We won’t have a concrete picture of what the Buffalo Bills receiving depth chart will look like until the end of training camp, but T.J. Graham already appears poised for a breakout season. The Bills made Graham the 69th overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, seeing major upside in the former track star. Graham possesses exceptional speed, and could be a deadly target on the outside for a quarterback capable of throwing the ball down field.
Unfortunately, Graham had a relatively quiet rookie season, but it wasn’t from a lack of skill. He had 31 catches for a total of 322 yards and one touchdown on the season. These numbers are far from pretty, but considering how seldom Graham was on the field throughout his rookie year, they are also perfectly justifiable. Graham showed the ability to make some big plays when given the opportunity, and has reportedly made major strides this offseason in his overall confidence level and consistency.
Ultimately, Graham’s success in 2013 will be determined by the success of the Bills’ starting quarterback, whoever that may be. Right now it is a two-man race between Kevin Kolb and EJ Manuel, which doesn’t necessarily bode well for the team’s offense. Nonetheless, Graham’s speed makes him an instant threat on the outside, and both of these incumbent QBs possess a great deal more down field accuracy than Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was the Bills’ signal caller last year.
If Graham can establish chemistry with Buffalo’s new quarterback, then he could be in for a huge season. If Doug Marrone and Nathaniel Hackett‘s uptempo offense proves to be as effective at the pro level as it was during their years at Syracuse, then Graham could become a vital piece of one of the AFC’s most potent offenses. There’s a lot of ‘if’s’ here and we should have a much better idea of Graham’s role within the Bills offense come fantasy draft time, but so far Graham has ‘sleeper’ written all over him.