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23 Days of Draftmas: LSU safety Grant Delpit

23 Days of Draftmas continues with a plan to make a team strength even bigger.

Florida v LSU Photo by Marianna Massey/Getty Images

A very merry Draftmas to you! We continue our tradition of profiling an NFL Draft prospect every day in April, leading up to the NFL Draft on April 23rd. Every day, you’ll get a prospect profile that includes how they would fit with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs have returned so many starters from the 2019’s Super Bowl-winning roster that the only pressing needs are at positions considered weak — and with preceived weakness at those positions, the Chiefs won the championship.

That’’s a good problem to have — and it’s one that opens up the draft entirely.

While the team will likely be looking for some instant-impact prospects, they could also continue making a strength even stronger by looking at the middle of the field.

Grant Delpit, safety

NFL Combine - Day 4 Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

6’2” | 213 lbs | LSU

Houston, TX

Expected Draft Range: Day two

Combine: N/A

One-sentence bio: Two-year starter and All American who also earned the vaunted number seven jersey, which is reserved for LSU’s top playmaker.

One-sentence scouting report: Great blend of size and speed, allowing him to play in all three popular safety alignments — paired with some of the best ball-hawking abilities in college football over the last couple years.

One play:

How he fits in Kansas City: The initial thought has to be that the Chiefs are already set with Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thornhill at safety. So would the Chiefs try to add another high-value player at that position? A few years ago, that logic would have been perfectly sound. But when you dive into how the Chiefs used their personnel last year, you see a different picture. A third safety often played over 70% of the snaps — while a fourth safety-cornerback hybrid often played over 40% of the snaps. If you see a chance to add a top-tier player who can upgrade both of those roles, it’s no longer about safety or cornerback. Instead, it’s about adding talent.

Delpit could slide into Daniel Sorensen’s role for the vast majority of the snaps. This would not only allow Mathieu to play in the slot more often, but also put a better coverage player on the field. With the versatility of Matheiu, Thornhill and Delpit, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo could line them up anywhere in the secondary pre-snap — and then post-snap, shift the coverage entirely. Last season, we saw glimpses of that in how the Chiefs used Kendall Fuller. With Delpit, the team could take it to another level.

Delpit is very comfortable playing in deep or shallow zones — as well as man coverage in the slot. His size and football IQ allows him to work in underneath zones very well — and despite tackling concerns, he’s an incredibly physical player. He has zero qualms with trying to set an edge or fill an alley — and when blitzing, even brings a pretty good pass rush off the edge. His tackling technique needs some improvement; he’s not likely to be used as a dime linebacker. But he is comfortable working in the box, deep and from the slot.

I understand the holdup. Drafting another safety — especially one with tackling concerns — looks bad on paper. But you squint a little bit, you can see it. During last’s season’s Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears games, the Chiefs showed us what that kind of post-snap confusion can do for a defense. I can only imagine how dangerous it could be for opposing offenses when the third chess-piece safety is Grant Delpit.

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