INDIANAPOLIS -- Former LSU safety Grant Delpit won't have much of a chance to alleviate concerns about his tackling until he's an NFL player with a pre-draft process that doesn't include contact drills, but he expressed confidence at the NFL Scouting Combine on Friday that his critics will eventually be proven wrong.
"I get a lot of hate and slander from the media and the experts," Delpit said. "I just think that's going to make the glory so much better in the end. They say tackling, that's definitely a thing I can improve on from last year. Got it fixed toward the end of the season. It's all about the approach and not trying to do too much. Just get them on the ground. It's part of football. I know I can do it. I've been doing it my whole life."
Delpit, who's widely regarded as one of the draft's top safeties, confirmed NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport's report that he won't participate in drills when the defensive backs take the field at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday. He said he's continuing to recover from a high ankle sprain that he played through for much of last season, citing the injury as part of the reason for his struggles as a tackler.
"The angle had a lot to do with it. Like I said, I battled through injury (last) year," he said. "But that's not the whole reason. Got it fixed toward the end of the season and hopefully it won't be a problem anymore."
NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein has noted that the former LSU star's issues with tackling extended beyond just a portion of the 2019 season, though.
"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," Zierlein wrote in his draft profile for the 2019 Jim Thorpe award (top collegiate defensive back) winner.
Delpit is planning to show off his athletic ability at LSU's pro day on April 3, when he expects to be closer to 100 percent healthy, but the critique that has dogged him throughout the draft process will likely be one that follows him into the 2020 season.