Amid the drudgery of June practices, 5-7 receiver Jakeem Grant has left an impression on teammates with his electrifying quickness and demonstrative personality. Called Mighty Mouse by some and Kevin Hart II by others (because of his light-hearted demeanor and facial resemblance to the comedian), Grant wants to prove he’s more than merely a returner, more than simply a gadget player.
If the sixth-round pick proves capable of being a No. 5 receiver, then there won’t necessarily be a need to keep a sixth (likely Griff Whalen or Matt Hazel). Grant has made a bunch of catches in offseason practices, while also receiving a lot of opportunities on returns.
His work this summer has convinced him that he can get open against NFL defensive backs.
“I’m matched up with safeties that aren’t used to my speed and already have that threat like, ‘Oh my God, this guy’s fast so I can’t let him beat me deep,’” Grant said Thursday. “That’s already having them on their heels and scared that I’m going to beat them deep. And most of the time, I’m not even going deep. That’s the fun fact about being short.”
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And what about possibly being jammed at the line? Grant isn’t worried about that, either.
“Being a smaller receiver, we have the quickness over those guys,” he said. “If you have the technique down, there’s no way you can get jammed.”
But Grant can sometimes go too fast for his own good.
“Sometimes, it’s almost like we’ve got to slow him down,” coach Adam Gase said. “He’s so fast. You will see him slipping every once in a while. That’s when he’s going too fast.
“If we can just get him under control as far as how he understands that you pulling back a little bit is still faster than everybody else. He has done a good job of picking everything up.”
Grant appreciates the opportunity to pick the brain of Wes Welker, a fellow Texas Tech alum who has been in a pseudo-coaching type role in practice over the past few weeks.
“Wes set the tone for shorter receivers like me,” Grant said. “Just getting advice from him as a receiver and punt returner is awesome. He’s coached me up on all those aspects.”
▪ Running back Kenyan Drake became the last Dolphins draft pick to sign a contract but sat out practice with what appeared to be a hamstring injury that he sustained during a punt block drill on Wednesday.
Drake, who has had at least seven documented injuries during the past five seasons, will be ready for the start of training camp, Gase said.
▪ The Dolphins released quarterback Logan Thomas, leaving them with four quarterbacks: Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore, Brandon Doughty and Zac Dysert. Gase said seventh-round rookie quarterback Doughty “has made a lot of strides since he’s been here. … Even when [he’s] wrong [in] where he was going, somehow he completes the football.”
▪ Receiver Jarvis Landry and defensive ends Mario Williams and Jason Jones had excused absences on the last day of the mandatory minicamp.
▪ Gase wants his players to stay conditioned during their five-week vacation that began Thursday afternoon: “We can’t have guys that don’t do anything. You can’t be grossly out of shape.”
▪ Regarding the team’s leadership, Gase said: “First thing I’ve learned is there’s more than a lot of people gave guys credit for.”….
Running back Isaiah Pead, elevated in Drake’s absence, showed good burst, on both runs and screen passes. … Kicker Andrew Franks had another good day, hitting from 51 and 52 yards.
▪ Besides Thomas, the Dolphins also released defensive tackle Charles Tuaau.