Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room examines LSU safety Grant Delpit, one of the best prospects Waldman has watched in 2019 because of his ability to execute steps ahead of his competition.
Grant Delpit is one of the most intuitive players I’ve seen in a while. In the middle of executing a good decision, the LSU safety makes split-second adjustments that transform his choices into excellent outcomes.
These moments are happening at a speed that a player cannot think about—many of them can’t be practiced. These are flashes of intuition that come from piecing together disparate athletic, intellectual, and technical skills into exact solutions needed for a given moment.
I could probably do a four-hour film room on Delpit with the supply of impressive plays I’ve seen from him as a pass rusher, run defender, and executor of man and zone coverage. There will be plenty of people who will take the time to give you that kind of tour of Delpit’s game.
Instead, I’d rather show you three plays that reveal the invisible thread that elevates Delpit’s game to elite prospect status. The first is pass-breakup. The second is a quarterback sack. And the third is an assisted tackle to stop a fake field goal.
All three plays illustrate how Delpit consistently thinks a step ahead of the action happening to him, crafting and executing solutions before that action is even complete. In the way that photographers in the past used multiple cameras to take shots and piece them together for a 360-degree view, Delpit can scan a wide range of the field and not only remember what’s happening outside his immediate periphery but also anticipate what should happen next.
Special players possess this type of feel for the action. Delpit illustrates this on the first play when he understands there’s little separating the receiver from the open field after he tips the ball from the receiver but the path of the ball still gives his opponent a second-chance opportunity.
On the second play, Delpit begins his counter move to overcome a well-designed block that sends him to the ground before he even hits the ground.
And on the third play, Delpit gets stiff-armed to the ground but displays uncanny body awareness to slow the ballcarrier with the pinpoint placement of his hand on the football, while on the ground and turned away from the opponent.
I like a lot of football players in this 2020 NFL Draft class but if Delpit declares his eligibility, you can have the rest of them. Delpit is the type of player that makes quarterbacks, receivers, and ball carrier’s take the Lord’s name in vain. They probably just say “Grant Delpit,” it has the same first letters and syllable count…
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