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For the Scottish footballer, see Jimmy Graham (footballer).
Jimmy Graham
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Graham in the 2012 NFL season.
No. 80     New Orleans Saints
Tight end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1986-11-24) November 24, 1986 (age 32)
Place of birth: Goldsboro, North Carolina
High School: Wilson (NC) Charis Prep
Height: 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) Weight: 265 lb (120 kg)
Career information
College: Miami (FL)
NFL Draft: 2010 / Round: 3 / Pick: 95
Debuted in 2010 for the New Orleans Saints
Career history
* New Orleans Saints ( 2010–present)
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
* Pro Bowl (2011)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2012
Receptions     215
Receiving yards     2,648
Receiving TDs     25
Stats at NFL.com

Jimmy Graham (born November 24, 1986) is an American football tight end for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). He played only one year of college football for the University of Miami after playing four years of college basketball, and was drafted by the Saints in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

In his second season in the NFL, Graham had 99 receptions for 1,310 yards and 11 touchdowns. That year he made his first Pro Bowl appearance and was selected as an All-Pro player at his position. He became the first tight end in Saints history to have more than 1,000 receiving yards in a season.[1] Graham set the Saints franchise record for receptions in a season while also tying the Saints franchise record for touchdowns in a season (tied with Marques Colston and Joe Horn).[2] According to the 2012 NFL Top 100 annual player poll which ranks the 100 greatest players in the NFL, based on NFL players voting on their peers, Jimmy Graham was ranked 14th overall in the NFL. Graham is also second all-time for most receiving yards by a tight end in a single season.[3]

Early yearsEdit

Graham had a difficult upbringing; at age 11 he was placed in a group home where he was physically beaten by older children. In high school, with help from a church youth counselor who took him into her home, he improved his grades, became a basketball star as a senior at Community Christian in Wilson, North Carolina[4] and at Charis Prep in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and earned a basketball scholarship to the University of Miami.[5][6]

College careerEdit

Graham played basketball for the Miami Hurricanes men's basketball team from 2005 to 2009. Graham graduated from Miami in May 2009 with a double major in marketing and management, then stayed at Miami to take graduate classes while playing a season of football. He played tight end and finished the season with 17 receptions for 213 yards and five touchdowns.[5][7]

Professional careerEdit

2010 NFL DraftEdit

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 6¼ in 260 lb 4.53 s 1.53 s 2.61 s 4.45 s 6.90 s 38½ in 10 ft 0 in

According to scouts Graham was "extremely athletic, with an outstanding combination of size and speed for the tight end position," yet he was considered very raw since he only had one year of college football experience.[10] Graham was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft, with the 95th overall selection. He signed a four-year $2.445 million rookie contract on July 28, 2010.[11]

New Orleans SaintsEdit

In his rookie season in 2010 Graham only started in 5 games, playing behind veteran tight end Jeremy Shockey. In a Week 9 game at Carolina - his first NFL game in his home state - Graham caught a 19-yard touchdown pass to score his first NFL touchdown, contributing to a 34-3 Saints rout.[12] Graham finished the 2010 season with 31 catches for 356 yards and 5 touchdowns.

In 2011 - his first full year as a starter - Graham had 99 receptions for 1,310 yards and 11 touchdowns and made his first Pro Bowl.[13] He became the first tight end in Saints history to have more than 1,000 receiving yards in a season.[1] He set the franchise record for receptions in a season while also tying the Saints franchise record for touchdowns in a season (Marques Colston in 2007, and Joe Horn in 2004, are the other receivers in Saints history with 11 touchdown catches).[2] During the Saints week 17 win over the Carolina Panthers, Graham broke Kellen Winslow's NFL record of 1,290 receiving yards in a season by a tight end. However, the record was broken later that day by New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who finished with 1,327 yards.[14] In the Divisional Round against the 49ers Graham had a 66 yard touchdown to give the Saints the lead but the Saints would lose 36-32 on an Alex Smith pass to Vernon Davis.

Career statisticsEdit

Year Team G GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD
2010 New Orleans 15 5 31 356 11.5 52 5
2011 New Orleans 16 11 99 1,310 13.2 59 11
2012 New Orleans 15 9 85 982 11.6 46 9
Total 46 25 215 2,648 12.3 59 25

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 John DeShazier, "New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham setting some lofty standards", Times-Picayune, December 4, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "New Orleans Saints individual records -- not including quarterback Drew Brees" Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  3. "Top Five Tight Ends in NFL History". Yahoo. http://voices.yahoo.com/top-five-tight-ends-nfl-11032610.html.
  4. Dave Joseph, "Jimmy Graham Felt Unwanted, Unloved, Hopeless, Until A . . . Savior Appeared", South Florida Sun-Sentinel, January 7, 2006.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Jason Cole, "TE prospect adept at overcoming obstacles", Yahoo! Sports, April 8, 2010.
  6. James Varney, "New Orleans Saints rookie Jimmy Graham appreciates life's lessons", Times-Picayune, May 17, 2010.
  7. Brett Martel, "Saints' rookie Graham grateful for life's lessons", AP reprinted at New Orleans Saints official website, May 14, 2010 (accessed November 8, 2010).
  8. Jimmy Graham 2010 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile
  9. Jimmy Graham Combine Profile at NFL.com
  10. "NFL Featured Prospect Profile", Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  11. Mike Triplett, "New Orleans Saints agree to terms with veteran quarterback Patrick Ramsey, rookie tight end Jimmy Graham", Times-Picayune, July 28, 2010.
  12. James Varney, "New Orleans Saints' Jimmy Graham scores first TD in return home", Times-Picayune, November 08, 2010.
  13. Five New Orleans Saints named to Pro Bowl, including first-timers Jimmy Graham and Jermon Bushrod
  14. Graham, Gronkowski go back and forth with tight end yardage mark

External linksEdit

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