Elise Amendola/Associated PressRookie defensive end Geneo Grissom (above) will play all over the line for the New England Patriots.

Trying to predict anything involving the New England Patriots is always a slippery slope. Everything Patriots head coach Bill Belichick does is, inherently, unpredictable. At the forefront of Belichick’s inconstancy is his defense. His strategies fluctuate each week, each quarter and each series in an attempt to attack his team’s opponent’s biggest weaknesses and defend against its best attacks.
Rookie defensive lineman Geneo Grissom is about to find out firsthand exactly how volatile the Patriots defensive scheme can be. His distinction as a defensive lineman is noted on the Patriots’ official roster, but while they might ask him to be a designated pass-rusher in his rookie year, he could be asked to play other positions as well.
Grissom played multiple spots in the defensive front during his college career at Oklahoma, and he could be asked to use his entire bag of tricks once again as a rookie in New England. The Patriots are known to switch between a 3-4 and a 4-3 defense; Grissom could be lined up with his hand in the dirt on one play and standing up wide of the offensive tackle on the next play.
The possibilities aren’t endless, but there are enough of them to cast some doubt on exactly what Grissom’s rookie career will look like. 

3rd-round edge defenders from 2011-2014
Player
G
GS
Tkl
Ast
Sk
PD
FF
FR
Scott Crichton
8
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
Kareem Martin
11
2
8
0
1
1
1
0
Will Clarke
7
0
2
1
0
0
0
1
Damontre Moore
15
0
9
2
0
1
1
0
Corey Lemonier
16
0
12
3
1
3
1
0
Sam Montgomery
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Olivier Vernon
16
0
28
5
3.5
0
1
0
Jake Bequette
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Justin Houston
16
10
46
10
5.5
4
1
1
Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com

Listed above are each of the rookie defensive ends (4-3) and outside linebackers (3-4) who have been drafted in the third round since 2011. 
As you can see, their production has not been stellar in their first year. In some cases, these players have quickly found their footing. In others, they have spent their career searching for the magic that made them a coveted top-100 draft pick. 
It’s hit-and-miss, to say the least.
The biggest “hit” in this group has been Justin Houston (Kansas City Chiefs), who recently signed a six-year, $101 million contract extension to remain with the team that drafted him until his age-31 season in 2020. Houston was widely regarded as a prospect whose talent was worthy of a first-round pick, but a failed drug test at the 2011 …Read More