Weight: 213 pounds
School: LSU Tigers
Grant Delpit 2020 NFL Draft Profile
Grant Delpit is a great example of responding to adversity. When he was 6, his family lost their home during Hurricane Katrina and they were forced to live with relatives in Houston. He would go on to make a name for himself on the gridiron at Lamar High School in the Houston area for the first three years of his high school career. The following summer, he confirmed he’d be returning to his home state by committing to LSU and later played his senior year of high school at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL.
Delpit made an immediate impact as a true freshman in 2017. He made appearances in all 13 games that year, Ed Orgeron‘s first as the Tigers’ full-time head coach, and tallied 60 tackles, 3.5 for a loss, while also breaking up nine passes and intercepting one. His most impressive outing during his opening campaign came against Ole Miss. In that game, he registered nine tackles and came up with that first career interception.
During the next two seasons, though, he truly shined and established himself as one of the best safeties in college football. He earned unanimous All-American recognition both years and combined for 133 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, seven interceptions, seven sacks, and 16 pass breakups. As a sophomore, he was named a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Award given to the nation’s best defensive player. A year later, despite dealing with a high ankle sprain for most of the year, he became the third LSU player to win the Jim Thorpe Award as the top defensive back in college football, joining Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne. His efforts were certainly crucial in LSU’s 15-0 national championship season.
- an immensely physical player who’s not afraid to mix things up;
- impressive reactive athleticism;
- shows box safety traits with the ability to make plays at and behind the line of scrimmage;
- will punish quarterbacks who settle for their initial read;
- a heat-seeking missile when attacking ball-carriers;
- scrappy in coverage denying opposing receivers the ball;
- will be an asset when the defense brings the house on blitzes;
- showed versatility in lining up close to the line of scrimmage and also in the defensive backfield;
- an alpha competitor who expects to dominate on each play;
- should develop into a commanding presence in the locker room;
- the latest in a long line of elite LSU defensive backs;
- won the prestigious Thorpe Award despite playing with a nagging high ankle sprain.
- hip fluidity is a bit underwhelming;
- a bit inconsistent as a wrap-up tackler;
- could be a liability in single high due to limited sideline-to-sideline range;
- tends to get pursuit angles wrong when attempting open-field tackles;
- needs to learn to lead with the shoulder to avoid possible head injury;
- durability is a bit of a concern given the injury he dealt with through all of 2019.
NFL Comparison: Morgan Burnett
Projection: late first to early second round
Wearing the number seven at LSU carries with it a great responsibility to perform at an elite level. Previous Tigers to have done so include the aforementioned Peterson as well as Leonard Fournette and Tyrann Mathieu who just won his first Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs. Delpit lived up to such sky-high expectations and then some with his play during his three years in Baton Rouge. That much is certain given the honors that he received over the course of his college career.
Delpit is a fierce competitor who can make plays on the ball in a variety of ways. Whether it’s interceptions, breaking up passes, or charging into the backfield to force negative plays, he can pretty much do it all. That said, his tackling technique needs a bit of work and receivers who are dangerous vertically could burn him in his attempts to reinforce corners over the top. But he’s unquestionably one of the best safeties in this year’s draft class and should maintain LSU’s reputation as DBU once he sees starter-level reps at the next level.