The Dallas Cowboys have made some very savvy free agent moves since March 18. Maybe the two most important were adding free-agent defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe, who will presumably be the team’s starting interior defensive linemen in 2020. This solved a major need for the Cowboys and have put them in a position to load up on secondary pieces in the NFL Draft, especially at the safety position. Veteran Ha Ha Clinton gives the Cowboys some much-needed depth and a possible starter in 2020, however, he’s only on a one-year deal.
Alabama Safety Xavier McKinney has been a popular pick for the Cowboys at 17 in quite a few mock drafts. However, there’s another SEC safety that’s just as talented that could also be the Cowboys first draft choice and that’s LSU’s Grant Delpit.
Delpit is one of the top two safety prospects on the board for the 2020 NFL Draft, alongside the aforementioned McKinney. In 2017, he was a stud as he racked up 60 tackles (3.5 tackles for loss), eight passes defended, and an interception. In 2018, he put his name at the top of his position in the college ranks with 74 tackles (9.5 tackles for loss), nine passes defended, five sacks, five interceptions, and a forced fumble. Delpit would be named first-team All-SEC and a Consensus All-American. Last season, he was excellent once again with 65 tackles (4.5 tackles for loss), seven passes defended, two sacks, two interceptions, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. In addition to being named first-team All-SEC and a Consensus All-American for the second consecutive season, Delpit also won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back.
At 6’2 and 213 pounds, Delpit is the prototype for the safety position in today’s NFL. He’s an excellent tackler with great ball skills, as evident by his eight interceptions and 24 pass break-ups in the last three seasons. Delpit can play down in the box, cover tight ends and slot receivers in man coverage, and has the ability to play the middle of the field in zone coverage, everything you want in a strong safety. The idea of lining him up opposite Xavier Woods is an interesting one.
New Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan will be looking to force turnovers with his aggressive style that will feature multiple defensive fronts, which could be a perfect match for Delpit. Over his three years in Baton Rouge, he amassed eight interceptions which is the ball-hawking type of safety the Cowboys have desperately been seeking for years.
Delpit showed that he can perform on this biggest stage vs the best competition in his final collegiate game. He would register six tackles (one tackle for loss), a sack, and a forced fumble in LSU’s victory over Clemson in the CFP National Championship Game back in January.
Watch “Grant Delpit – Best Safety in College Football ᴴᴰ” on YouTube
Scouting report according to NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein
LSU S Grant Delpit says he has a formal meeting with the Cowboys tomorrow. #NFLCombine
Only time will tell if Delpit will even be available for the Cowboys at 17. However, when you combine his overall skillset with the fact he plays a position that the team needs to sure up immediately, he should be rather high on the Cowboys draft board.