In the coming weeks, Redskins Insider Tarik El-Bashir will take a close look at Redskins who struggled to carve out a steady role, underperformed or landed on injured reserve in 2015 and, as a result, need a strong offseason to lock down a job in 2016. Up today …
Player: Ryan Grant
Position: Wide receiver
2015 cap hit: $653,403
Stats: 16 games, 23 receptions (on 42 targets), 268 yards and 2 touchdowns
Comment: Grant had an up and down second season with the Redskins.
After averaging less than 12 snaps per game as a rookie, he averaged 30 snaps as a sophomore. He also made five starts and scored the first two touchdowns of his career.
Grant, a 2014 fifth rounder out of Tulane, had his best performances against Philadelphia in Week 4 and Tampa Bay in Week 7. Against the Eagles, he reeled in five catches (on seven targets) for 45 yards in a 23-20 win. Against the Bucs, he hauled in all three passes thrown in his direction, including his first career touchdown, a three-yarder, that helped jumpstart the Redskins’ epic comeback.
But Grant’s playing time and production was largely dependent on the health of the receivers in front of him. For example, he racked up 17 of his 23 receptions—and 194 of his 268 yards—while DeSean Jackson recovered from a hamstring tear. After the bye, Grant was targeted only 11 times in the final 10 games, including the playoff loss to the Packers.
Grant also had some moments he’d like to forget. In Atlanta, he slipped in overtime as Falcons’ cornerback Robert Alford made the game-winning pick-six. In New England, Grant failed to fall on an onside kick.
Currently there are six wide receivers on the roster—Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Jamison Crowder, Grant, Andre Roberts and Rashad Ross. With Roberts’ future in Washington uncertain and Ross used sparingly on offense, GM Scot McCloughan will surely seek to bolster the position via free agency and/or the draft.
And when that happens, the pressure on Grant, who was not drafted by McCloughan, could start to build.