Expect Jakeem Grant to be the Miami Dolphins punt returner

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 11: Wide receiver Jakeem Grant
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 11: Wide receiver Jakeem Grant /

Jakeem Grant had an up and down rookie season for the Miami Dolphins, but enters his second season on the roster bubble. He is loaded with potential but just not figured it out on the football field yet.

At the time of the 2016 NFL draft, the fastest recorded time in the 40 yard dash belonged to Jakeem Grant, unofficially recording a 4.19 at a practice. He did not make it to the combine, so we will never know if he can actually reach said feat.

But it is a true testament to what he brings to the field: SPEED…  and lots of it.

When the Dolphins selected him, they did so with the intention for him to slide in as the teams primary return man. This was to put his speed to use in the most efficient way possible and to allow Jarvis Landry to take a break from special teams.

Although his speed was assuredly present throughout the 2016 season, his hands were not. He fumbled many returns last season and forced the coaching staff to look at other players to fill his role.

But after an offseason of catching punts nearly every day from the team’s punter, Matt Darr, Grant feels he has fixed the biggest hole in his game and looks to take his return game to new heights.

Jakeem Grant will likely never see much playing time in Adam Gase’s offense due to his small frame, but his speed is inhumane and the Miami coaches are dying to get him to figure out how to use it on special teams.

Perhaps the most important information in this article is this: Jakeem Grant has the faith of his coaches. We all know how far that can go.

Special teams coach Darren Rizzi and head coach Adam Gase have given Grant a second chance and both believe he will put his past issues behind him.

So now we talk about his 2017 outlook much like we did his 2016 outlook. Assuming he doesn’t botch a kick or punt return, he has the potential to gain huge yardage on every return.

Once he has the ball in his hands, it is a green light from there. He has the legs to outrun every defender on the field which can only make fans drool over his potential.

It is odd that we can be so excited for a punt returner, but with the other news that has recently surfaced out of Miami, we must look at the positive.

When the defense gets a stop on third down, the energy level is high enough. Just imagine the excitement level of the stadium knowing that Jakeem Grant can flip the field in a heartbeat.

Jakeem Grant’s competition consists of Kenyan Drake, Jarvis Landry and Drew Morgan. With the offense trying to expand the roles of Drake and Juice, they are unlikely to land the job. Morgan has been silent since OTAs and will likely begin the season on the practice squad.

That leaves Grant as the primary return man. Expect Jakeem Grant to earn the job and solidify his role once the season begins.

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