With the arrival of Ryan Grant, the Raiders cut Seth Roberts. Roberts brought heart, desire, and a 9-2 record to the team when he scored a touchdown. However, Roberts also developed the yips and formed a habit of dropping passes.
Nevertheless, Roberts is the past, and Ryan Grant is the future. When comparing the two statistically, 2017 is the perfect comparison year for the two players. Both started seven games and were targeted 65 times. Roberts hauled in 43 passes for 455 yards while Grant caught 45 passes for 573 yards. As for touchdowns, Roberts had one while Grant had four.
From those stats alone, Grant had a much better season but 2018 was telling as well as Roberts kept up his production and Grant joined a new team and saw his production drop. However, the production levels are understandable as Roberts had most of his competing receivers traded away throughout the season while Grant joined a team with T.Y. Hilton.
Expectations for Grant cannot be very high with the Raiders’ organization as the team has added Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams this offseason, but there is still space to shine. Roberts gained acclaim for being relatively open for some clutch touchdowns (2016 Saints & 2016 Buccaneers) while the receivers higher on the depth chart took shape.
Nevertheless, as the 2018 stats show, Grant experienced a cooldown from his relatively hot 2017. The question remains: Will Grant’s stats take a hit again after changing teams again?
Normally, these articles run in a positive, hopeful outlook, but this time it seems Grant has too much going against him to have a 2017-esque season. In fact, a cooldown for all receivers can be expected as Antonio Brown, JJ Nelson, Tyrell Williams, and now Ryan Grant were all acquired from different teams this offseason.
Changing systems can be difficult, but these new receivers have the perfect leader to guide them through this change, as Derek Carr has undergone four coaching changes in his six years in the league.
Ryan Grant will not dominate fantasy leagues, but that does not mean he will not help the team. Like Seth Roberts showed, a few catches a game at the right time can mean more than 10 catches in garbage time.
The Raiders are in an exciting position currently, as they hold more receivers than they might know what to do with. Expect Grant to contribute to the Raiders all season long. Solidified slot receivers are incredibly valuable, especially if the offense still revolves around quick, short passes.
In a four-receiver set, the Raiders could show an overload of talent from the four receivers, with Brown and Williams out wide, with Grant and JJ Nelson from the slot.
The talent is there for Grant to get comfortable on the Raiders’ depth chart, although he will not be setting any personal records for receiving yards this year, there is certainly a place for Grant with the Raiders.