Q&A with Falcons rookie safety Richie Grant

Here’s what Falcons safety Richie Grant had to say Friday after his first rookie minicamp practice:

ExploreRichie Grant setting pace for Falcons rookies on defense

On rookie minicamp: “This is my passion. I love getting on that green grass. Being able to make calls and command the defense, things like that. It went a little fast today. I think that was on purpose, intentionally to see how we practice and how we react to situations like that. We all can get in our playbook so that we can play a little faster tomorrow.”

On how they are learning the playbook: “We all have been doing a good job as DBs, quizzing each other. Going over things. Any questions that we have, communicating to the coach to make sure that we are good on defense and certain calls. For the most part, we’ll be OK. We just have to keep getting in that playbook together.”

On where he’s playing: “Yeah, you’re going to be lined up in a lot of different spots. We’ve been moving around a lot, learning different spots. I’m trying to stay as versatile as possible.”

On lining up against tight end Kyle Pitts: “I was pretty much focused on getting my plays, lining up in the right spot, making sure I slow the game down. A lot of that was going on. It was a good fast pace out there. Guys did have fun and flew around. …For the most part, I was just trying to make sure I was lining up in the right spot.”

On Darren Hall’s interception: “I’m excited for him. Just being in the right spot. Right time. Right spot. It was a little overthrow I think and he was able to make the play. The tempo was a little slower than usually. I didn’t know if I was supposed to run over and jump on his head, which is what I usually would do or get back to the ball and line up. I just clamped my hands for him. After practice, I dapped him up and slapped him on the back of the head.”

Second round (40th overall) – Richie Grant, S, Central Florida

Height: 6-foot Weight: 194 Arms: 32-5/8 Hands: 9-3/8 Bench Press: 225 pounds 12 times Vertical: 34-½ 40-yard dash: 4.49 seconds 20-shuttle: 4.27. 3-cone drill: 6.78

Overview: He tied for third in the FBS with six interceptions as a sophomore. He was first-team All-American Athletic Conference after making 109 tackles over 13 starts. He continued to develop over his career. He also was named a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award which goes to the nation’s top defensive back. He was a two-time All-Florida pick from Choctawhatchee High School. He redshirted as a freshman at Central Florida in 2017. Grant played free safety, strong safety and sometimes in the slot. He’s better against the run than the pass. Lack of speed hurts him in coverage, but he has a noise for the ball. According to Pro Football Focus, Grant was the highest-graded safety in run-defense in the NCAA in 2020 season. Grant is the second player the Falcons have selected from UCF in franchise history, joining safety/linebacker Kemal Ishmael who was selected in the seventh round of the 2013 draft.

The Bow Tie Chronicles