This 6’1 201 lbs safety is a highly-coveted prospect for two main reasons. One, his size and two, the fact that the safety position is at a premium, besides himself and Xavier McKinney (who could get his own write-up in the near future), not a lot of impact players are coming out at this position in 2020. Delpit is next in the line of elite defensive backs that have come out of LSU, appropriately dubbed “Defensive Back University” or “DBU”, featuring stand outs in the NFL such as Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, Jamal Adams and Donte Jackson. Grant Delpit could make a wonderfully big, fast and intense addition to Big Blue.
Whilst Delpit is a tackling machine, racking up 65 tackles in his Junior campaign (38 solo and 27 assisted) and 74 the year prior (46 solo), it goes deeper than pure production for Delpit. Akin to his former classmate and now Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White, Delpit covers ground with blazing speed. Now, difference here is White excelled laterally Delpit is a north to south maniac, using twitchy but still smooth feet and great pursuit to get his helmet on the ball. Continually, he has the size to cover big receivers/tight ends in man coverage near the line of scrimmage but also is versatile, instinctual and spaciously aware enough to play well in zone coverage. His ball skills, tackling, instincts and motor also give him a shot in run defense, no matter where he’s lined up. As for weaknesses, Delpit can get stranded deep sometimes, taking bad angles and getting lost in routes. Additionally, as I sing Delpit’s praises in the tackling realm, it’s worth mentioning he can have trouble diagnosing lanes, however it’s nothing experience will remedy.
In all, Grant Delpit is the perfect NFL safety in the modern era and is going to be a killer at the next level, both in run and pass defense, plus he’s more suited for the strong safety position and will be a constant inhabitant of the box. He’s also an incredible communicator and is very vocal on the back end, which is important at the next level, especially with a young, up and coming defense. Now, as we get closer to draft night, l want to see some teams the prospects we discuss may fit on the Giants directly, Delpit’s our first candidate;
Fitting In Blue
Patrick Graham’s play-calling for the Dolphins circa 2019 consisted primarily of blitzes and man-to man coverage. The Dolphins blitzed on 35% of their snaps, the 7th highest frequency in the NFL. Their blitz rate jumped to 41% on third down, the third highest rate in the league. Graham was very creative with his blitz packages, mixing in defensive backs and delays for linebackers on passing downs. This suits Delpit’s style well and considering he possesses excellent closing speed, the considerable dosage of showing blitz and dropping into coverage Graham calls shouldn’t be an issue. According to PFF, the Dolphins ran man-to-man more than 50% of the time, predominantly Cover 1 (43% of that 50%) and Cover 0 (called 28 times in 2019, ranked 7th highest last season) and because of Delpit’s versatility he can play in the box or as a deep safety, fitting in well. They also played press man 481 times last year, which was the fifth highest number in the league, which Delpit has the size for. If drafted, he will be the most talented Giants DB, although Beal, Baker and Ballentine steadily improved, Delpit can slide right in as a starter in September, infusing speed, physicality, good instincts and refined coverage skills, among other things. A situation where the Giants trade down into the ’10s of the draft, trade back into the late 1st round or Delpit falls to the 2nd round would ultimately suffice.
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