It appears that the New Orleans Saints have all but ruled Jimmy Graham out for the week seven game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, there is still a slim chance that he could play and I think if he does play, he could still be effective.
Graham is one of the best tight ends in the NFL and he is so much more than a catching tight end. In my eyes, Graham is a complete tight end and by that I mean he can catch the ball but he is also an effective blocker.
In the NFL today, you do not see many tight ends who are effective blockers as most tight ends are really just bigger, stronger wide receivers. However, in Graham’s case, he is a good blocker. One of Graham’s favorite players is Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez.
There is no doubt that Graham wants to model his game after Gonzalez’s and Gonzalez is a more traditional tight end who can catch and block effectively. During the Saints’ 31-24 win against the San Diego Chargers, Graham sustained an ankle injury and was limited to only one catch for four yards.
Despite his limited production, Graham was still able to be effective. The Saints used him as a decoy and really gave the Chargers’ defense a headache. Drew Brees was able to throw four touchdowns in the win and part of the reason was because the Saints did a great job making Graham a decoy.
Graham is a big target and will always get a lot of attention from opposing team’s defenses. Furthermore, on his ailing ankle he was able to line up on the line and be an effective blocker and create opportunity for Brees and the wide receivers.
If Graham plays this Sunday, and that is a big if, he can still be effective for the Saints. Graham is such a big target who is great as a decoy and if he can come in and give the Saints some good blocking, he can help the team.