Grant Delpit is a natural safety, a ball-hawking centerfielder who high-points the football like a wide receiver and blitzes like a linebacker.
Now, the Cleveland Browns’ 2020 second-round draft pick is looking to recapture his All-American and Jim Thorpe award winning form from his LSU days. Delpit is on track for a full recovery from a torn Achilles tendon that cost him his entire rookie season when he got injured in training camp.
Encouraged by his medical progress and offseason training regimen, Delpit has set his ambitions on winning a starting job and making an impact after being sidelined last year on injured reserve.
“I’m feeling great,” Delpit said this week in Houston. “I’ll be 100 percent when the season comes around.”
When healthy, Delpit is capable of covering a lot of ground, making a ton of plays on the football and tackling crisply. At 6-foot-2, 213 pounds, the former Lamar High School and IMG Academy standout has run the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds.
At LSU, the two-time consensus All-American recorded 199 career tackles, 17 ½ for losses, seven sacks and eight interceptions and was a starter as a true freshman.
“Football comes natural to me,” Delpit said. “I’ve got to get the opportunity to get back on the field and build the trust with the coaches, the trust in the staff. With the pieces we have, I’m looking forward to camp coming around. I can’t wait to get on the field.
The Browns are regarded as a team on the rise under coach Kevin Stefanski and general manager Andrew Berry. Delpit can become a large part of a team that’s poised to compete for a playoff spot.
“We have all the pieces,” Delpit said. “It’s on the players to put it all together. We’ve got the best staff.”
Born in New Orleans, Delpit and his family moved to Houston after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
That life experience made him want to help Jessica Johnson, a single mother of two children who experienced severe issues with her home, including busted pipes and major water damage, during the winter storm and power outage that severely impacted Houston and the state of Texas.
Delpit provided repairs to Johnson’s home and met the family this week.
“We are so excited, blessed and honored,” Johnson said. “We had a hole in the roof of the ceiling. Water was just pouring out. It destroyed all of my cabinets. Another pipe burst under my kitchen sink two days later and it flooded out my kitchen and my living room. I’m so honored and grateful through God’s grace that people have supported me.”
Delpit, accompanied by Elizabeth Hannah-Lloyd of The Goldie Legacy nonprofit organization and his financial advisor, Mickey McGill, was happy to meet the family and give back.
“It’s a blessing being a blessing,” Delpit said. “I have great people around me like Elizabeth and Mickey. It was grea to come out here and be able to give back. My family went through a lot with Hurricane Katrina. I know families go through hard times, so it was great to be able to give back to a strong person like Ms, Johnson.”
Aaron Wilson has covered the NFL for 20 years and has previously written for The Houston Chronicle and The Baltimore Sun. He’s on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL and Instagram: @aaronwilson7128