UCF Knights safety Richie Grant has become one of the fastest risers in this year’s NFL Draft. Despite being named to the Nagurski Trophy, Jim Thorpe Award, Bednarik Award and LOTT Impact Trophy, preseason watch lists, outlets like Pro Football Focus didn’t even have Grant as a preseason top eight draft prospect at safety. Now with the draft just weeks away, PFF has Grant as the second rated safety in this draft class.
The biggest pro about Grant is his versatility. Throughout his three years as a starter at UCF, he’s shown his ability to play deep, in the box, in the slot, and essentially anywhere on the field. He’s an aggressive player that is considered the best safety in terms of run support in this year’s draft class. With 10 career interceptions, there’s no doubt about his ball hawking skills either.
Grant’s measurables are the only real con you can point out when evaluating him as a prospect but they’re not really cons at all. His 4.53 40 time isn’t far off from Trevon Moehrig’s 4.50 and slightly faster than Jamar Johnson’s 4.58. While Grant comes in a few inches shorter than both Moehrig and Johnson, Grant’s vertical was 1.5” higher than Moehrig and just half an inch below Johnson. Considered the top three safeties in this class, they all posted very similar results during their pro days.
The NFL has given Grant a 6.17 prospect grade which means “good backup who could become starter.” Depending on where he gets drafted, I do think Grant will have an immediate impact on his new team as a rookie. I’d expect to see him get picked up in the second round with small potential to be a first round choice.
- HEIGHT: 5’11.5”
- WEIGHT: 197 pounds
- 40 YD DASH: 4.53 seconds
- BENCH PRESS: 12 reps
- WINGSPAN: 77”
- VERTICAL JUMP: 34.5”
- BROAD JUMP: 10’9”
- 3 CONE DRILL: 6.78 seconds
- 20 YD SHUTTLE: 4.35 seconds
- 2020 STATS: 72 total tackles, 3 interceptions, 5 pass deflections (9 games)
Draft Projection: Round 2