Tulane wide receiver Ryan Grant was finishing up a workout when he got the call he had been awaiting Saturday afternoon.
Jay Gruden was on the other line. The Redskins had selected Grant in the fifth round, 142nd overall.
“I’m very ecstatic at the moment,” Grant said on a conference call with reporters a few minutes later. “I’m happy to be a part of the organization and I’m going to make the most of the opportunity.”
Grant said he was expecting to be picked in the fourth or fifth round. He also said he had an inkling that he might be hearing from the Redskins after meeting with Gruden at the combine.
At 6 foot, 199 pounds, Grant is not the big-target wide receiver the Redskins currently lack. He also has ordinary speed, clocking at 4.62 in the 40. But, according to scouting reports, he has some of the best hands in the draft. He was also productive in college, hauling in 75-plus passes and over 1,000 yards in each of last two seasons at Tulane. He missed all but one game in 2011 after undergoing hernia surgery.
“God blessed me with some great hands,” Grant said. “I was born with that talent."
He added: “My game? I’m consistent with it, man. I’m great with route running, I have great hands, I’m quick in and out my breaks and when that ball is in the air, I’m going to go up there and contest the [defensive back] and get the ball.”
Grant acknowledges that he needs to improve his strength and become more proficient at gaining yards after the catch.
“I’m a hard worker; I work hard at everything,” he said. “I try to get better by the day.”
Grant also said he’s looking forward to learning from DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon and Andre Roberts.
“I’m going to get behind those guys and watch them and follow them and just play my part and play my role,” Grant said.