Name: Grant Delpit
NFL Grade: 6.30 ("Will be a starter within first two seasons")
Stats: Delpit may be on the fringe of first-round players, but the college football community seems unanimous in thinking he's a top-tier player. The safety won the 2019 Jim Thorpe Award after his junior season, given to the nation's best defensive back. He joins Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne as the only LSU players to ever earn the honor. Delpit was also named a consensus All-American last season, including first team on the Walter Camp list, LSU's first player to appear on the list in consecutive seasons since the 1970s. His 2019 campaign saw him record 59 tackles, 3.5 for loss, two interceptions and a sack in 13 games. He added eight passes defensed and a forced fumble, as well.
A former teammate of now-Buccaneer Devin White, the pair were two of three LSU consensus All-Americans in 2018. Delpit's sophomore season was his breakout year as he recorded 74 tackles, a whopping 9.5 for loss, 5.0 sacks, five interceptions, nine pass breakups and a forced fumble and recovery in 13 games. Delpit had taken over a starting position as a true freshman, starting 10 of 13 games in 2017.
As the NFL Draft inches closer, a look at NFL Network Maurice Jones-Drew's 2020 mock draft. Photos by AP Images.
Comments: Delpit wore No. 7 in college because of fellow former LSU Tiger Tyrann Mathieu, according to NFL.com. He's poised to join the ranks of other very successful former Tigers in the NFL like Mathieu and Jamal Adams at the safety position. Lance Zierlein says Delpit is an "Aggressive, urgent striker with good upside who posted a disappointing follow-up to an exciting 2018 campaign. His evaluation requires a full load of 2018 tape, where his coverage potential was better illustrated. He transitions with instinctive eyes and plays physically against tight ends. Willingness to rush in and hit has never been a problem in the alley or in his fits, but tackle inconsistencies have plagued him throughout his career due to angles and technique that could be challenging to fix."
Zierlein also mentions Delpit isn't necessarily the 'alpha male' safety like an Adams, but he's a solid player whose strength is his versatility – which you can see from any highlight reel you watch on him.
The Bucs are waiting to see the status of safety Justin Evans to really understand how big of a priority safety will be, though both Head Coach Bruce Arians and General Manager Jason Licht expressed confidence in the Bucs' current safety room with or without Evans as recently as the NFL Combine. Delpit will likely bottom out in the second round so if the Bucs want a chance at him, they'd have to prioritize him early.