This time last year, Grant Delpit was a consensus top-5 pick for 2020, which is made even more impressive by the value of the safety position, but now he’d be lucky to go at the top of the second round.

Despite winning an undeserved Jim Thorpe award for best defensive back last season, Delpit’s on-field play tanked his draft value. It was similar to Derwin James’ last year at Florida State, which left scouts wondering, “What happened to the dominant player we saw last season?”

Teams passed up James early because of these concerns, allowing him to fall to the Chargers at 17, where he would instantly become a serious contender for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

Could the Broncos be the team to benefit from Grant Delpit’s high-end talent and sinking draft stock?


Delpit’s football IQ is incredibly high and oftentimes puts him in great position to make big plays. He’s the rare defender that thrives on big plays, and with his range and football IQ, he gets plenty.

In zone coverage, Delpit is a ball hawk. He can cover a huge area of the field with ease thanks to his rare acceleration and he’s got the ball skills to capitalize on offensive mistakes.

He’s even athletic enough to drop down into the box, play man coverage and press the receiver if need be. That versatility could help him fill the hole left by Will Parks as a rookie, and probably be an upgrade in that role.


Effort is a huge red flag in regards to Delpit’s on-field play this year.

Heading into 2019, it was already clear that he had to work on his tackling and his physicality. Those problem areas only got worse as Delpit made career decisions often when presented with contact.

That on its own wouldn’t wreck his stock though, because Derwin James did similar things in his last season at Florida State. However, while James was clearly able to flip that switch on and off as the games got bigger, Delpit’s switch stayed permanently in the “off” position.

Maybe he finds that switch or leaves it on once he makes it to the league, but who’s to say he can do that after he kept it off for an entire National Championship run? Even if it does get flipped on, what’s to say it doesn’t get flipped off again when he signs a lucrative contract?


If everything clicks for Delpit at the next level, he could end up being one of the best players and biggest steals of the entire draft, but he’s also incredibly risky. He may never re-capture the fire that made him a top-five player in the class entering his final season, and without that fire Delpit looks average at best. The crop of late-first early-second round cornerbacks is so rich with talent, that there are much better options for John Elway than Grant Delpit.

Draft Projection: 2nd round

Player Comparison: Poor man’s Eric Berry