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Can Richie Grant’s productive career translate to the NFL?

Courtesy of UCF Athletics

Richie Grant, S

School: University of Central Florida | Conference: American Athletic Conference

College Experience: Redshirt Senior | Age: 23 (Week 1)

Height / Weight: 6’0” 195 lbs

Projected Draft Status: Mid 2nd round - 3rd round

Player Comparison: Tedric Thompson

College Statistics

Player Overview

Richie Grant was a four-star prospect coming out of high school. He enjoyed a productive career as a three-year starter at the University of Central Florida. In his sophomore season, he broke out leading UCF with 109 tackles (three for loss) while also breaking up three passes and forcing three fumbles in 13 starts earning a first-team All-American Athletic Conference selection that year. Grant earned first-team all-conference honors again in 2019 season, posting 78 tackles, four for loss, one interception returned for a score, eight pass breakups in 12 starts. Grant was also named a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s top defensive back in his senior season.

Grant is a versatile safety that has played around the backfield. His build, ball skills, and athleticism make him a perfect fit as a Cover One free safety at the next level.

Strengths

  • Great ball skills (10 interceptions, 5 forced fumbles in 34 career games)
  • Fluid in space
  • Can cover tight ends in man coverage
  • Can recognize repeated plays throughout the game
  • Willing to come downhill and attack running backs

Weaknesses

  • Plays at average speed in coverage
  • Too many busts as back-end leader
  • Does not have to burst to recover lost distance
  • Sometimes take wrong angles

Let’s See His Work

How He Would Fit

As of writing, Washington has not signed a free agent to compete for the starting free safety position. Last year, free safety was a rotating door from Troy Apke’s stagnant development to Jeremy Reaves and Deshazor Everett platooning the position. Washington’s defense has also been vulnerable when covering the opposing defenses tight ends over the years. Grant can immediately be a solid contributor at the back end of the defense and help address the team’s problems of big plays.