FS/SS grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, Wonderlic test results leaked, etc. We will update info as it becomes available.


I made a huge mistake on my early previews of Grant Delpit. Jan.-March 2020.  I was sold on the notion that Delpit was clearly the best safety prospect in the 2020 draft class and was one of the best safety prospects of the past few years.

Upon further review, I take that all back. He’s not the best safety in this draft class, and definitely not one of the best of the past few years.

What happened to create this change?

My take is – I got suckered into the aura and highlight reels just like a typical scout…the kind of scout I make fun of. The kind I try never to be. It’s a cautionary tale.

It’s a tricky thing to scout a college player in 30 minutes of study – but that’s how most scouting is done. Who has the wherewithal to watch 3-4-5 hours of tape on a player AND also of 10+ other top prospects at the same position in order to compare and contrast skills AND does the person watching all of this have the eye, the non-bias, the experience to process and chronicle and explain what they are seeing? The top safeties alone (since we’re talking Delpit/safeties) would take 4 hours x 10 prospects = 40 hours. A typical American work week spent just on safeties – who is doing that from a media standpoint?

With a guy like Delpit, you have to watch the work but then also guess his Combine speed-agility, etc., because he skipped it at the Combine and his Pro Day got cancelled. I’ve spent 20,000+ hours over the past decade+ watching/studying football games and tape – and I cannot tell you, confidently, from tape how fast a guy is really moving from 10-20 minutes of tape. I can see ‘real slow’ and ‘real fast’ but sometimes even that’s tricky. Good luck trying to ‘see’ a 4.4s vs. 4.5s runner and sometimes that means A LOT in positional scouting)…some guys run effortlessly, others look choppy but are moving faster than I think (the Combine reveals it). 

Then there is the background he’s moving against – a player can look faster facing slower opponents and vice versa. It’s not easy using an ‘eyeball test’ for scouting, that’s why a lot of scouting is terrible…and that’s why analytics were born…but then analytics has flaws as well (player playing/being timed with a hidden injury, etc.). Our eyes or our formulas can deceive on limited data…and it’s a scouting problem. The margin for error grows with the less time spent and less experience of the viewer/judger.

The problem manifests itself in this case as -- if you see Delpit as a 4.40 runner, he’s a totally different animal/asset/NFL projection than if you project him as a 4.55 runner.

Without better data, people tend to watch limited tape, usually highlights (meaning the prospect’s best work) and then jump to conclusions of the player’s best tape. When I watched Delpit, I liked the highlight reel movements and then skimming a game like him vs. Alabama…everything looked fine. He was a DB all-American and DB of the Year type performer in 2018 and 2019. So, if my initial tape look pleased my eyes/I didn’t see red flags right away) and if EVERYONE else was on board…then, surely, I must have read the situation properly!! Comforted by the groupthink…always a bad way to go.

Once you reach the bad conclusion…it’s your reality. Everything fills in around it. I was ‘sure’ Delpit was great. Then I just spent hours watching him, play after play for several games in 2018 and 2019, against better opponents…and I was shocked. Actually, I was pre-shocked…my computer scouting models – using favorable measurables projections (since he had no Combine times) – said there was a problem based on his performance numbers in our algorithms and what measurements it did have. Not that he was bad…just that he was nowhere as good as I had it in my mind.

I flipped on the tape to prove the computer wrong, and to prove my initial gut right…and, well…I’m going with the computer on this one. Delpit is an overhyped safety. Our own mock draft expert and quality scout, Xavier Cromartie, I think/if I remember back months ago, was the first person I saw that had stronger Delpit suspicions…but I didn’t think too much of it because it was early in the process. Now, I’m a skeptic too and as I started to research more…I see the skeptic crowd is growing on him (from almost none to a growing few of us wingnuts).

So, what’s wrong with Delpit?

First, let me say what is right – he’s a solid NFL prospect. He’s an NFL starter talent. I’m not saying I’ve had a bust revealed by our computer models…just a massive overvaluation, and that’s a problem in a different way (for the NFL). Delpit has enough NFL speed and possesses good size to be an NFL starting safety. His basic skills/abilities + his hype = he’s going to start and play and be OK.

Now, let’s get to what is wrong. Let’s talk two problem areas of focus…

#1) He’s not a great tackler.

Yes, you can go through his 40 career games of tape and cherry pick out 3-4-5+ great hits and coo over them. The thing with safeties is – they all have some neat highlight hits because they are sitting back deep and when something happens over the middle/in front of them…they can fly to it without the ball-possessor fully aware and just blow up the sitting duck. A lot of safety prospects over the years get ‘hyped’ because of these hits…but they are not special plays, they just look cool. It’s not just this (fake cool hits theory) – I’m also pointing this out when you see the ESPN three play highlight they show when they talk about him, and you’re all excited – note that you could do that ‘Wag the Dog’ video editing for most DBs in a draft.

The real issue is, as I watched game after game, play after play – Delpit just isn’t that great of a tackler. His 2018 game versus Georgia is a disaster. I counted at least four missed tackles and it might have been more. Delpit tends to have two tackle moves when the ballcarrier knows he’s coming – (a) he grabs up high and tries to wrestle a ballcarrier down or (b) he shoots real low around the ankles hoping to trip the ballcarrier (which works). But RARELY did I see Delpit hit a ballcarrier in his midsection, if they were coming at him, and wiping the ballcarrier out. Sure, he’ll blow up a running back that is turned back to catch the pass and Delpit comes from behind full speed before the runner gets going and crushes him, but when the ballcarrier is on the loose – Delpit is an average to below average tackler as a safety.

#2) He’s not as fast as I thought/as people think.

I can give you two examples of why I think Delpit is more of a 4.5+ speed safety, and that’s not a crime…but it’s not low 4.4s…and it is another factor in why he’s not a 1st-round prospect.

1: In that 2018 Georgia game (and you see ‘2018’ here because people have been making excuses for his 2019 that he had a high ankle sprain all year…but he was an all-American 2018, so I went with his supposed ‘best’ year a lot in tape watching)…in that Georgia game, Delpit somehow got put into coverage on Mecole Hardman off the snap. Hardman took off in a sprint going deep. Delpit quickly turned and sprinted with him in coverage.

Hardman beat him so badly off the snap/the coverage sprint that the QB instantly threw the ball deep to Hardman…so the ball was in flight and Hardman was sprinting straight after it and Delpit was sprinting straight in coverage, but within 10-yards into the sprint Delpit was already burned and 20+ yards into the chase Hardman was well ahead of him. If Hardman is a 4.3s runner (per 2019 Combine)…then Delpit definitely looked like a 4.5+ who had no chance to even stay close to Hardman.

2: In a 2019 game versus Auburn, there was another case of Delpit sprinting straight after a player…an Auburn tailback (D.J. Williams) took a handoff up the middle and was untouched and sprinted 80-yard for a TD (well, he was ruled down at the 1-yard line ultimately). Delpit was coming over from deep safety to chase him down as he headed to the sidelines/away from Delpit.

45-yards away from the end zone, both Williams and Delpit were in the same general space and in a full sprinting in a chase. In that 45-yard dash, Williams pulled away to a couple foot/a yard lead by the time they hit the 5-10-yard line area. I’d say Williams is a 4.5+ runner…and Delpit couldn’t catch him/overtake him.

With all that, I project Delpit as a 4.5+ runner not a low 4.4s (which was my first projection in Jan.-Feb.).

How valuable is a 4.5+ running safety who doesn’t tackle all that well? How valuable are safeties to begin with? Not much in the NFL…it’s the lowest paid position on average and much talent languishes looking for a home in free agency. Why would you draft a ‘good/solid’ safety like Delpit in the 1st-round, then? Especially with other more talented prospects at safety available after him in this draft?


Grant Delpit, Through the Lens of Our SAF Scouting Algorithm:

Solo tackles his last 7 college games of 2019 (key games for the LSU title march): 2-2-1-2-2-1-5. Not good…not foretelling a future tackle machine at the next level.

Delpit had three or fewer solo tackles in a game in 10 of his 14 games in 2019. And in 16 of his last 24 total games.

Passes defended by Delpit each of his three seasons: 8-9-7.

The weaker tackle metrics, plus the visibly questionable tackle skills on tape (for the next level) but elevated passes defended – Delpit might be more a free safety at heart than strong safety, making him even LESS valuable in the NFL economy.

2020 NFL Combine Data:

6’2.4”/213, 9 1/8” hands, 30 3/8” arms

No drills timed, etc. (which makes me wonder if he knowingly protected weak numbers…which is very wise to do). 

The Historical SAF Prospects to Whom Grant Delpit Most Compares Within Our System:

If Delpit is another Jeff Heath, then he’ll have a long, steady, not-special NFL career. My gut tells me Heath was a better, grittier, more athletic prospect too…










Tackle Strngth Metrics

Speed Cover Metric

Strong Safety

Free Safety





























Ohio State




































Arkansas St








*The ratings are based on a 1–10 rating scale, but a prospect can score over 10.0+ and less than 0.0.

OVERALL RATING -- We merge the data from physical measurables, skill times/counts from the NFL Combine/Pro Days, with college performance data available on pass coverage/tackles, etc. and grade it compared to our database history of all college SS/FS prospects, with a focus on which SS/FS prospects went on to be good-great-elite in the NFL. We found characteristics/data points that the successful NFL SS/FS's had in common in college, that most other SS/FS prospects could not match/achieve.

Scoring with a rating over a 7.0+ in our system is where we start to take a SS/FS prospect more seriously. Most of the future NFL-successful college SS/FS prospects scored 8.0+ in our system, and most of the NFL-superior FS/SSs pushed ratings more in the 9–10.0+ levels overall. Future NFL busts will sneak into the 8.0+ rating range from time to time.

TACKLE/STRENGTH METRIC -- A combination of physical measurables and college performance, graded historically for future NFL profiling. In the simplest of terms, this is an attempt to classify the SS/FS as one more likely to be involved in a heavy amount of tackles, forced fumbles, and physical hits to separate a WR from the ball. It also gives some insight into the "toughness" of a player, if it is possible to quantify that (this is our attempt to).

SPEED/COVERAGE METRIC -- A combination of several speed, agility, size measurements as well as college performance. A unique measuring system to look for SS/FS prospects that profile for superior coverage skills and abilities.

2020 NFL Draft Outlook:

Delpit seems set to go in the 1st-round of the draft, but I do feel like his prospects are fading and he might fade all the way to the early 2nd-round. I’ll assume he goes 1st-round because of the hype…but it wouldn’t surprise me if he went 2nd-round. The word is getting out. 

If I were an NFL GM, I’d want nothing to do with drafting an average/good safety in the top 100 picks. 

NFL Outlook:   

Will be drafted to play and can be a solid player. He can clean up his tackling a bit (as many do in the NFL early on as they try to impress rookie year). The more he settles in, the more forgettable he may become. He’s NFL-worthy…I’m just starting to believe he’s not star-worthy. I’m not trying to make him out to be a bust – just piercing his too high valuations.