Can Corey Grant Be a Key Contributor to the Jaguars Offense In 2017?
The Jaguars might have found a gem in running back Corey Grant.
The Jaguars loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday proved that the team still needs to work on a lot of things, but more importantly it showed that Corey Grant has the talent to be more than just a fourth-string backup.
Grant played college football at Auburn. Despite having a decent career in college, Grant went undrafted in 2015 due partly to his small size. With an astonishing 4.3 40 yard dash time at his pro day, the Jaguars decided to take a chance on him. After an impressive 2015 preseason showing big flashes of potential, Grant made the final 53-man roster. Ever since, he has served primarily as a kick returner and roster depth, seeing very little playing time.
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Outside of preseason and a week two touchdown late in the fourth quarter, Corey Grant hasn’t gotten much action at all. He’s been buried on the depth chart behind Chris Ivory, TJ Yeldon, and Denard Robinson.
Injuries to running-backs Chris Ivory (hamstring) and TJ Yeldon (ankle) gave Corey Grant his first career start Sunday as well as an opportunity to show he can be a valuable part of the Jaguars offense. Grant took full advantage of the opportunity with 18 carries for 122 yards as well as 2 receptions for 15 yards. In his first game Grant easily had one of the best rushing games the Jaguars have seen all season. After his 57-yard touchdown run, Grant finished the game averaging an impressive 6.8 yards per carry.
In addition to a solid performance Sunday against the Colts, the opportunities for Grant only increase for the 2017 season. Star running-back and former pro bowler Chris Ivory has had a roller-coaster season. His inability to stay healthy and fumbling issues make him a questionable player for 2017. On top of that, Denard Robinson will be entering free agency this off-season. With a ton of depth at the running-back position, it is unlikely that the Jaguars will resign Robinson.
Grants performance Sunday proved that he can be used for much more than depth. With the right pieces added to the offensive line there is no doubt that Grant can be a solid backup or even a starter. With his impressive preseason performances and his solid game Sunday, the future continues to look brighter and brighter for the former tiger.