The Pittsburgh Steelers’ season ended a few weeks earlier that they had planned it to, but now that their 2015 campaign has drawn to a conclusion, it’s time to wrap things up and take stock of where they are and how they got there. Part of that process involves holding player exit meetings at the conclusion of each season.
Of course, we’re not privy to the specifics that go on in each of these meetings between head coach and player, and whomever else might be involved in any particular discussion, but if we were conducting them, it might go something like this.
Player: Doran Grant
Experience: 1 Year
When the Steelers double-dipped at cornerback in the 2015 NFL Draft, people were pretty ecstatic, considering the position was viewed as a major area of need—and even one that the front office and coaching staff acknowledged needed to be addressed in the offseason.
That is why, when their second-round cornerback was lost for the season during training camp, they made sure to make a trade to reload the position and make sure they had insulation in the event of injury, which of course they experienced after just one game.
The second of those two cornerbacks was Doran Grant, selected in the fourth round out of Ohio State, just one of many Buckeyes drafted in recent years, two of which are defensive starters at the moment. The 5’10”, 200-pound cornerback was viewed as quality value in the fourth round of the draft.
And it was little surprise when he made the 53-man roster, even after the Steelers added another outside cornerback in Ross Cockrell, leaving Grant as the sixth cornerback on the depth chart. But he was released just one day later in order to make room for new players that the team had added via waivers and free agency after the final cuts.
The Steelers were able to safely place Grant on the practice squad, where he remained until he was called up toward the middle of the of the season. He spent the final eight games of the regular season and the Steelers’ two playoff games on the 53-man roster, though he was only active for three games.
During his time, he saw very minor work on special teams, logging 17 snaps, if I recall correctly some of them as a gunner on punt coverage units. He saw one snap on defense.
Grant finished the season as the team’s fifth cornerback, and he may be the team’s fifth cornerback again this year. Or he might not. Maybe he will be moved to safety, which is something that the Steelers have talked about as early as the evening that he was drafted.
Many took it as a negative since that he was released, and an even bigger negative that nobody claimed him off waivers. But there were hints that his promotion was in part due to outside interest. It would be ill-advised to give up on Grant entering his second season, as his story is very much unwritten at the moment.