Earlier in the offseason, Pro Football Focus (PFF) heaped significant praise upon the Browns‘ defensive secondary.
In PFF’s rankings at the position, the Browns came in at No. 3, behind the Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
A key reason for the high rank?
In fact, PFF mentioned Delpit by name in its write-up:
“This unit not only has proven studs in Ward and Johnson, but also three ascending top-50 draft picks who have all played two or fewer NFL seasons. What this unit could be is scary to think about, as we already saw quality play from Newsome, Williams and Delpit down the stretch in 2021.”
The folks over at PFF got one thing precisely right: Delpit’s play at the end of last season was strong.
And that play is exactly why there’s significant hype for Delpit heading into next season.
PFF isn’t the only football analytics group high on Delpit heading into 2022.
TheMMQB’s Albert Breer stopped by the Browns’ training camp and noticed quickly the buzz around Delpit (h/t si.com):
“Cleveland is really excited about the offseason safety Grant Delpit’s had. Because of a combination of the pandemic and Delpit’s own health issues, this was the first one he’s gone through all the way with his teammates. He was around the ball a lot in the spring and has clearly built off a strong finish to 2021 (which, functionally, was really his rookie year).”
In what was really his freshman season last year, Delpit was masterful.
𝟕 reasons to play as us in Madden23 👀 📈 @EAMaddenNFL | #Browns pic.twitter.com/fUXFUOawjY
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) July 27, 2022
Through seven starts in 15 games, Delpit managed an interception, sack, and 66 combined tackles.
Delpit entered last season on the mend from a torn Achilles the season before.
Despite coming back from injury, Delpit still managed those strong numbers.
Now, he’s returning to training camp healthy and under the same coaching regime.
One tweak in Delpit’s came has actually been his position on the field.
Before his injury, Delpit was projected to line up as a free safety.
But rather than throwing a recovering Delpit to the wolves on his return, the Browns instead put him in as a slot defender.
By season’s end, however, Delpit was back to his old stomping grounds and playing mid-high, where he did in college.
His better performance was reflected by the change.
Now, heading into this season, Delpit can take full advantage of summer training at the position.
Further, he’s surrounded by another top-tier safety option in John Johnson III.
Neither one is a better option for quarterbacks to target; therefore, no one will be hunting Delpit the same way as last season’s start.
Just a friendly reminder that we don’t need to overreact over training camp clips. #Browns pic.twitter.com/Fhxqb7MprT
— Craig Fountain (@CraigAFountain) July 28, 2022
Delpit will have a healthy summer.
A healthy mindset.
And a great supporting cast.
Nothing should hold Delpit back from unleashing his potential and adding another dynamic layer to an already stout secondary.
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