Jimmy Graham  TE  Miami 


 Round 4



I don't think there is any doubt about Jimmy's athletic talent, size or speed to play the tight end position at the next level.  He has excellent long strides and covers a lot of ground very quickly, which will cause match-up nightmares for defensive coordinators.  Jimmy looks the part of an impact tight end/slot/wide receiver for the team that drafts him. 



So many questions and so little room.  Right now, Jimmy runs one route.  He runs up the hash marks and slants to the sidelines.  Not a route that sends a signal that Jimmy can catch a ball with the pressure of getting his head knocked off his shoulders.  He shows good hands, but he does not fight for the ball the way most TE's will have to fight for a ball in double coverage.  Jimmy does not block.  That's it... he just does not block.  He has the talent, but for the purposes of promoting himself, I suspect that he knew that learning to block would take time and effort and that is not how he was going to be drafted by the NFL.  Jimmy runs down the field real fast, beats his man with speed and catches the ball.  That's all that Jimmy does.  He doesn't block, he was not an every down player and he hasn't learned any routes to run other than one route that does not require him getting hit.  I will say this about Jimmy: he is smart and there is no athletic reason why he cannot become an excellent player for the team that drafts him. 



Let me try to put this situation in perspective for you.  Jimmy as a late round pick could be a steal.  He has great talent and looks like he plays with excellent intensity.  It doesn't look like he is afraid to take a hit, but you have to agree with me that Jimmy has not played enough to get a good feel for how he will react to the adversity of being a true tight end at the next level.  He doesn't know the route tree and doesn't know how to run routes; therefore, making him a wide receiver will take time.  He is smart, but not learning to block and not wanting to block are two different things.  I don't like to draft situational players in the first three rounds unless you can use those types of players in different types of situations like special teams and third downs.  I don't see a special teams player in Jimmy.  So that means he is a part time player for his college team that has played football for one year.  He doesn't know routes and does not even block as well as most wide receivers going into the draft.  He is smart and does have excellent athleticism.  Jimmy's measurables do indicate that he can become an impact player and it is very hard not to want to draft a kid with those types of measurables earlier than I have suggested.  There are some very good tight ends in this draft and I feel that most of their measurables are equal to Jimmy's.  For this draft I would have a hard time not drafting some of those players ahead of Jimmy.  In breaking down Jimmy, I could not justify his LTI being any better than a player who should be drafted in the fourth round or further down in the draft.  Others will disagree with me and that is what the draft is all about.  For me, it's a business; for others, it's a gamble.  I like to limit the gambles and prefer to try to make a calculated business decisions.  My hope is that I hit on more good players than I miss on.  Drafting Jimmy after the fourth round seems to me to be a good calculated business decision that I would hope works out for both parties.  Drafting Jimmy in the first three rounds seems like too much of a gamble to me.  I like this kid's potential, but I just think what round he is drafted in will have a significant impact on his success for the next level. 


Drew Boylhart  3/10