2021 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Richie Grant
School: University of Central Florida
Height: 6 feet
Weight: 194 pounds
During his tenure in Orlando, Grant manned various spots in the secondary. From occupying the slot to the deep middle, he handled each task with aplomb. More importantly, he did not exhibit any reticence while covering downfield. Grant’s range will translate.
From the break on the ball, you can easily see that the ability to cut underneath short-breaking routes will be a hallmark for the UCF standout. During vertical routes, Grant shows the ability to stay with the receiver stride for stride until the ball approaches
Granted, most safeties lack the flow and twitch of their cornerback brethren. Yet, Grant brings a fluid backpedal that transitions into a gather and break. Now, the lone holdup is the gather step. That is to say, at time, Grant’s backpedal will occasionally linger a half-beat, before charging the play.
Regardless of location, Grant approaches the play, willing. With active hands and smooth wrap, he alters his strike zone, depending on the angle of pursuit. To top it off, Grant will wrap up in the ballcarrier, instead of lowering the boom. In the open field, Grant with ready himself, sitting behind his pads and coiled.
The quintessential free safety, Grant spends little time gathering and more of it, attacking. When the ball is aloft, Grant fights like a wideout.If he doesn’t use positioning to make the play, the ability to handfight and joust for the pass remains a vital part of his game. His ten interceptions and seventeen deflections serve notice.
Despite playing on a high-scoring team, known for offense Grant flashes the ability to hit with impact. However, he will also take an overly strong pursuit angle, leading to a bigger play.
Like it or not, and most do not, Johnathan Abram remains the lone full-time safety worth retaining. Yet, his coverage liabilities manifest at the worst possible times. The Raiders need him closer to the line of scrimmage. Meanwhile, Grant would serve as a centerfielding compliment to what Abram offers. Remember the AFC West remains the home of the tight end. Additionally, Grant provides the ability to man the slot. Whoever assumes the mantle of permanent defensive coordinator needs a backend safety with the range and ball skills to negate mistakes.