Coming into last season, Corey Grant had just 44 touches and 214 yards to his name. He was the fourth running back on the roster and it was T.J. Yeldon who was getting the third down and change-of-pace plays. Not him, despite posting two 40-yard dash runs of under 4.3 seconds before the NFL Draft.
It was never his speed that was in question, but rather if he could consistently turn that raw athleticism into productive plays.
Last year, he did — showcasing his explosiveness on special teams and on offense, gaining 289 yards total, two touchdowns, and giving the Jaguars a secret weapon in the AFC Championship Game (before he was inexplicably taken out of the second half gameplan for reasons that still aren’t very clear). He’s earned a spot on this season’s 53-man roster and if offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett has his way it’s going to be more of the same Grant in 2018 as it was in 2017.
According to Mike Kaye of First Coast News, Hackett wants Grant to further embrace that “major change-of-pace back” role that he developed last year.
“I thought Corey — once again, he’s a guy that stepped in [last season] and did a great job there at the end — and he’s just a guy we’ve got to get out there. There’s all these guys we’re talking about and it’s a long ways away from that first game to see what we’re going to get but I’d love to put him out there because he’s a major change-of-pace back.”
“He’s a guy that can catch the ball from the backfield. Every time we’ve given him the ball in the backfield, he’s done really good things. It’s good because you’ve got him, you’ve got T.J. [Yeldon] right there with Leonard [Fournette] so it’s a really good group of three guys that we’ve got there.”
In three seasons with the Jaguars, Grant has 77 touches for 503 yards and four touchdowns.