LSU safety Grant Delpit announced Wednesday he's decided to forgo his senior season with the Tigers to enter the 2020 NFL draft.
"We are champs. We hoisted the trophy for you and LSU fans everywhere," Delpit wrote two days after the Tigers beat Clemson for the national title. "I've decided to move on to the NFL. I will carry the joy and excitement of this season with me forever."
Delpit has been a productive member of the LSU secondary pretty much from the moment he walked on campus. He recorded 60 tackles and eight passes defended across 13 appearances as a true freshman, and he's remained a stalwart for the Tigers over the past two years.
The 21-year-old New Orleans native made his most wide-ranging impact as a sophomore when he tallied 74 tackles, nine passes defended, five sacks, five interceptions and a forced fumble.
As a result, he entered the 2019 season as a highly touted NFL prospect, but he failed to take another significant step forward. He finished his junior season with 65 tackles and two interceptions.
In November, Eric Edholm of Yahoo Sports listed Delpit as one of the high-profile players whose draft stock had dropped throughout the year and cited his missed tackles as a key reason.
"It's been an issue since he missed a pair of big ones in the Texas game early on, but the concern only has grown," Edholm wrote. "Delpit missed two or more tackles in seven of the eight games since then and had a brutal time at Bama, missing four tackles in that game."
The 2018 All-American said in October his main focus was the team's success, not his individual numbers.
"I'm pretty tough on myself to make a lot of plays. But I kind of understand you can't make all the plays, all the tackles and all the interceptions," Delpit told reporters. "Just as long as I'm doing my job, as long as we're playing great as a defense, it doesn't matter who makes the play or anything like that—just as long as we win."
His upside as a high-impact playmaker in the secondary is evident, but he must clean up the tackling issues to become an every-down player in the pros.
Delpit has a wide range of potential landing spots. Although some teams may be scared off by his tackling woes, all it takes is one front office to fall in love with his game-changing upside to take him off the board in the first round come April.
A clearer picture should emerge following the predraft process, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see the LSU standout become a force in the NFL if he can add a touch more consistency to his game.