Opportunity calling: Ryan Grant

With Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson entering the final year of their contracts, Ryan Grant's time to prove he's ready for an expanded role is now.

The Washington Redskins remain in the slow lane during free agency, which for now means plenty of roster spots are available on top of the battle for playing time we know will take place. As we wait for additional signings and the NFL Draft, Breaking Burgundy begins a series looking at those current players with a shot at advancing their previous roles into something larger for 2016. Check out previous profiles below plus additional mentions in the above video.

Player: Ryan Grant

Position: Wide receiver

2015 Overview: Much was made of Grant’s potentially elite route-running prowess during his rookie season. But, that potential didn’t blossom last season, Grant’s second in the league since the Redskins drafted him out of Tulane. Rookie Jamison Crowder established himself as the team’s No. 3 wide receiver early in the season, and the limited opportunities that resulted for Grant amounted to 23 catches for 268 yards and two touchdowns.

Room for Improvement: Strength, blocking, fighting through contact at the line of scrimmage.

Opportunity: Grant is entering the third year of his four-year rookie contract and will probably be stuck behind Crowder, Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, again. The upcoming season does represent an opportunity, however, for Grant to prove himself worthy of an expanded role in 2017, when both Garcon and Jackson become unrestricted free agents.

2016 projection: Grant’s window of opportunity, at least with Washington, is beginning to close. That realization could lead him to work with more urgency. On the other hand, whether Grant can earn enough in-game snaps to prove his worth in the league also hinges on the performances of the receivers in front of him. Jackson’s injuries afforded Grant more playing time than he otherwise would have received last season, but he didn’t do enough with the opportunity to warrant confidence in his future. The good news for Grant is that head coach Jay Gruden seems to have faith in him. Then again, faith in a football player only lasts so long before it’s time to prove it.

Opportunity Knocks for:

Arie Kouandjio

Dan Roth is a freelance sportswriter and Breaking Burgundy contributor. Follow Dan on Twitter @DanRothDC.

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