The New England Patriots selected senior linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill with the 33rd pick of the sixth round in the NFL Draft. He was the 208th overall pick.
This is the second Panther drafted by the Patriots in the last three years. Grugier-Hill will join former teammate Jimmy Garoppolo who was drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft. He became the 15th Eastern Illinois player drafted in the NFL.
Grugier-Hill is projected to move to safety at the NFL level, although he was a two-time, first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference selection. The past year, he had 70 tackles with 16.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries and one interception, while missing two games. He earned OVC Defensive Player of the Week following the game against Tennessee Tech. He had eight solo tackles, three tackles for a loss, one sack and one interception.
His season high came against Jacksonville State with 11 tackles. He also had four tackles for a loss with half a sack against Southeast Missouri.
He was the team’s leading tackler as a junior with 97. He also had three interceptions and 9.5 tackles for loss. He earned OVC Defensive Player of the Week on November 12, 2014 after a 19-tackle game at Tennessee Tech. He had double-digit tackles in games against Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State and UT Martin. His three interceptions came with one each against Illinois State, Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech.
At his pro day last month, he ran a 4.45 second 40-yard dash, a 1.52-second 10-yard split with a 6.89-second 3-cone, 4.20-second short shuttle, 38.5-inch vertical leap, 10 foot nine inch broad jump and 15 bench press reps at 225 pounds. Grugier-Hill is 6-foot-2 weighing in at 208 pounds.
He attended high school in Hawaii at Kamehameha high school where he played safety and punter. He played 12 games at linebacker his first year with the Panthers, making four tackles, one for a loss in his first game. His season high in 2012 came against Central Arkansas where he had seven tackles, five of them being solo.
As a sophomore, he played in all 14 games making five starts early in the year. He made 43 tackles in 2013 and his game high came against FBS opponent Northern Illinois with 11. He ended that year with five tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and two pass break-ups.
Grugier-Hill was not available for comment.
Mark Shanahan can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]