After proving himself on some of the biggest stages in college football, Grant Delpit enters the 2020 NFL Draft as the top safety prospect in this class. The recipient of the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes to the nation's best defensive back, Delpit is capable of developing into one of the best at his position in the NFL too. There are some questions that need to be answered but that should not prevent the former LSU star from being an early-round pick.
Grant Delpit Draft Profile
All the raw traits are there for Delpit to be a complete safety. His fluid movement skills, pure speed and outstanding instincts combine for exceptional range when patrolling center field. He does a great job reading route combinations, and his ability to plant his foot and close in a hurry is exceptional for a player with his length. He has the ball skills to create takeaways. He has man coverage ability, capable of lining up over the slot and matching up with receivers, mirroring with his quick feet and fluid hips and winning at the catch point thanks to his length. He’s shown the ability to break down and make open-field tackles, and his length, athleticism and competitiveness suggest he can get back to that level. He earned high marks for character at LSU as the leader of their national title-winning secondary.
Tackling is the question; he missed a ton of tackles last season. He broke his collarbone as a sophomore, and he seemed hesitant tackling in the open field at times, typically lunging for the feet rather than breaking down like he’s capable of. It’s difficult to trust a player as your last line of defense if you can’t trust him to tackle. Along with the collarbone, he battled a nagging ankle injury for most of last year.
Do you trust that his tackling issues are a result of injuries? Because if he gets back to the form he showed early in his career, and his tackling once again matches the sum of his length, strength and competitiveness, he’s the total package with a skill set similar to that of Titans stud safety Kevin Byard.
Final Grade: 1st round
(Top photo courtesy of lsusports.net)