UPDATE: Scout says injuries had big impact on LSU safety Grant Delpit
Another prominent NFL draft analyst has weighed in on LSU safety Grant Delpit. Matt Miller of the Bleacher Report says he now has Delpit going outside of the first round. From Miller’s latest scouting notebook:
“Delpit won the Thorpe Award this season — given annually to the best defensive back in college football — but his on-field product wasn’t the same as it was during his standout 2018 season. There could be an injury the team didn’t disclose which led to less burst and pursuit success, but if not, there’s reason for concern. Delpit didn’t look as fast or active in the open field this season.”
They’re called “elite” prospects by some. Others call them “blue chip” prospects.
Whatever you call them, there’s at least one prospect every draft that’s head and shoulders above most other players in his draft class, the “no-brainer” picks.
Some examples include former Texas A&M edge Myles Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick in 2017. Last year’s draft featured two “blue chippers” in Ohio State edge Nick Bosa and Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams, who were drafted second and third overall, respectively.
And then there are players who draft analysts tab as an elite prospect at the beginning of the year, only to see their stock plummet as the weeks and months drag on, for whatever reason. Remember LSU edge Arden Key? Coming into the 2017 season, many analysts pegged Key as the future No. 1 overall player in the 2018 draft. Instead, Key wound up going in the third round to the Raiders with pick No. 87 overall.
And that circles back to the question of LSU safety Grant Delpit.
Is he an elite prospect? A solid, Round 1 player? Or is he a player headed for Day 2 of the draft?
“Delpit played most of the season while dealing with injuries and it really affected him,” said Chris Landry of LandryFootball.com. Landry is a veteran NFL scout who has served with the Cleveland Browns, the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans, and he is the former director of the Indianapolis Scouting Combine.
“He missed so many practices and with how they move him in their defense, he just wasn’t as effective.”
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) December 28, 2019
Grant has seen his stock steadily decline, going from top 10 status (and sometimes higher) to top 20 to now, where many mock drafts have him going somewhere late in the first round.
Delpit still finished with 65 tackles, 4.5 tackle for loss, 2 sacks and two interceptions. For his career, Delpit has 199 tackles, 17.5 TFLs, 7 sacks and 8 INTs, including 32 passes defended.
NFL Mock Draft Database, which forms a “consensus” from many nationally published mock drafts, still pegs Delpit as the No. 14 overall player. Walter Football, though, has Delpit going at pick No. 24 overall.
“Multiple teams have told me they graded (Alabama safety Xavier) McKinney higher because they believe that he can do a lot more in coverage than Delpit can, and McKinney is a tougher run defender with significantly fewer missed tackles from 2019,” writes Walter Football’s Charlie Campbell in a Senior Bowl Rumors report.
Meanwhile, Chris Trapasso and Josh Edwards of CBS Sports both have Delpit being selected by Miami with the No. 26 overall pick, while CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson has the safety going to San Francisco with the last pick of the first round.
“He’s an aggressive close-and-drive defender with ball skills, nice feel as a blitzer and range in coverage,” said Landry, who currently serves as a scouting and coaching consultant to NFL teams and college programs. “He is more of a hitter than tackler and needs more work in understanding his landmarks in zone, but he has the size and smarts to be an outstanding player at the next level.”