After trading back with the Denver Broncos, the Falcons picked up the 40th pick and the 114th pick in exchange for the 35th pick and the 219th pick. On top of being a great move, the Falcons added a fantastic safety in the UCF product, Richie Grant.
Alex wrote a profile where he talked about selecting Grant 35th overall, but the Falcons still managed to move back and get their guy.
Grant can play any role in any coverage Dean Pees decides to deploy. He possesses sideline-to-sideline range with explosive acceleration, which allows him to take tight ends and running backs in man coverage, not just cover ground as a single-high or split-zone safety. Grant has incredible ball skills but packs a punch as a run-defender. He’s likely a free safety at the next level, but with that said, he can comfortably work in the slot. He can even play in the box when needed due to his efforts in run defense and physical nature.
There are limitations to his game, such as his age and weight. A hair under 200-pounds and 24-years-old, Grant is easily handled by blockers and might not have the same longevity as younger prospects. These are normal concerns, but nothing ground-breaking that can’t be overlooked. His playstyle is aggressive, so he occasionally misses tackles as well as bites on play-action, but he’s a clean prospect with a ton of upside — a future “do-it-all” safety that Pees can move around like a chess piece.
Grant looks a lot like one of the newer Falcons — Duron Harmon. He showed some chops on the boundary at the Senior Bowl, and he should be able to immediately help out in the slot. I think this is another home run pick, especially when you consider the trade back.