While talking about the performance of the Redskins' draft picks during the rookie minicamp that concluded yesterday, Jay Gruden was generally measured in his praise. However there was one notable exception. Here is what he said about receiver fifth-round receiver Ryan Grant:
“He plays like a 10-year veteran already. He’s very smooth. He understands route concepts. He understand depths and how important they are and how to set people up… Easy in and out of breaks, effortlessly. He had a couple drops, [but he was] a little nervous I’m sure. Very, very excited to have Ryan [with] that ability, and like I said, when we drafted him, the ability to be able move him around outside and inside I think is a huge benefit for us and him. He’s going to be a very good football player.”
The “10-year veteran” remark drew Gruden a chiding from one NFL.com blogger, who named it his “favorite hyperbolic missile” of the weekend.
As Gruden noted, Grant was a bit inconsistent in his first practices as a pro. To be fair, the tryout quarterbacks who were throwing to him are unlikely to even see any preseason NFL action, let alone any snaps during the regular season. We will see how he fares during OTAs when he will have Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins throwing him passes.
When he was drafted, some were skeptical that Grant would make the 53-man roster. Clearly, he is behind the Redskins’ big three of Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, and Andre Roberts. But behind them, Santana Moss will be 35 soon, Aldrick Robinson has yet to develop consistency, and Leonard Hankerson is coming off of ACL surgery. Not only does Grant have an excellent chance of making the roster, he could well get some snaps in certain situational packages.
Of course, it will be up to Grant to continue doing whatever he did to earn the high praise from Gruden. Looking good for a weekend is one thing; standing out during the grind of OTAs, minicamp, training camp, and four preseason games is quite another. We will see if Grant can handle things like, well, a 10-year veteran.