Biography: Three-year starter used at middle and outside linebacker. Led team in tackles as a senior with 116, and chosen as an all-conference selection. Junior totals included 84 tackles. Also led Pittsburgh in tackles as a sophomore with 91.
Positives: Intelligent linebacker who makes a lot of plays with his head. Quickly locates the ball, immediately diagnoses the action and fires through the gaps to make tackles against the run. Works to keep the action in front of him, uses his hands to protect himself and stays disciplined with assignments. Squares into tackles and wraps up.
Negatives: Marginal playing speed and struggles staying with tight ends or running backs in coverage. Lacks bulk and handled at the point by blockers.
Analysis: Gruder was a terrific college defender who played smart and tough on the field. He has size limitations yet could be a reserve in a one-gap system if he plays well on special teams.
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