INDIANAPOLIS —"He's just 'Steady Eddie,' and that's why I like him."
Jay Gruden has always been a big Ryan Grant fan.
A fifth-round pick of Gruden's Washington Redskins in the 2014 NFL Draft, Grant at first impressed on the practice field and in his limited roles on special teams. Then, as an understudy to veterans like DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon, Grant continued to be solid in practice, but was also a major contributor as a blocker at the wide receiver position.
But when Jackson and Garçon left in free agency prior to the 2017 season, it was Grant's time to shine — and he really began to put it all together.
And after 45 receptions for 573 yards and four touchdowns, playing in all 16 games with seven starts, Grant is ready to make an even bigger step up in his career, as the free agent today signed a deal with the Indianapolis Colts.
Grant received praise from Gruden almost immediately upon stepping foot onto the Redskins' practice field as a rookie, as his all-business approach and his ability to master just about every route there is gave him the appearance of a crafty receiver with much, much more NFL experience.
Turns out that wasn't just a flash-in-the-pan impression; Grant continued to work, despite the fact he wasn't getting many passes thrown his way the few seasons of his career, logging just 39 receptions for 412 yards and two touchdowns from 2014-16.
But Grant found other ways to contribute, Ike Hilliard, his wide receivers coach with the Redskins, said.
"I think when Ryan had to come in here …and play behind a guy like DeSean and Pierre and have to earn his keep as a blocking receiver, he had to find a way to play special teams," Hilliard said, via Redskins.com. "He put on weight, you know, he got stronger, he did all the things that everybody asked him to do and then hopefully now it's just time to go out and show that he can actually play football."
Last season, with Jackson and Garçon off the roster, Grant became one of Washington's top targets, showing that consistency does pay off.
"He's really strong, he's in great shape, and he's Mr. Consistent," Gruden said last year of Grant, via Redskins.com. "Everything we ask him to do he does, and he does it right. No matter where he lines up, no matter what we ask him to do — he can come in the core and block the safety, whatever we want him to do, he can run whatever route from whatever position and he runs at the right depth, perfect angles coming out of them. He's just 'Steady Eddie,' and that's why I like him. I like consistent, smart players and that's what Ryan is."
So what does the film say? Let's take a look at Grant's career highlights to see what he brings to the table with the Colts: