The PhinPhanatic staff is recapping the 2016 season for each Miami Dolphins player as the team prepares for the start of free agency. Here is the 2016 player recap for Jakeem Grant.
More from Dolphins News
- Tua Tagovailoa practicing with teammates is everything a leader does
- 4 offensive tackles Miami Dolphins could draft at 51
- Miami Dolphins don’t need CB help but these 5 could be available at 51
- 4 players that could replace Wilkins if Miami Dolphins don’t re-sign him
- Miami Dolphins have a starting point with Wilkins after Simmons deal
Looking at reporting the early consensus is Jakeem Grant may have a hard time making the next upcoming roster. There are many holes to fill on the team mostly on defense and the team will only have seven draft picks provided that they pick up two compensatory selections, which usually happens near the Combine.
Would it be advantageous to fill a roster spot for someone who so far has amounted to a return specialist? At this point it doesn’t look likely with a linebacker room as thin as Swiss cheese and just over a handful of draft picks to try to remedy that situation. Some reporters are still sore this wasn’t addressed last draft with the picks made on players like Jakeem Grant.
But Grant was great in College on returns as well as on offense as a receiver and a running back even setting some records. So far that development to the pro level has been somewhat stagnate. Also to his deterrent was being drafted into a full running back and receiver room. Add to that he never fielded punts much and was labeled as having bad hands soon after arriving and there is much room for improvement.
His best effort as a punt returner came like a shot. It was week five Vs the Titans when he took a lone punt return 74 yards for a touchdown. For the rest of the games it was mixed results, some good some bad some average. Frankly he wasn’t trusted much after having some drops, he fumbled the ball four times on the year losing one.
Of course he could get better with more seasoning, players brought into full rooms don’t get much of a chance especially when making some mistakes. One other factor is the recent rule change on kickoffs and how it might hinder kick returns, Grant had four games were there wasn’t any kick returns.
So is there a role on this Miami Dolphins team for him? He would have to develop more on punts and work his way into some offensive playing time to be a better fit. But that also rest on coaching executing plays with him in mind. While he did see some action on offense it was mostly as a decoy and he only got the ball on one running play gaining one yard Vs the Patriots week 17 and was also targeted twice receiving on the season with no statistical results.
While other noted returners like Devin Hester in the past and Tyreek Hill presently have a few or more inches on him and some twenty pounds Grant can stay resilient for the most part as he has shown this season and throughout College. And the speed is there to break one open at any moment while having the slight stature helps to conceal him in traffic.