Position: Wide Receiver
Height: 6'0" Weight: 193 lbs
Drafted: Fifth round pick, 142nd Overall
Ryan Grant is a second year man out of Tulane. Even though he was a two-star recruit coming into college, in his second year in the NFL, he has an opportunity to explode and give the Washington Redskins the production they are looking for. Here are five things to know about him:
#1. Ryan Grant hails from Beaumont, Texas and played his high school football at West Brook High. As a West Brook High upperclassmen he caught 83 passes, for 1,375 yards and 11 touchdowns. He led his team to a 27-8 combined record. He won the District 21-5A title, was named first team all-district and to the Super Gold Team as a senior. He helped his team get to the state playoffs three years in a row. Grant held offers from Tulane, Missouri, Purdue, Texas A&M and UNLV. He chose to play his college football at Tulane.
#2. As a freshman at Tulane (2009), played in nine games that season and caught nine passes for 39 yards (4.3 yards per catch) and one touchdown. As a sophomore in 2010, he played in 12 games, starting half of the them and caught 33 passes for 515 yards (15.6 yards per catch) and four touchdowns. He put up career bests in yards and touchdowns vs the Rice Owls. He scored the game winning touchdown with a 73 yard catch and run.
As a junior (2011), his season was cut short due to a sports hernia injury after starting only one game vs the Southeastern Louisiana Lions. He caught a 27 yard touchdown in that game. He was a member of the Preseason Biletnikoff Award Watch List so who knows what could've been?
In his redshirt junior season (2012), he came back strong and broke 1000+ yards receiving. He started all 12 games that year and caught 76 passes for 1,149 yards (15.1 yards per catch) and six touchdowns.
He earned the following accolades as a result of his impressive play:
- First-team All-Conference USA
- Second-team All-Louisiana after leading the team in receptions (76), receiving and all-purpose yards (1,149) and touchdown grabs (6)
- Ranked second in points scored (36)
- Led C-USA in receiving yards per game (95.75)
- Third in receptions per game (6.33)
- Ranked 11th in all-purpose yards per game (95.75)
- Ranked 16th nationally in receiving yards per outing
In his final season as a Tulane Green Wave, he played in all 13 games and started 12 of them. He caught 77 passes for 1,039 yards (13.5 yards per catch) and nine touchdowns; nearly identitical to last years numbers. He was invited to participate in the 2014 Senior Bowl.
His accolades he received are as follows:
- First-team All-Conference USA (Coaches & Media)
- Second-team All-Conference by College Sports Madness
- Second-team All-Louisiana after leading the team in receptions (77), receiving yards (1,039), touchdown grabs (9) and all-purpose yards (1,039)
- Ranked third in points scored (54)
- Finished third in C-USA in receptions per game (5.9), scoring receptions, and receiving yards
- Ranked fourth in receiving yards per game (79.9) and 17th in all-purpose yards per game (79.92)
"Good size. Smooth accelerator off the line. Good flexibility to sink his hips. Tracks throws and shows terrific body control to adjust. Impressive hands catcher -- quick, soft mitts. Makes NFL-caliber catches, snatching throws out of the air away from his body. Determined runner with the ball in his hands. Nice upfield quickness to pick up yards after the catch. Good field awareness. He has one of the best pair of hands in the draft."
#4. As a rookie, Head Coach Jay Gruden felt like Grant played like he had been in the league for quite some time:
"He plays like a 10-year veteran already. He’s very smooth. He understands route concepts. He understand depths and how important they are and how to set people up… Easy in and out of breaks, effortlessly. He had a couple drops, [but he was] a little nervous I’m sure. Very, very excited to have Ryan [with] that ability, and like I said, when we drafted him, the ability to be able move him around outside and inside I think is a huge benefit for us and him. He’s going to be a very good football player."
In 2014, he caught seven passes for 68 yards.
#5. In 2015, the praise continues to come Grant's way. According to Redskins.com's Stephen Czarda, Grant's game has improved and that could lead to more playing time:
"He’s trying to prove that he deserves some reps and every time he gets a rep he takes advantage of it, and that’s the one thing we’re trying to get across these guys," Gruden said. "You may get 10 reps a day in practice. Make sure you take advantage of those reps, and Ryan is one of those guys who takes advantage of every rep he gets. Even the reps that he doesn’t get the ball thrown to him, you can see he’s working his hardest coming in and out of breaks and getting open and fighting to get off bump and run or what have you. So very, very, very impressed with Ryan and [he’s] done an excellent job, but he has taken advantage of his reps so far."
Grant even has gotten the attention of defensive teammates Ryan Kerrigan and Bashaud Breeland:
"Ryan's a very good football player that does things the right way," Kerrigan said. "His actions speak much louder than his words, and that's what you want in a teammate, someone who's going to work hard and perform well."
"He’s got very strong hands, so it’s very hard to get the ball out of them sometimes," Breeland said of Grant. "He runs real good routes, so it’s 50/50 when we go at it. He’s going to win some, and I’m going to win some. We’re making each other better. That’s the ultimate goal in the end."
Bottom Line: Ryan Grant catching the eyes of teammates and coaching staff is a good sign in terms of getting more playing time. I say he gets the fourth wide receiver spot on the roster and vastly improves on the numbers he put up in 2014.