The Raiders spent their 2019 27 th overall pick from the Dallas Cowboys on safety Johnathan Abram. Abram is regarded as impressive safety with an impeccable ability to lay the lumber. For the 2020 NFL draft, the Raiders have to be eyeing defensive players. Specifically, the Raiders should be looking at defensive backs, as the 2019 secondary has been worse than abysmal.
Grant Delpit is a safety from Louisiana State University with immediate starting/dominant ability. Delpit is incredibly athletic and is capable of playing free and strong safety and can also thrive in most defensive formations. Using his athleticism, speed, and vision, Delpit makes things incredibly difficult for opposing quarterbacks. He has incredible vision and almost appears to know where the ball is headed before it begins its journey. The junior safety is also very capable of blitzing and filling run gaps.
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Delpit entered the 2019 season regarded not only as a top-10 pick, but the top safety in the draft. Since, Delpit’s one flaw has emerged and he has fallen to top-20 projections. He is a shaky tackler, typically relying on arm tackles to slow down opposing receivers. Tackling remains teachable, and it seems easier to fix arm tackling than targeting penalties. At this point in the Jon Gruden era, the Raiders just need players that can defend against the pass.
With Delpit’s struggles at tackling and Johnathan Abram’s love of hitting, a narrative can emerge: a skewed Yin & Yang. Both players are at least considered incredibly proficient in coverage, but Delpit excels in that category, while Abram, perhaps due to Hard Knocks, is known for his physical play. Both would be absolute menaces in coverage, but each would have their own specialties.
Delpit shined in 2018 recording five interceptions, five sacks, and nine passes defensed but his statistical production has slowed this season as he currently has recorded two interceptions, one sack, and six passes defensed. While the stats have slightly regressed, the talent and athleticism is certainly still there. The 6’3” safety showed his potential in 2018. With no regression, Delpit should hear his name called on Day One.