The Miami Dolphins used the 186th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft to select Texas Tech wide receiver and return man Jakeem Grant. The Dolphins initially traded away the 186th pick, a sixth round selection, as part of their package to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for moving back into the third round, where they added Rutgers wide receiver Leonte Carroo. After some other trades, the Dolphins used a sixth-round pick and a seventh-round pick, sending them to the Vikings in order to move back into the 186th spot.
As crazy as the moves to get out of and then back into spot 186, the story is obviously the team's selection of Grant. Ticked off that he "only" ran a 4.38 second 40-yard dash at his Pro Day, Grant has said he previously has run 4.1 second hand-timed 40-yard dashes, and that 4.3 is "slow for him." That is the player Miami added in the sixth-round.
Of course, Grant is small. He is only 5-foot-6, and that scared away a lot of teams. His speed make him an electric player every time the ball is in his hands, but the Dolphins will likely look to him more as a kick off and punt return option than as a primary receiving threat. However, new head coach Adam Gase could look to find ways to get Grant involved in the offense if he is able to continue to move around defenders as he does in the videos below.
To get a better look at Grant, I turned to Viva the Matadors, SB Nation's Texas Tech blog, to get some insight from the fans who watched him through his college days.
Hunter Cooke, the managing editor at Viva the Matadors has written several articles on Grant and his place in the NFL. Prior to the Draft, he wrote, "Grant will be remembered for his insane speed and his game-breaking plays. Seriously, every time he touched the football he was a threat to take it all the way to the house. He returned a kickoff for a touchdown on nearly every single team in the conference. He shook very good cornerbacks out of their shoes. He completely took over the 2015 OSU game for a half. There were times when he blew straight past NFL caliber defensive backs. Jakeem Grant will be missed at Texas Tech, but he will do great things in the NFL."
Cooke added in another post, writing about Grant not being invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, "I get the whole thing about the height being scary, and size mattering in the pros, but seriously, watch this guy's highlight tape. If anything, his stature works to his advantage because he's able to bob and weave in and out of defender's tackles. When you watching him play the term 'lightning in a bottle' comes to mind."
Finally, Brice Paterik adds in a post written during the 2015 season, "One of the main reasons Jakeem Grant isn't as talked about as other dudes like Corey Coleman or Josh Doctson is because of his height. Grant is listed at 5'7" and being 5'9" myself I feel your pain Jakeem. But being talked about by media types isn't what gets you drafted to the NFL, it's being talked about by scouts and front office NFL executives. Not only does Jakeem possess the shiftiness of a crooked politician, he's also ridiculously fast. While he may not win as many jump balls as some other wide receivers, Jakeem Grant knows his strengths and plays them well. He may not be tall but he knows how to ball, and there is no reason why Grant should be catching passes and breaking ankles on Sundays next year."
Grant is incredibly fast and is probably going to make some opponent look dumb at some point in 2016 for the Dolphins. The question is whether or not he can withstand the physical punishment of an NFL season, and whether or not Miami can find a way to maximize his touches by getting him into the offense, rather than just being a returner.