8/29/20: Perhaps the only offensive linemen who was truly impressive versus Chase Young in 2019 was Michigan's Jalen Mayfield. In plenty of one-on-one matchups, Mayfield got the better of Young, and there were other plays where Young had Mayfield on the ropes but the young Wolverine was able to recover in time to keep Young from making his typical game changing plays. It was a breakout performance for the Wolverines right tackle to conclude the regular season.
57. Rams: Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville
Tutu Atwell is very fast but he weighs less than my cat and the NFL is very violent. I don’t see how this works.
Grade: I am scared for Atwell
Dane Brugler grades him as the best safety in the draft:
1.RICHIE GRANT | UCF 5115| 197lbs. | rSR. Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (Choctawhatchee) 11/9/1997 (age 23.47)#27
BACKGROUND:Richard “Richie” Grantgrew up on the Florida panhandle in Fort Walton Beach, which is just east of Pensacola on the Gulf of Mexico. He was a three-year starter at wide receiver and cornerback at Choctawhatchee High School and also returned kicks and punts. As a senior, he earned Class 6A Second Team All-State honors on defense, posting 37 tackles and four interceptions. He led Choctawhatchee to the state semifinals and added 55 catches for 720 yards and five touchdowns on offense. Grant also ran track and set personal bests in the 100 meters (11.61), 200 meters (24.24) and 400 meters (54.80).
A two-star wide receiver recruit out of high school, Grant was the No. 357 receiver in the 2016 class and the 352nd-ranked recruit in the state of Florida. He received offers from FCS programs like Chattanooga, the Citadel and Kennesaw State, but UCF (under head coach George O’Leary) was the only FBS-level program to offer him a scholarship. When Scott Frost was hired at UCF in 2016, he honored the scholarship offer and Grant signed with the Golden Knights. His uncle (Terry Grant) was a running back at Alabama (2006-09) under Nick Saban and later played in the CFL. Grant accepted his invitation to the 2021 Senior Bowl, earning the top safety award on the American team.YEAR 2016: Redshirted2017 First Team All-AAC; Led team in tackles, INTs and FFs2019: (12/12)784.00.0191First Team All-AAC2020 First Team All-AAC; Led team in tackles and INTs
STRENGTHS:Terrific field speed and covers a lot of ground versus both the run and the pass...looks like a wideout at the catch point withthe adjustment skills and timing to win air space...sharply redirects his angles from deep alignment...flashes a closing burst at contact...always ball-searching as a tackler with a knack for creating fumble opportunities...runs the alley with a head of steam...improved open-field tackling skills, widening his feet to break down and wrap (20 missed tackles in 2018-19, only twoin 2020)...uses his physical hands to thump and detach from blockers...plays with urgency on tape, and his coaches say that matches his effort level in practice and the meeting room...experienced on special-teams coverage (533 ST snaps in college)...soft-spoken, but high energy and team-first; his teammates call him an extra coach on the field...outstanding production as a starter with double-digit interceptions at UCF, where he averaged 7.6 tackles per game the last three seasons.
WEAKNESSES:Upright pedal and will lose his balance when asked to suddenly transition...can be a step late recognizing and attacking routes, struggling versus sophisticated combinations...wasn’t given many man-cover responsibilities in college...doesn’t always trust his reads...his aggressive downfield angles will be less forgiving versus shifty NFL runners...there’s room to shore up his wrap skills to finish, not giving the ball carrier a chance to step out...has grown into his body, but still leaner than ideal for a pro safety...older prospect who will be a 24-year old NFL rookie.SUMMARY:A three-year starter at UCF, Grant played field safety in defensive coordinator Randy Shannon’s scheme, starting 33 games the last three seasons. During that time, he earned First Team All-AAC honors each year, led the team in tackles twice and accounted for 17 career turnover-worthy plays (10 interceptions, seven forced fumbles). With the play speed and production that popped on tape, Grant does receiver-like things at the catch point and flies downhill looking for the kill shot. He was credited with only three touchdown passes allowed the last two seasons, but he must continue to improve his route anticipation and run/pass reads. Overall, Grant needs to iron out some consistency issues, but he has NFL starting-levelrange, eyes and ball-hawking tendencies. He projects as a single-high or split safety who will compete for starting reps as a rookie.
Draft Bible has him as the top free safety:
Overview: A ball-hawk playmaker with the propensity to create turnovers, Grant possesses a well-proportioned body and is a smart player who studies the responsibilities of every position on defense. He has excellent read-and-react instincts, along with great change of direction and adjustments in zone coverage. Grant does a nice job of baiting the quarterback, which resulted in 10 interceptions and 17 pass breakups during his UCF career. He swarms to the ball and also plays on special teams/returns kicks. Grant is not the most physically imposing run defender, lacking the lower-body mass and power profile to impact the running game to the degree that he affects the pass. Overall, Grant has the skill set to be viewed as a potential starter at the next level due to his closing speed, ball skills and consistency in coverage. In a lot of ways, his game mirrors Jessie Bates coming out of Wake Forest. Grant may never be the flashiest player on the back end, but his ability to impact the pass in an ever-evolving passing league speaks volumes to his game overall. Background: Three-time selection as first-team All-AAC. Great energy, teammates feed off him, he sets tone in practice. A true team leader, according to defensive coordinator Randy Shannon, while head coach UCF Josh Heupel praised his maturity. Had only one other scholarship offer coming out of high school (Georgia State). Coached by Greg Thomas at Choctawhatchee High School; named the team’s MVP for the 2015 season. Posted 37 solo tackles with four interceptions as a senior, and had more than 1,000 receiving yards as a wideout; also notched three punt-return touchdowns and one kickoff-return touchdown. Ran track in high school, including the 100- and 400-meter events
NFL.com doesn't like him as much, giving him a 6.24 grade.
Grant found himself on NFL scouts' radars his sophomore year, when he tied for third in the FBS with six interceptions. He was a first-team All-American Athletic Conference selection that year, leading UCF with 109 tackles (three for loss) while also breaking up three passes and forcing three fumbles in 13 starts. Grant was a first-team all-conference pick in 2019, as well (78 tackles, four for loss, one interception returned for a score, eight pass breakups in 12 starts). League coaches voted him at the top of the heap again for his play as a senior, when he led UCF with 72 tackles (3.5 for loss) and three interceptions while also breaking up six passes and forcing two fumbles in nine games (eight starts). Grant was also named a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back. He accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl. The two-time All-Florida pick from Choctawhatchee High School first contributed to the Knights' defense as a redshirt freshman in 2017, posting 32 tackles and two pass breakups in 13 games as a reserve. -- by Chad Reuter
Grant offers versatility to play deep or down safety and has decent man-cover ability against matchup tight ends. He's at his best as a high safety, where he has an overview of the field. He can key quarterbacks and use his ballhawking tendencies to force turnovers. His play as a down safety was marked with bouts of coverage confusion from bunch sets and occasional busts. He's a willing, physical tackler but just average when asked to do it in the open field as a last line of defense. Grant's size and length were on full display at the Senior Bowl, where he put together a strong week. He followed that up with a good pro day workout. He has been a fast riser up the boards and should go on Day 2.
Field demeanor of a player looking to make an impact.
Had 10 interceptions over his last 34 games and five career forced fumbles.
Recognizes repeated plays and tendencies from tape.
Smooth backpedal with ability to accelerate pace and gain depth.
Reads quarterback from high safety and gets early take-offs on the throw.
Attacks high point with excellent timing.
Can guard tight ends in man coverage.
Reads and attacks receiver screens before they can take off.
Willing to collide with force against big running backs.
Played special teams all four seasons.
Average hip fluidity for directional change in space.
Plays with just average speed and length in man coverage.
Lacks recovery burst to make up lost coverage distance.
Too many busts from the UCF secondary as back-end leader.
Fell victim to coverage confusion near goal line.
Runs into too many blocks when operating as down safety.
Needs more consistent hustle to the ball from backside.
Sources Tell Us
"As the veteran of that secondary, he needed to do a better job of making sure everyone was on the same page. There were so many busts from game to game out of that unit. But I like his ball talent and his overall field toughness." -- Area scout for NFC team
We have our 2 vet safeties and 2 young safeties to learn from them.
4 young CBs
Only time will tell but Peas will scheme and mask issues we have. He’s the best improvement we got this offseason over any player.
I like what I'm hearing about Grant from some of the guys here...seems he and Moehrig could have been a coin flip for the pundits, but was obviously the guy the FO wanted, and I imagine Pees was heavily conyributed to the discussion. Pick is all good to me...
Cover-2 man, Cover-2 zone, Tampa 2: these are all defensive schemes that employ two high safeties. Dual-high safeties basically split the field in half, drop into a zone and keep the ball from going over their heads. There are different variations of Cover-2. In a zone concept, the entire defense plays off. In man, only the safeties drop into a zone. In Tampa 2, the Mike linebacker is required to drop into deep middle coverage. All can be effective in the right situation.
RICHIE GRANT, UCF, 6’0″ 194 POUNDS
Last but certainly not least, Richie Grant could have been a fit in a number of these categories. Grant has the awareness and versatility to work in tandem and seamlessly transfer coverage responsibility. Below you see an example of the range that Grant has. The quarterback makes the mistake of staring down his receiver and Grant is all over it.