8 Cleveland Browns rehabbing major injuries this season
6. What is, or was, wrong with Richard LeCounte, if anything?
Former Georgia Bulldog safety Richard LeCounte III was first-team All-SEC honors in 2020 but started just six games before he got hurt in a dirt bike accident, and did not recover fully by Pro Day.
Although there was talk that he would be a day two draft pick, he slid all the way to the fifth round. Walter Football had an interesting graphic in which they tracked his evaluation over the 12 months prior to the draft. At one point, he was considered to be the number two safety in the draft, which would normally make him a second-round draft pick. But as it became clear that he was not physically right, his draft status slid, till he was ranked 12th highest right before the draft. He was actually drafted fourteenth among safeties.
At his Pro Day, he turned in a terrible 40 yard dash time of 4.79. That is slower than the defensive ends on the Cleveland Browns. It is marginal at best for the NFL.
Part of being a good stat head is to know when something is wrong with the numbers. 4.79 seconds is a statistical outlier. It is too slow to be a time for a healthy strong safety in the NFL, especially if that safety is an All-SEC caliber player. We have to look for some explanation other than random chance. The question is, what is wrong with him, and can it be fixed?
The reported injuries of a concussion, injured ribs, and an injured shoulder do not provide an adequate explanation.
We can only hope that the coaching staff had a heart-to-heart with LeCounte. Son, you need to be truthful with the coaches, trainers, and medical staff with what is wrong physically, because 4.79 will not hack it. The Browns organization has an excellent chance to help you and get you healthy again, if that is what is going on.
We don’t know what the training staff has been able to do for him, but LeCounte says he is healthy again and is apparently full go in practice. Reports are positive, but we fans need to have a good look at him in the exhibition games and make our own judgment.
Once the exhibition games start, we will want to see him in deep coverage against the other team’s wide receiver or tight end and see whether we believe he is more like an NFL safety, or if the other teams are totally blowing past him. We’ll discuss this in a future Dawg Pound Daily article.
This player could be the equivalent of a second-round draft choice, or but if the Pro Day numbers truly indicate his maximum level of ability, he probably will not be able to compete with players who are significantly faster and quicker. Since we do not know what exactly is wrong, it is hard to assign numbers to the prognosis for improvement.