We have arrived at the final positional rankings for the NCAA football season. After talking about the top players on offense and defense, we finish up with this group of safety, which is lead by an absolute stud at the very top and loaded with young, talented guys. For the last time, these are college football rankings and a lot of the guys up there won't even be draft-eligible next year. I have based my analysis on last year's tape on them and I consider their potential coming into the season.
#1 Grant Delpit, LSU
Compared to Jamal Adams around the LSU program, very few burst on the scene last season quite like this dynamic safety. Delpit recorded 74 tackles, 9.5 of those for loss, five sacks, each a fumble forced and recovered, nine passes broken up and five more picked off. He is an all-around playmaker. Delpit is used in quarters coverage, as a single-high free safety, in the shallow zones and man-to-man. He didn’t allow a reception longer than 32 yards in 2018 and allowed just a 57.3 passer rating as the primary coverage defender. He can also drop his shoulder on receivers catching the ball in front of them and make them think twice about going up for the ball again.
In the run game Delpit plays downhill and doesn’t mind banging into bigger bodies on his way. And he is also one of the more dangerous blitzers from different spots in the secondary, as he recorded 13 quarterback pressures on 39 pass-rush attempts. Georgia’s Mecole Hardman ran by Delpit a couple of times when they were matched up in the slot, but he is more than capable of running with guys that don’t clock in the low 4.3s. The only real weakness in the Tiger safety’s game were the 16 missed tackles last season, which comes due to him not staying on his feet and wrapping up instead of diving at the ball-carrier’s legs.