With the drafting of Hunter Renfrow and his insertion as the team’s slot cornerback, Ryan Grant became a forgotten man in Oakland. That has changed over the past week and what looked to be a lost cause, is a competition once again.
“Grant’s a good player. I think he’s a really good player,” said Gruden after the Raiders preseason opener against the Rams. “He’s versatile. He’s quiet, you won’t hear two words out of him. But he made a lot of plays against the Rams in the first practice before he got hurt and he put himself in position here to be a contributor in the last week of practice.”
Gruden’s words on Grant were due to his play in the day in which Grant had three catches for 32 yards, including one of the more impressive grabs in the game.
The catch was for 18 yards and Grant appeared to hover in the air until the ball arrived. He caught the pass with a defender in his face and tapped his toes inbounds.
“I like [Ryan] Grant,” Gruden added. “My brother [Jay Gruden] had Ryan in Washington. I used to go up there and sometimes all we talked about a lot of times was Ryan Grant. He played excellent when [Pierre] Garcon was out. He played over there when DeSean Jackson was hurt, catch 15 passes. We tried to sign him, the Ravens tried to sign him. There were a lot of things going on with Ryan, but I got my guy. I’m really excited about him. I think he’s a really good receiver. I think he’s got to get some luck, he’s got to stay healthy. He’s got to try to be consistent to get an opportunity but we’re happy to have him.”
Grant was a 5th round pick out of Tulane. He spent his first four seasons in Washington. After a career-high 45 catches for 573 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2017, he signed on in Indianapolis last season. Despite a career-high 10 starts for the Colts, he was unable to duplicate or improve upon his 2017 numbers, putting up 35 catches for 334 yards and one touchdown. He’s getting another shot in Oakland and with four camp practices and three preseason games remaining, he has re-awakened his chances of sticking with the Raiders.