Are you targeting a young NFL TE born in Goldsboro, North Carolina? If you are, be prepared to spend an early pick to get him. I don’t think you will see a second year player with 29 receptions in his rookie campaign jump up draft boards like this kid will this year.
Let’s just put it out there, this is Antonio Gates’s fault. If Mr. Gates did not have games in which he blows up, we would not search every year to land the next clone. Jimmy Graham’s college career is a basketball career. He played basketball for Miami from 2005 thru 2009 on a scholarship, and double majored. He returned to Miami to attend graduate classes and played TE. He posted 17 receptions for 213 yards. He displayed all the athleticism needed to get a drafted in round three by the New Orleans Saints.
His 4.50 forty yard dash time, and his limited blocking ability, make him all the more attractive to perspective fantasy General Managers, he is a pass catching threat period. So we all, well most of us, had him on our short list, particularly in dynasty leagues last year. Some General Managers dropped him during cuts, believing they could sneak him back aboard come July or August. Then the Saints let Jeremy Shockey go, and BAM! Jimmy’s stock began a new climb.
If you have some doubts or reservations, let me share some recent draft activity in the Jim Day Draftmaster Leagues. In 11 newly drafted leagues here are the slots Mr. Graham was selected:
So, my suggestion for draft day strategy, hype Jimmy Graham and get a General Manager to select him early. There are ample great value Tight Ends sliding late in off season mock drafts. Kellen Winslow, Owen Daniels, and Greg Olsen are all great picks later than Graham. Additionally, last year disappointments Dustin Keller and Brent Celek should bounce back very strongly in 2011.