Stop Scoreboard Watching
I would be naive to think Jimmy Graham has not lost a step. He has not been the same player since his patella tendon injury in 2015. He will turn 34 late this year too. Age is definitely a factor here and again why many question this move. However, age does not necessarily mean a lack of production.
I have been watching Graham’s 2019 game tape. It seems many have this idea in their heads that Graham is washed. What makes you believe this to be true? Graham is nowhere near as fast as he once was when he played for the Saints. That said, he is still fast enough to take advantage of most linebackers in the league. He still pulls in safety and nickel corner coverage at times. What I found best though was how he was able to find gaps in coverage.
Another area that I was surprised to see when watching Graham was his inline blocking. On more than one occasion I saw him win one-on-one matchups with linemen. Many think Graham and Burton are the same player. In reality, these two can see the field at the same time as Graham can play both the Y tight end and the U tight end in Nagy’s scheme.
Now, let us do exactly what I say not to do and scoreboard watch. When Jimmy Graham decided to sign with the Packers in 2018, he was coming off back-to-back strong seasons with the Seahawks. He even scored 10 touchdowns in 2017. As a Bears fan, I should have been nervous, right? Wrong. I said in the beginning that he’d be fine between the 20s but will not be a big enough red zone threat in Green Bay. Well, it turns out I was right.
If we scoreboard watch over the last three seasons, you will see these tight ends are relatively similar in production despite Graham not being involved enough in the Packers’ red zone success.
Report from Pro-Football-Reference.com.