The Eagles need playmakers in the secondary and it has been a long time since the Philadelphia Eagles have taken a safety in the first round. How does Grant Delpit fit with the Philadelphia Eagles? Let’s take a look.
Grant Delpit Fun Facts
- Won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back in 2019. The other LSU defensive backs to win the award were Patrick Peterson in 2010 and Morris Claiborne in 2011
- Named consensus All-American at safety in 2019
- Wore #7 for the LSU Tigers. Former teammates wearing the #7 included Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu
- Grant Delpit is a multi-sport athlete who loves baseball and grew up a St. Louis Cardinals fan
- Delpit’s LSU teammates nicknamed him “Baby Jamal” for drawing comparisons to former Tiger Jamal Adams
Grant Delpit’s College Performance
Grant Delpit was a 4-star recruit coming out of Houston, Texas and IMG Academy during his senior season. Before enrolling with LSU, Delpit also made official visits to the University of Miami and Notre Dame. It didn’t take long for Grant Delpit to make an impact with the Tigers, playing 13 games and finishing with 8 pass deflections, an interception and 60 total tackles as a freshman.
Now after his junior season, Delpit is one of the top prospects in all of college football. After a phenomenal sophomore year, it was a bit of an underwhelming junior season for Grant Delpit. Delpit played less at the line of scrimmage, which led to an overall drop in numbers in 2019. Despite winning the Jim Thorpe award in 2019, his sophomore numbers were actually better than his junior season numbers.
However, Grant Delpit reminded scouts of his elite talent by making plays all over the field during the biggest stages in 2019. Grant Delpit held Jalen Hurts to only 43 rushing yards vs Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl and had a sack, forced fumble and 6 tackles vs Clemson in the National Championship. Grant Delpit reminded all the scouts why he should be considered the top safety in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Current Draft Projection
At 21, the Eagles find themselves in an interesting position. It’s no secret that they need a significant boost in speed and playmakers at wide receiver position. With such a strong group of wide receivers in the 2020 NFL Draft, there is a realistic scenario where the top targets at receiver are all gone before their first round selection occurs at 21. For me, the frame of mind should always be focused on the best player available in the first round.
- 12th – The Athletic
- 17th – Sports Illustrated
- 31st – Mel Kiper/ESPN
- 23rd – NFL.com
- 26th – CBS Sports
Speaking strictly on talent alone, Grant Delpit would be a lock for the top 10 in the 2020 NFL Draft. An up and down season could see him slip right to the Philadelphia Eagles at 21. This could yet another Andre Dillard situation where a premiere talent falls to the Eagles benefit. Andre Dillard fell to the Eagles due to the immense defensive line talent in the 2019 draft. The surplus of talent at the wide receiver position in the 2020 NFL Draft could really help out the Eagles in a multitude of ways.
How does Grant Delpit Fit with the Philadelphia Eagles?
Grant Delpit is a lock to win the 2020 LJ Smith Award. Standing at 6’3 and 203 pounds, he looks good in pads. Ok back to being serious: Grant Delpit is a modern safety in today’s NFL. Similar to Malcolm Jenkins, this is a guy who thrives playing downhill and possesses elite ball skills. Delpit has the athleticism to play all over the field and is known to always be around the football. He’s a playmaker through and through, showing great instincts and intelligence. All reports indicate that he’s a leader on and off the field.
Looking ahead to the Eagles roster in 2020 and beyond, the Eagles are going to have a major shakeup in their secondary next season. Malcolm Jenkins is looking for a new contract and isn’t getting any younger. Rodney McLeod is a free agent and unless he takes less money to stay, he is likely signing with another team. Finding a young safety for Malcolm Jenkins to mentor and develop should be a major priority this offseason. If the best receiver targets are off the board, then drafting Grant Delpit is a no brainer.
What about Avonte Maddox at safety?
Whether its safety or cornerback, the Eagles need a massive upgrade in talent in the secondary. Outside of the contracts for Jenkins and McCleod, an underrated storyline to watch this offseason is what Jim Schwartz plans to do with Avonte Maddox. If McCleod does indeed head elsewhere this offseason, there is some chatter about moving Avonte to free safety. Avonte had immense expectations this season in the slot in 2019. For a multiple reasons, it was a one step forward and two steps back season for Avonte Maddox.
If Jim Schwartz is still here and all signs point that he will be, it’s no secret that the Philadelphia Eagles value talent at cornerback more so than safety. Back in 2002, the Eagles drafted a defensive back with three picks in the top 2 rounds (Lito Sheppard, Michael Lewis, Sheldon Brown). Other than wide receiver, defensive back is one of the top needs for the Philadelphia Eagles moving forward. Could we see a repeat in 2020?
Grant Delpit is the perfect fit for the Jim Schwartz defense. He has the versatility to thrive in nickel situations as well as the ability to play at the line, maks big plays against the run and blitz the quarterback. Jim Schwartz loves to play his safeties in the box. Delpit thrives with this and then some. Grant Delpit truly is the perfect safety prospect for Malcolm Jenkins to take under his wing.
What are Grant Delpit’s Weaknesses?
Technique. Grant Delpit could spend some time with Eagles coaching to develop better technique with his form. Way too often Grant Delpit would miss open field tackles, take wrong angles or attempt to arm tackle rather than wrapping up. Delpit could use some coaching on locating the ball while in zone coverage. He could also learn how to shed blocks at a better rate when he puts on that NFL jersey.
Expectations for 2020
Within a few years, I expect Grant Delpit to be the next superstar safety in the NFL. Grant Delpit’s unique combination of size and speed is a perfect fit for today’s NFL. Delpit has the instincts and physicality to be an elite player in the NFL. I’m a huge fan of Grant Delpit and he should be in the top of every Eagles fan’s draft board. Similar to Henry Ruggs III, this is one of my top targets in the first round for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2020 NFL Draft.