The Miami Dolphins spent the 2016 Draft targeting specific prospects, looking to add players who new head coach Adam Gase feels will fit his system. While much of the free agency period had been spent on the team addressing the defensive side of the ball, the offense took center stage for most of the Draft, including in the sixth round, when the team selected Texas Tech wide receiver, Jakeem Grant.
Grant met with the media shortly after his selection on Saturday night, and he was not shy about his expectations this season. "I definitely think I can play receiver, and I definitely will be the return guy," Grant stated. "I feel like I can do the same exact role I did at Texas Tech there at Miami."
Slipping into the sixth round, Grant's biggest issue was his lack of size. The NFL listed him at 5-fooot, 5-3/4 inches, but Grant does not necessarily agree with that the measurement is accurate when he is on the field. "Yes, they had me at 5'5 ¾" but I always tell people that I'm 5'6 ½" because you never going anywhere without shoes on," Grant explained, laughing. "You never see me playing a game in my bare feet, so I always tell people I'm 5'7 because you never know how tall I am once I step on the field."
While his size may have been a factor in Miami being able to pick him in the sixth round, his speed is probably what cemented his position as a draftable prospect. "A lot of teams clocked me at 4.1 (seconds). They said a 4.3 would have been labor time or whatever that is. I definitely feel like a 4.3 is definitely not my speed. I feel like if I would run a 40 (-yard dash) over and over again, (I would) tell guys that I don't run a 4.3, because ... When they told me I ran a 4.3, I was ticked off, because that's slow to me."
Grant clearly lacks no confidence when it comes to what he will bring to Miami. "I have faith in myself," he told the media. "I feel like once you get the ball in my hands, there's nobody that can stop me. With God being behind me and then after my back bone (injury), I haven't had any injuries off the field. I'm as healthy as a horse. I'm fast. I'm quick even if I don't have the size. But you can't hate what you can't get."
"I'm confident, self-motivated, and that's just the type of guy I am," Grant continued. "I'll continue to show people that and show them that I don't wish that I'm bigger than I am. I commend my size; I love my size. And I feel like I'm not blessed with the height but I'm blessed in other areas that some guys do not have."
Grant, who says he is a punt and kick returner, also sees himself as a receiver in Miami's offense, "I feel like I could fit in as a slot guy on the roster. Yes, there's going to be competition, it's a competitive sport and I'm looking to go in with a chip on my shoulder. I've been that way my whole life and I'm going to continue to do that. That's never going to go away."
The Dolphins will be hoping that Grant's talent and big-play potential will be as evident when the season starts as is Grant's personality.