says:

    This guy reminds me of hard knocks star Riley “Fabio” Bullough.

    Thought about Fabio too.

  36. JGhotier Says:


    Sensical, but you’re implying that we either 1) keep 7 receivers 2) we try to sneak Darden onto the PS

    ….because Evans, Godwin, Brown, Miller and Johnson are making this team and that’s 5 right there

    Typically you’d jeep 6, so that’s ONE spot remaining w/ Darden, Watson and Mickens fighting for it (or again we keep 7 receivers)

  37. adam from ny Says:

    i just bumped into a video of him on his own youtube channel, of him tracking himself at the senior bowl…reese’s senior bowl event…he’s a likable guy…i enjoyed it, and he has a good personality and way about himself…i hope he makes the team…straight up, he’s a liable dude…seems smart with a good head on his shoulders too…i think he’s going to become a very likable buccaneer if he pans out

  38. adam from ny Says:


    straight up, he’s a likable dude***

    ps he could be liable too…lol…like if he freaks out and joins forces with AB per say, and trashes the beautiful bucs locker…just a hypothetical if ya know what i mean…lol

  39. MarkR Says:

    Seriously, a team captain, violent tackler who averaged 8.5 tackles per game – 5.0 solo in the AAC? How can this guy be Mr. Irrelevant?

  40. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Like Joes idea of trying him at safety. Would give some depth there. You have to root for a guy like him.

  41. gp Says:

    Being “Mr Irrelevant” should put a chip on his shoulder and he looks like he already plays with attitude. Special teams just got better.

  42. Hodad Says:

    Joe, was thinking the same thing, in the box safety. I don’t know if it’s the hair, but reminds me of Troy Polamola.

  43. Owlykat2 Says:

    I love this pick too! Great write up Joe.

  44. View from 132 Says:

    Sure tacklers can always find a roster spot. Too many talented kids just are highlight reel hitters and that doesn’t work in the NFL, especially now.

  45. Capt.Tim Says:

    Thats what I thought also, Joe.
    I think he could be a great”in the Box” safety.
    A guy he brings the lumber, and discourages Running backs from
    Running against us.
    Our safeties are great- but a little on the smallish size.
    A big thumper, who can also play special teams- would be great- and fill a need.
    Mr Irrelevant could prove very relevant!
    Plus this guy might be crazy. He’ll fit in!
    A very well researched and thought out draft!

  46. alton d green Says:

    7 receivers????????????? COME ON MAN!! I’ve been a career Brady fan. I’ve seen him dissect defenses with basicly with one or two receivers, usually Edelman and Gronk. Now we have Brown, Miller, Godwin, etc, etc. If there is a weakness in the O-Line, plug it. good luck finding one haha. Special teams? plug it. We have a good back-up for Brady. BUT look what happened when he was suspended for 4 games. Garroppalo got injured. they brought in their next QB. The Pats were one injury away from using Edelman as a QB. AND THEY STILL WON THE SUPERBOWL hahahaha. Don’t lose sight of what we already have.