Ryan Grant wasn’t the biggest wide receiver available. He wasn’t the fastest, either.
But size and speed weren’t what drew Jay Gruden to him. Instead, it was Grant’s hands, understanding of the game and versatility that convinced Gruden to pick him at No. 142 overall Saturday.
“He’s a great hands catcher,” Gruden said of the Tulane product. “He’s a good route runner. He can play inside and outside. We were surprised that he was there. We had him a little bit higher of a grade on him, obviously, and he was sitting there and we took him.”
Grant, a 6 foot, 199-pounder who ran a 4.62 second 40 at the combine, topped 75 receptions and 1,000 yards receiving in each of his last two seasons with the Green Wave. He also scored 15 touchdowns during that span.
Although the Redskins weren’t blown away by Grant’s measurables, the Texas native made a strong impression during a meeting with team officials in Indianapolis.
“We were impressed with him at the combine interview …and his production at Tulane [was] excellent,” Gruden said. “And, like I said, his flexibility as where to line up. He knows the position. He knows the passing game concepts. He had a very sophisticated offense at Tulane and we feel like he’s going to come in and compete right away.”
DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon and Andre Roberts are entrenched as Washington's top three wide receivers but Grant could push for playing time behind them, where he’ll compete with Aldrick Robinson, Leonard Hankerson, Santana Moss, David Gettis and Nick Williams.