Richard LeCounte - S, Georgia
By the numbers:
5'10", 196 pounds per Pro Day measurements.
2020: 26 tackles (1.0 for loss), four passes broken up and three interceptions in five games played.
2019: 61 tackles (4.5 for loss), four interceptions, three passes broken up and two forced fumbles in 14 games played.
Richard LeCounte is one of the smartest defensive backs in this year's draft. He captained Georgia's defense and displayed terrific leadership and communication skills on the field. He processes things in real-time, often much quicker than other players at his position. LeCounte is both proactive and reactive against the pass, making up for a less-than-stellar athletic profile.
Some safeties are simply always in the right place at the right time. LeCounte fits that description. He sticks at the hip of his assignment in coverage, closes quickly and plays the football. He has a knack for making plays, as evidenced by his impressive turnover production in college. LeCounte isn't the biggest player on the field, but he's a capable and willing tackler and has good form.
LeCounte is a bit undersized and also lacks good long speed. He accelerates well, but his top gear isn't anything special. He weighed in at 196 pounds at his Pro Day, although his 4.78u 40-yard dash time was very underwhelming. His lack of ideal size shows up against the run and will limit him a bit at the next level. He was in a dirt bike accident last October that could possibly be bothering him, although that is unclear. Will his agility remain intact, even if he continues to add weight? Improving one aspect of his athletic profile at the expense of another may not be worth it.
There's also a bit of general uncertainty surrounding LeCounte's future. He isn't a great option as a single-high safety, but he also isn't big enough to consistently play in the box near the line of scrimmage without being washed away by bigger players. His true value will be maximized by a team that's willing to put him in positions to think on his feet and be challenged mentally rather than physically.
How LeCounte fits with the Chiefs:
The Chiefs have the potential to boast an elite safety tandem in Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thornhill this season. Daniel Sorensen is a free agent, so replacing him is on the list of needs for the team. LeCounte would be an ideal third safety or nickel defensive back, and his football smarts would fit right in with a player like Mathieu. Steve Spagnuolo values intelligent players who can adapt, and LeCounte is certainly that.
LeCounte has a terrific football brain and routinely finds ways to make plays, even when he's outmatched. He's a somewhat limited athlete, although his 40-yard dash time depicts him as slower than he actually is. His draft stock has declined a ton since the beginning of his senior season, and smart teams will take advantage of that. LeCounte grades out as a fourth-round prospect who is worth picking due to his IQ alone. He can play, regardless of the results of his workout, and would be an interesting addition to the Chiefs' secondary.