Goodbye, Grant Perry

Goodbye, Grant Perry

February 1, 2019

Grant Perry (image via Wolverines Wire)


Perry attended Bloomfield Hills (MI) Brother Rice as a part of the class of 2015, and he was a teammate of quarterback Alex Malzone (who went to Michigan before transferring to Miami-OH). Perry caught 105 passes for 1,727 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior. He really wanted a Michigan offer, which didn’t like it would come, so he committed to Northwestern in December of 2014. When Jim Harbaugh was hired in late December, he started trying to put together an improved class. Two days before National Signing Day in February, Harbaugh called up Perry and offered him a scholarship, giving him the opportunity to drop the Wildcats in favor of the Wolverines. I gave him a TTB Rating of 71 (LINK).

Hit the jump for the rest of the post.


Perry wasted no time becoming an impact player in 2015, becoming a prime target for grad transfer quarterback Jake Rudock in game one against Utah. He caught 3 passes for 41 yards in that game, but he also made some freshman mistakes, leading to some turnovers that were statistically attributed to Rudock. He made 14 catches for 128 yards and 1 score that year. He followed that up with 13 catches for 183 yards and 1 score in 2016, and then he became Michigan’s leading receiver (in a very poor passing year overall) in 2017 with 25 catches for 307 yards and 1 touchdown. As a senior in 2018, he made 20 catches for 147 yards, his lowest yards per catch in his career (7.3).


72 catches for 765 yards (10.6 yards/catch) 3 TD
1/1 passing for 12 yards
6 tackles
1 blocked punt return for 1 TD




Perry had a perfectly just fine career at Michigan for the past four years. He was between 13 and 25 catches every year, and he scored 1, 1, 1, and 0 receiving touchdowns in that span. He played in 47 games and started four of them. There was nothing really spectacular about his career, but he was a dependable route runner and only dropped a couple passes total. He had a couple important performances, such as his 54-yard catch-and-run and punt block touchdown against Colorado in 2016 and a 33-yard touchdown against Cincinnati that year to help Michigan pull away in what was a 17-14 game up until that point. Ultimately, the Jim Harbaugh offense wasn’t designed to be kind to slot receivers, and Perry was a solid component on some pretty good teams.


…getting in trouble in East Lansing. All the details don’t need to be rehashed, but Perry created a pretty big stir within the Michigan program (which has largely been devoid of player discipline issues under Harbaugh) when he was arrested in the off-season between 2016 and 2017. It takes a special brand of, uh, I’ll call it “confidence” to go to a bitter rival’s hometown, commit a crime, and then try to escape the police.


I rated Perry as a 71 coming out of high school, which is in the “some NFL draft potential” zone. I don’t think that potential exists at this point. He’s listed at 6’0″, 196 lbs. on Michigan’s roster, and his speed and quickness are nothing special. I suppose stranger things have happened than having an unheralded slot receiver make an impact in the NFL, but I just don’t see it happening with Perry. I would be very surprised if he gets drafted, and I don’t really see him having upside with coming in as an undrafted free agent.


  1. Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    Feb 01, 2019 at 8:16 AM

    Best stretch for Perry was the 2017 non-conference. He made key grabs, and my hope at the time was he’d lead the young WRs as they figured out DO football

  2. Comments: 359
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Feb 01, 2019 at 8:46 AM

    When I saw high school film of Malzone and Perry I was actually thinking that Perry could contribute here and might be a sleeper in the class.

    He really wasn’t a bad third down receiver, not bad hands in the short game. In a different system he might have had significantly better stats or at the very least justified your 71 ranking. I do not think he is quick enough to get into the NFL with any impact.

  3. Comments: 1364
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Feb 01, 2019 at 9:40 AM

    “Ultimately, the Jim Harbaugh offense wasn’t designed to be kind to slot receivers”.

    That’s it in a nutshell. Really wish we would stop talking about “slot receivers” as if they were something meaningful in this offense. People keep hoping that the next “slot receiver” will be a Wes Welker type, making big third down catches all over the place. It will never happen.

    Most telling stat for Perry last year: no play longer than 16 yards. Not only was he not being thrown to downfield (that I get for a “slot” receiver), but he didn’t once catch the ball in stride with room to run. That says a lot about how our passing game, and offense in general, is designed.

    • Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Feb 01, 2019 at 2:17 PM

      I’ll probably come to agree with this if the 2019 offense isn’t putting 3 WR on the field regularly.

    • Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Feb 01, 2019 at 2:39 PM

      No offense to Wes Welker but I hope the next ‘slot WR’ is a Jerry Rice/Desmond Howard/Antonio Brown type.

      Our most productive receivers lining up in the slot in recent years have been Gentry, Funchess, and Hemingway.

      Regardless of where they line up, there’s no reason not to get any/all your WRs (and TEs) downfield when you have Michigan’s talent.

      DPJ seems like an ideal fit in the “slot” – though really you want your WRs to be interchangeable. Move them around to keep defenses guessing. No reason Collins can’t be going deep from the slot.

      • Comments: 6285
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Feb 01, 2019 at 2:46 PM

        Oh and Jake Butt of course.

  4. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Feb 01, 2019 at 2:21 PM

    Am I the only one who sees progress in how Perry’s role has changed over the last 4 years? From major snaps against Utah in his first game as a true freshman to a marginal backup by his senior year. Presumably he got better, not worse, in that timeframe – but his role was small.

    • Comments: 3844
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Feb 01, 2019 at 2:50 PM

      I assume you mean team progress when you say “progress.” As in the team needed him to play as a freshman because of the lack of talent, and then by his senior year, the team didn’t need him as much. And yes, I agree. Even though he ended up with more catches as a senior (20) than he did as a freshman, he seemed like an afterthought rather than a prime target as a senior. He had 5 catches against Notre Dame in the opener, but after that, he was largely off the radar.

      • Comments: 6285
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Feb 01, 2019 at 4:28 PM

        Yes I mean team progress.

        In 2015 you had 2 solid WRs (Chesson/Darboh), similar to 2018 (DPJ/Collins). After that things got dodgy. Drake Harris and Mo Ways? Perry didn’t have much competition.

        The 2018 team had better depth with Black (in injury-recovery mode, granted), Martin, Bell and even some decent options at walk-on. This despite the big 2016 WR class (Crawford, McDoom, etc.) being a total whiff.

        Not a huge deal, just an indication of progress made.

  5. Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    Feb 02, 2019 at 1:38 AM

    Absolutely agree on progress at WR. Noticed that early this year

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