The Cleveland Browns safety position, along with the rest of the team, was a disappointment in 2019. Damarious Randall spent the season in Freddie Kitchens doghouse or injured, taking away from a promising first season in Cleveland. Morgan Burnett proved to be ineffective for the second season in a row after being brought over from the Steelers and also spent some time injured. Enter a whole new group for 2020 consisting of Karl Joseph, Andrew Sendejo, and second-round pick Grant Delpit.
The Browns did keep promising young safety Sheldrick Redwine around. If they stay healthy, this could be a deep unit for the Browns in 2020.
Best Player Available
Since the Browns hired Andrew Berry, he has spoken about taking the best player available instead of drafting for need. He then took Jedrick Wills Jr. at ten to fill the Browns’ most significant need and followed with another player that filled a need in LSU safety Grant Delpit.
The best part about both picks is both were also arguably the best players available at the time. Delpit maybe more so than Wills as most evaluators had him going in the second half of the first or very early in the second. The Browns would end up grabbing the talented safety at No. 46. Getting a mid to late first-round talent midway through the second round points to best player available in most books. It just so happened to fill a significant need for the Browns defense along with it.
Delpit made a name for himself in 2018 with a stellar campaign. He would finish the season with 74 total tackles, 9.5 for a loss, nine passes defended, five interceptions, five sacks, and a forced fumble. Delpit had five sacks out of the safety spot. If Delpit could have left school after that sophomore season, he would have been a top 12 pick in the 2019 draft. He also would have never won an NCAA championship.
The 2019 season would not live up to the numbers from 2018, but most seasons wouldn’t. Delpit still finished the season 65 total tackles, 4.5 for loss, two interceptions, two sacks, and a forced fumble. Again a strong season for the 2019 Jim Thorpe award winner. Delpit also let it be known he played most of the year with a high ankle sprain. So who knows how much better he could have been. All of this points to the Browns getting a potential top 15 talent in the second round.
What to expect in 2020
Expect a now healthy Delpit to play a lot in 2020, whether he earns a starting spot or not. Delpit also brings talent to the table that could have him in the running for Defensive Rookie of the Year. While he will likely still struggle a bit in the tackling department, Delpit’s coverage ability and a knack for finding the ball could cause havoc for opposing offenses. That ability to cover will be needed should we see a lot of three safety sets with Karl Joseph playing more like a linebacker than a safety.
Joe Woods could also use Delpit to provide pressure after he had seven sacks his last two seasons at LSU. Having a weapon you can send from the secondary and get home consistently can cause some big plays.
Grant Delpit will have every opportunity possible to make an impact in 2020 and has the talent to do it. It will be fun to see how the young man develops as the season progresses.
All Rookie Spotlights:
- Jedrick Wills Jr.
- Grant Delpit
- Jordan Elliott
- Jacob Phillips
- Harrison Bryant
- Nick Harris
- Donovan Peoples-Jones
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