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Grant Delpit has faced some of the best competition at wideout in recent memory. Besides going up against the likes of Ja’Marr Justin Jefferson, and Terrace Marshall during practice, the SEC featured some big-arm QBs and explosive receivers. Grant has NFL size and all of the tools physically. If he can develop his game mentally, look for him to takeoff. His combine potential would make him tops for his position. Unfortunately, he will miss combine drills for the time being to heal his ankle. Grant is a very aggressive, downhill safety, with great confidence. He is someone who has the most to gain at the NFL combine, so missing workouts isn’t necessarily ideal. Yet, there is no question he is a first rounder and has the potential to be All-Pro one day.
In terms of accolades, Grant has nothing to be upset about regarding his college career. He was able to end his career with an undefeated season and national championship. In the title game against Clemson, Grant helped lead the LSU secondary to holding Trevor Lawrence without any pass TDs. He also struggled to complete passes all game, with a completion percentage below 50%. This had a lot to do with the stress LSU put on the Clemson receivers when the ball arrived. Delpit had a lot to do with that. He went for 5 solo tackles in the game, along with a sack. His versatility and athleticism are off the charts. There is no reason to believe he can do this at the highest level considering the offenses he faced in the SEC.
Grant Delpit is one of the most accomplished defensive players in the SEC. He earned first-team All-SEC recognition in consecutive seasons. Delpit was also a unanimous All-American and received the Jim Thorpe Award for 2019 as the nation’s best defensive back. He had 5 INTs in 2018, followed by only 2 this past season. Quarterbacks simply decided to avoid him, but he still found ways to make an impact. The spacing in today’s NFL offense makes it hard to simply lockdown anyone, so you need talented and high-IQ safety to cover up those holes.
When it comes to coverage and defensive instincts, Grant has solid timing and IQ. He is one of those guys who always seems to be around the football in some fashion. Delpit doesn’t have ground-breaking speed, but makes up for it in physicality and IQ. He is able to get through traffic in pursuit of the football. With effective blocking schemes at the next level, many young defensive backs find themselves getting jammed easily or getting out of position. Grant’s IQ and physicality make him perfect to be solid in this area for years to come.
Grant is extremely versatile, with the length, speed, and IQ to be a key factor in man and zone coverage. His length shows up well in short and medium pass breakups. He can jam receivers at the line of scrimmage and can also be a game-changer as a blitzer. He’s great at securing takeaways and disrupting at the catch point. This key skill of causing problems at the point of catch tends to transfer over well to the NFL. In today’s NFL, receivers are just too fast, and quarterbacks just have too much pin point accuracy. As a result, it is essential to have defensive backs who are disruptive when the ball reaches the receiver. With great ball skills, Grant is a threat for intercepting and deflecting several balls.
If there is anything to knick pick in regards to Grant, tackling is one of them. Despite his size and stature, he is surprisingly not a great tackler. This is mainly to do with technique. He needs to focus on having better control and wrapping up. Many defensive backs with elite size and athleticism tend to forget about technique for tackling. If he improves on this area of defense, that makes Grant that much more versatile and dominant.
One comparison that can be made for Grant Delpit is a guy by the name of Eric Berry. Coming out of college, Berry had similar instincts, toughness, and IQ as a defensive back. Delpit falls short of the ballhawk that Eric Berry was, but he does have an advantage given his size and athleticism. Another solid player comparison is Jamal Adams, who came out of LSU in 2017. Delpit is not as a great a run defender, but is slightly better in pass coverage.
Delpit is perfect for any team lacking physical defensive backs. He can also be a game changer for teams who don’t have much height or athleticism at the corner positions. While it may not be ideal, Delpit could perhaps even matchup against some tight ends at the next level. His versatility ultimately makes him a great fit anywhere. If Delpit is able to play with more control and wrap up with consistency, he may be the best all-around defensive back in this draft. The potential is there, all that is left is improving his technique.
Given his IQ, any team with relatively solid defensive coaches can maximize his strengths as soon as he gets into the league. Delpit may become an elite defender in the middle of the field, as he covers lots of ground while playing both the run and pass well. Strong safety is definitely is natural position, but he can be all over the field wherever you need him. With elite IQ and versatility, the sky is the limit for this kid.
Skill Ratings + Breakdown
IQ – 9
Delpit has a pretty strong understanding of where the ball is going and also reads pre-snap movement well. It was part of the reason he is so dominant in zone coverage.
Speed – 8
It will be tough to get behind him at the next level, and he has great speed to the point where he can even play up a bit and still not get beat.
Agility – 8
With his ability to make reads followed by the quick movement and ability to change direction, Delpit is going to be a playmaker at the next level.
Man Coverage – 8
He is an above average defender when it comes to playing man coverage, and he can play up and press opposing tight ends and wide receivers when asked.
Zone Coverage – 9
Hard to think of a better zone safety than Delpit at the college level from this past season. He roamed around quite a bit, and LSU trusted him a ton in space.
Tackling – 6
This is where he get to a weakness, his tackling needs work. The form can be an issue, especially when he just reaches with his arms.