Cowboys Hold Good Meeting with First-Round NFL Draft Target: Report

Grant Delpit

Getty Grant Delpit

While Jeff Heath sorts through expected free-agent options, the Dallas Cowboys are closely scouting his replacement.

The Cowboys interviewed LSU safety Grant Delpit at this week’s NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. The meeting, per USA Today’s Jori Epstein, “went well.”

“Team needs to upgrade its secondary, likes college football’s top DB,” Epstein added.

One of, if not the top safety in the 2020 draft class, Delpit was a three-year contributor with the Tigers, for whom he totaled 199 tackles (121 solo), 24 pass breakups, eight interceptions, seven sacks, and two forced fumbles across 40 career games.

Delpit was a decorated collegiate performer, having earned first-team All-SEC and consensus All-American honors in 2018 and 2019. He was awarded the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s best defensive back, this past season.

A downhill, physical defender capable of shutting down opponents through the air as well as containing them on the ground, Delpit (6-2, 218, 30 3/8-inch arms, 9 1/8-inch hands) has drawn pre-draft comparisons to former Saints star Kenny Vaccaro.

“Aggressive, urgent striker with good upside who posted a disappointing follow-up to an exciting 2018 campaign,”’s Lance Zierlein wrote in his scouting profile. “His evaluation requires a full load of 2018 tape, where his coverage potential was better illustrated. He transitions with instinctive eyes and plays physically against tight ends. Willingness to rush in and hit has never been a problem in the alley or in his fits, but tackle inconsistencies have plagued him throughout his career due to angles and technique that could be challenging to fix. LSU sources say NFL teams won’t be getting the alpha leadership Jamal Adams provided for the Tigers, but Delpit should find a starting role early in his career as a versatile safety with big nickel potential.”

Dallas holds the No. 17 overall selection in April’s draft, and Delpit very well could be the guy atop its big board. The team also has been linked to Alabama S Xavier McKinney, another first-round talent.

A recent report claimed that Heath, a three-year starter, is “getting interest from teams including the Cowboys,” who tried to upgrade at the position last season in their failed bid for Jets stud Jamal Adams.

Heath is likely to defect from the club when free agency officially begins March 18, creating a massive void opposite Xavier Woods — a void the Cowboys may fill with an instant-impact rookie.

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Potential Red  Flags

For all his ability, Delpit isn’t what you’d call a willing tackler. Often times he’d get trucked by opposing pass-catchers while other times exhibiting a stark disinterest in attacking the ball-carrier.

He did nothing to alleviate worries at the Combine, pulling out of drills due to an ankle injury. Whispers of Delpit’s not-so-great traits grew louder in Indianapolis, as Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline details:

I’m hearing a lot of concerns about LSU safety Grant Delpit and many of those concerns run parallel to the criticisms of Greedy Williams from last year. For Delpit, he is being criticized by many as not being tough or a good tackler – and I would agree with the latter.

Delpit has a chance to stabilize his stock during LSU’s Pro Day later this month, when he should clock the 40-yard dash and record his vertical jump, among other tests. How he performs may determine whether he’s indeed the guy at No. 17 or if the Cowboys will set their sights on a different prospect.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL

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