WASHINGTON — Jay Gruden has stood by receiver Ryan Grant ever since the team took him with the 142nd pick in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He had amassed just 39 receptions for 412 yards and two touchdowns in his first three seasons with the team but took a giant step forward on Sunday.
His final stat line was a modest four receptions for 61 yards, but his 34-yard reception was the team’s longest play from scrimmage, and his 15.2 yards per reception led all Redskins receivers. According to Pro Football Focus, he was third on the team with 36 snaps behind only Terrelle Pryor and Jamison Crowder.
More importantly, it nearly matched his impact from all of 2016 combined (nine receptions, 76 yards). His four receptions on Sunday were his most since Week 4 of the 2015 season (five), also against the Eagles. His 34-yard play was the longest since Week 2 of the 2015 season vs. the Rams. His 61 yards were the most in a single game in his career.
This was some of the feedback from 106.7 The Fan personalities and beat reporters watching the game:
Ultimately, Grant still needs to develop as a red zone threat. But even in a day when Jamison Crowder and Chris Thompson were active, Grant was more of an outlet receiver, a good sign especially when Kirk Cousins was constantly under duress.
Look for Grant’s role to continue to take shape in coming weeks, but this was a good start for the fourth-year receiver.