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2020 Draft Profile: Scouting LSU safety Grant Delpit

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Should the Broncos consider drafting the ball hawking safety Grant Delpit?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 13 CFP National Championship - LSU v Clemson Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

One prospect who may interest the Denver Broncos in the first two rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft is the ball-hawking LSU safety, Grant Delpit. He’s a 6’2”, 213 pound safety who is considering one of the top safeties in the entire draft. Delpit is ranked as the second best safety in the draft according to The Draft Network and the 21st best player in the entire draft.

Delpit played three seasons at LSU and turned into one of the better safeties in the nation during that period. During his three seasons at LSU, Delpit totaled 199 tackles, 17.5 tackles for a loss, 7 sacks, 8 interceptions, 24 pass deflections, and 2 forced fumbles during his career. This past season, Delpit totaled 65 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, 7 pass deflections, and 1 forced fumble.

Here are Grant Delpit’s career accolades while LSU from Delpit’s player profile on their official website.

  • 2019 Thorpe Award Winner
  • 2019 Consensus All-American
  • 2019 First-Team All-American (AFCA, Sporting News, Walter Camp)
  • 2019 Second-Team All-American (AP)
  • 2019 First-Team All-SEC (Coaches)
  • 2019 Second-Team All-SEC (AP)
  • 2018 Unanimous All-American
  • 2018 First Team All-American (Walter Camp, AP, FWAA, Sporting News, AFCA, Sports Illustrated)
  • 2018 Jack Tatum Award Winner (Columbus Ohio Touchdown Club)
  • 2018 Nagurski Trophy Finalist
  • 2018 Thorpe Award Semifinalist
  • 2018 First Team All-SEC (Coaches, AP)
  • 2018 SEC Defensive Player of the Week (vs. Mississippi State)
  • 2018 Bednarik Award Player of the Week (vs. Mississippi State)

Delpit declared for the 2020 NFL Draft where he figures to be one of the first safeties off the board either in the first or second round.

Grant Delpit

Safety | Junior | LSU

Height: 6’2” | Weight: 213 pounds | 40-time: 4.39(Pro day results)

*Delpit did not participate in the athletic drills during the NFL Scouting Combine

Film Room

Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Highly athletic
  • Very fast and his speed evident on tape
  • Good size and weight
  • A fluid and smooth athlete
  • Rangy and can cover all areas of the field
  • Closes quickly on defenders
  • High IQ player who reads offenses well
  • Read and reacts very quickly
  • An effective blitzer
  • Very versatile
  • Can play free safety, strong safety, and nickel
  • Good in man coverage and can match-up against tight ends in the NFL
  • Physical in coverage, can press, jar the ball free and land a bit hit with reckless abandon as well
  • Toughness was evident in 2019 as he played through an ankle injury
  • Team Captain and was the heart and soul of the National Champion winning LSU Tigers

Weaknesses

  • Tackling, tackling, and tackling
  • He can lay a big hit and wrap up defenders just fine but he’s super inconsistent with it and it’s the one big major flaw in his game

What other analysts are saying about Delpit

NFL Network’s lead draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah on LSU safety, Grant Delpit

Delpit is a tall, fast free safety who also possesses the ability to play in the slot. From the deep middle, he trusts his eyes and explodes to the ball, whether run or pass. He has outstanding range and I trust his ball skills. His numbers dropped this past season, but that was the result of some nagging injuries. He is fluid and smooth when lined up in the slot. He is aggressive as a force defender, but he has too many fly-by missed tackles. Everyone at the school raves about his leadership and intangibles. Overall, Delpit needs to clean up some tackling issues, but he has Pro Bowl potential at free safety.

The Draft Network’s Kyle Crabbs on LSU safety, Grant Delpit

Grant Delpit projects as an impact defender at the NFL level. Tackling issues in the open field will put off some teams, but he’s physically capable of booming hits and his foundation as a player is a pretty rare blend of skills — making him an enticing every down defender that can be a centerpiece to weekly game plans. Delpit has high football intelligence and can handle any number of roles or responsibilities, adding him to a roster will add infinite flexibility to back-end coverage combos.

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler on LSU safety Grant Delpit from his annual draft guide

A three-year starter at LSU, Delpit was a starting safety in defensive coordinator Dave Aranda’s scheme, lining up free and strong and as a nickel. He quickly established himself as a face-of-the-program type of leader in Baton Rouge and drew comparisons to Troy Polamalu from his head coach, earning the coveted No. 7 LSU jersey. With his football IQ and athleticism, Delpit is quick to trigger vs. the pass and the run, trusting his keys and never second guessing himself. He often arrives too hot as a tackler and his overaggressive angles and poor finishing skills dent his batting average (there is no question that he was banged up in 2019 and how much that affected his production and performance is open to interpretation). Overall, Delpit needs to shore up his tackling inconsistency but he is a rangy, smart and energetic player who quickly finds the football and attacks, projecting as an interchangeable NFL safety with starting potential.

Does safety Grant Delpit make sense for the Denver Broncos?

He very well could.

The safety position is a very important one in Vic Fangio’s defense. They signed Kareem Jackson last season, they franchise tagged Justin Simmons this past year and plan on extending him to a multi-year big money deal here shortly. So Fangio’s history with the Bears on back and his recent history with the Broncos show that he values the safety position. So, safety is always in play for the Broncos in the early rounds of the draft if there’s a need at the position. Well, there currently is a need at safety for the Broncos.

Yes, they have two solidified starters in Simmons and Jackson but did lose Will Parks this offseason to the Eagles. Parks wasn’t a starter, but he played 540 snaps last season for the Broncos or a little over 50% of the defensive snaps. So his role needs to be filled by someone. Also, Jackson isn’t getting any younger and turns 32 years old this April. He also is likely entering his final year with the Broncos because they can save $10 million dollars in cap space next offseason and “only” take a $3 million dead money hit. So he sits atop the likely cap casualties list next season for the Broncos. So, there’s a pretty significant need at safety for the Broncos right now if you ask me.

Now back to Delpit. His versatility would let him take over the role Will Parks held this past season. He played either safety position and played some nickel and dime backer as well. These are roles that Delpit can instantly take over and may even be an upgrade over Parks as well. Also, Delpit being a team leader at LSU fits into the mold of prospects the Broncos have targeted recently.

However, his tackling skills are pretty inconsistent. He can certainly tackle and even lay a big jarring hit but he really needs to clean up his consistency there. I think this flaw is correctable because he has the work ethic and skills to make it happen. Also, if he were to land with the Broncos, I am confident in their coaching staff to correct this.

At the end of the day, Delpit gives you a very athletic safety with excellent range and ball skills who can fill many roles in the Broncos defense. Early on, he can fill the Will Parks role before eventually taking over for Kareem Jackson.

His projected drafting slot is a bit all over the map. Some have him as a top 20-25 player while others have him being available when the Broncos pick in the second round. So it is a bit tough to nail down an exact range for him. If the Broncos do go wide receiver in the first-round and Delpit is on the board at 46, I could most certainly see them selecting him.

Poll

If safety Grant Delpit is available at pick 46, should the Broncos draft him?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Yes - Trade up if needed
    (33 votes)
  • 63%
    Yes - If he’s there at 46
    (254 votes)
  • 5%
    No - Take a different safety
    (22 votes)
  • 18%
    No - Address other needs
    (73 votes)
  • 3%
    I WANT ALL THE OFFENSIVE LINE PICKS AND I WANT THEM NOW!!!!
    (15 votes)
397 votes total Vote Now