clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

PFF takes a look at Jakeem Grant as returner

New, comments

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NFL: Miami Dolphins-OTA Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Pro Football Focus included Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jakeem Grant in their latest “Daily Focus” article. Specifically, they asked “What can rookie Jakeem Grant provide as a returner for the Dolphins?” Miami has been using Grant as both a kick and punt return option during the offseason programs, and he should continue in that role as the team moves into training camp next month.

PFF sees that as a good idea for Miami:

Grant didn’t return punts in college but graded as the second-best kick returner in the 2016 draft class. This would be a good move to get Grant more touches as his role on offense will most likely be limited with Jarvis Landry locking down the slot position.

With sub-4.4 40 speed and stop-on-a-dime quickness and agility, Grant led all college WRs in forced missed tackles with 33 and was second in yards after catch per reception among WRs with at least 60 receptions. Grant is electric in the open field and the extra space that punts provide would be deadly for him.

Grant never worked as a punt returner in college, but he did serve as a kick returner for Texas Tech, where he returned 87 kicks in four years. He averaged 24.9 yards per return with four touchdowns, two as a senior in 2015, when he averaged 26.1 yards per return over 39 tries.

Miami is looking for ways to get the ball into Grant’s hands, for the exact reasons PFF states. His incredible speed and ability to forced missed tackles are weapons the team needs to use to their advantage. The Dolphins are also expected to find ways to get Grant on the field with the offense, either as a receiver or coming out of the backfield, again looking to use his speed to their advantage.

Grant was selected by the Dolphins in the sixth-round of the NFL Draft earlier this year. It was reported during the team’s mandatory minicamp that Grant had some issues catching punts, but given he has never done it before, that might be expected. If those issues continue into training camp, the team may not be able to use him as a punt returner right away, but he should be able to learn how to secure the ball and then transition to ripping apart coverage units.