It was announced on Thursday that New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham had been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month. This was a historic moment for the Graham end, as it marked the first time a tight end has received this honor since the award was created by the NFL in 1986. This should not have come as a surprise, however.
Through his first four games, Graham has tallied 458 receiving yards on only 27 receptions, which works out to a very impressive 17 yards per catch. Graham has also scored six receiving touchdowns, tying him for the No. 1 spot with the Denver Broncos‘ Wes Welker. Were he to stay healthy, not miss a game, and keep up the same pace, Graham would end up finishing the season with around 24 touchdowns. This would move him ahead of 1987’s Jerry Rice, who reeled in 22 touchdown catches, and 2007’s Randy Moss, who did one better with 23 in terms of single-season receiving touchdowns.
It is also entirely possible that Graham could surpass these records as the season continues to progress. Graham has proven to be a nightmare matchup for opposing defenses, as evidenced by Monday night’s touchdown grab that saw him jump up and snag the ball in the end zone in triple coverage.
That’s right, triple coverage.
In fact, after that play unfolded, one of the commentators, either Jon Gruden orMike Tirico, said that Drew Brees should have actually thrown the ball to one of the other receivers who were open instead of Graham. They quickly pointed out, however, that when you are throwing to Graham, it doesn’t really matter, because he can make himself available to snag throws that other receivers would not be able to.
All this bodes well for a Saints organization that is trying to reach the playoffs after a lackluster 2012 season. It is also good news for Graham himself, as he will be seeking a bigger, long-term contract at the end of the year.
Keep an eye on this young tight end, he will continue to make the Saints a dangerous offensive opponent in the weeks to come.