For the second year in a row, the Browns found a decorated LSU defensive back in the second round.
One year after drafting CB Greedy Williams, the Browns on Friday selected LSU S Grant Delpit with the No. 44 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Williams was selected with the No. 46 pick in 2019.
"It is a great feeling to be a Cleveland Brown," Delpit said. "Excited to be a Dawg and join my LSU brothers there already. Excited to win some games and make some plays."
Delpit joins Alabama OT Jedrick Wills Jr., who was the team's first-round selection Thursday, in the Browns' 2020 draft class.
"We really viewed him as a big versatile playmaker," Browns Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry said. "He has been a really kind of an impact player for LSU over the past two seasons. Our appeal to Grant is the fact of his coverage abilities. He is a guy who can play the post. He can play you at the line of scrimmage. He can cover tight ends and walk over a slot and hold his own against receivers. He has been a consistent ball producer throughout his career at LSU.
"The appeal is that he really does have the modern-day safety skillset from a coverage standpoint because of that versatility. That is something that we are really excited to have."
Delpit, who hails from Houston, won the 2019 Jim Thorpe Award, which is given annually to the nation's top defensive back. He was a unanimous first-team All-American in 2018, when he racked up 74 tackles (9.5 for loss, five sacks), five interceptions and nine pass breakups. He followed this past year with second-team All-American honors after compiling 65 tackles, 4.5 for loss, two sacks, two interceptions and seven pass breakups for the undefeated, national champion Tigers.
Berry said the team viewed Delpit as a "big, versatile playmaker" who showed off his "toughness" while playing through a high ankle sprain in 2019.
The Browns met with Delpit at the NFL Combine for an interview that Berry considered one of the best the team conducted throughout the event.
"We are excited to add him to the roster," Berry said. "We think he is a talented young safety that can be a productive member of our team."
No safeties were selected in Thursday's first round, but a run started Friday with the Giants' selection of Alabama's Xavier McKinney at No. 36. The Patriots followed with the selection of Kyle Dugger at 37, and the Browns pounced on Delpit at No. 44. Minnesota S Antoine Winfield was selected with the very next pick by the Buccaneers.
Berry said Delpit's "track record" and "versatility" separated him from the rest of the pack. Delpit said he was humbled by the experience of waiting until the 44th pick to be selected.
"Now, I have something to prove," Delpit said. "For me going into the season and dealing with this adversity, coming out a better overall man and a better overall football player, I'm so excited to get back on the field. You don't even know.
"I am just blessed to be Brown at this point. I could not gone to a better organization."
Cleveland originally held the No. 41 pick but traded back to No. 44 in a swap with the Colts. The Browns added a fifth-round pick in the swap.
The Browns have two more picks Friday. Both are slated for the third round (Nos. 74 and 97).
The Browns have selected Grant Delpit in the 2020 NFL Draft.