With the No. 169 overall pick in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected Georgia safety Richard LeCounte III. In four seasons at Georgia, LeCounte totaled 176 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 10 pass breakups, and eight interceptions.
Last year, LeCounte’s season was cut short after he suffered a motorcycle accident in November that caused him to be hospitalized. He was able to be on the field for the final snap of Georgia’s bowl game and work out in front of scouts during his Pro Day.
After he was drafted, LeCounte talked to the Browns’ team website about his comeback from the accident.
“I am ready to learn. I am ready to work. I am ready to get to it,” LeCounte III said. “It has been an overwhelming process, as you guys know, from my accident in October to now. It has been a long journey. The things that I am able to bring to the table are unmatched. I was able to recover 100 percent, and I am ready to get on a roll.”
NFL Network draft analyst and former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah defended LeCounte at the time of his Pro Day and doubled down on his opinion during a lengthy conference call with reporters.
“When you look at LeCounte and you look at him on paper, you see the pro day he ran a 4.76 and you’re like, Oh, my — no way he’s going to be the sixth safety off the board,” Jeremiah said. “But his tape is really good, and in talking to a bunch of teams that have all the GPS data, he plays like if you were going to do the equivalent, he plays like a 4.4 safety. That’s how he plays on the field. He had the accident which we mentioned. I don’t think he’s fully recovered from that yet. Did not run well at his pro day, but most of the teams I’ve talked to are forgiving the workout and believing in what they saw in the player on tape. I still think he factors into that.”
LeCounte is extremely grateful for the opportunity the Browns have given him.
“I knew wherever I go, I am able to get out there and showcase my talents,” LeCounte said. “I am so glad that the Cleveland Browns gave me a shot to show what I can do. I can’t wait to get out there and run around.”
Coming out of Liberty County High School (Hinesville, Ga.), LeCounte was rated as a five-star prospect per the industry-generated 247Sports Composite. He was the first player to commit to UGA after Smart became the head coach, giving his pledge in December of 2015 when he wasn’t able to sign until February of 2017.
He was ranked as the nation’s No. 25 overall prospect and No. 2 safety per the composite Injuries from the accident forced him to miss the latter portion of the 2020 season. Unable to play in the next four games, LeCounte vowed to get back on the field and finish his career with his teammates. He did that on the final play of the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl when Smart sent him out to play in prevent defense as Cincinnati had one final play.