Earlier this week, Jakeem Grant was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week following his 88-yard punt return touchdown, coupled with a long 45-yard kickoff return in the Dolphins‘ 28-17 win over the Rams.
Considering such a dominant performance, should there be a case that he’s the best punt return man in the league this season?
His 88-yard touchdown was the longest punt return in the NFL this season. The second longest return this season belongs to Pittsburgh’s Ray-Ray McCloud, when he recorded a 57 yard gain in a punt against the Titans.
Geant has the most total return yards in the league with 227, which is 50 more than the 177 of the Saints’ Deonte Harris, who has the second most.
Grant always wants to make a play and through seven games this season, he has fielded 16 punts and only fair caught four. He has the third-highest punt return average of 14.19. Of the 13 players that fielded over 10 punts this season, only three others have double-digit return averages. McCloud and Harris are the only players with higher return averages than Grant.
Kliff Kingsbury, head coach of the Cardinals, which are the Dolphins’ next opponent, and his college coach at Texas Tech, said Grant was one of his all-time favorite players. That’s high praise from someone who now coaches Deandre Hopkins
While he may not be the clear cut best punt returner in the league, he’s definitely in the conversation with McCloud and Harris in the top three.
Since Grant is the only one out of that group to return a punt to the house, it gives him a slight edge as the top punt returner in 2020.