Jimmy Graham 'flying' at Saints camp

The New Orleans Saints dominated the conversation when our podcast crew asked on Wednesday which NFL offense would finish the year as the league's most prolific.

Drew Brees fronts an outfit that boasts a deep backfield, younger wideouts and a dazzling newcomer in rookie receiver Brandin Cooks. The Saints' attack, though, still channels back through Jimmy Graham, a tight end being paid much more than his peers because he's one of the NFL's more unique players at any position.

Graham has accounted for an outrageous 270 catches, 3,507 yards and 36 touchdowns over the past three seasons, doing a chunk of that damage while saddled with a plantar fascia injury. Now fully healthy, the playmaking pass-catcher is turning heads at Saints camp.

"The dude's flying. He's faster than last year, he seems stronger," safety Kenny Vaccaro recently told ESPN.com's Mike Triplett.

The praise came after Graham whipped down the field past Vaccaro, whom coordinator Rob Ryan called "the best overall safety" in the game last season.
Like Vaccaro on Ryan's defense, Graham can be utilized all over the field on offense, using his speed and tackle-breaking ability to dominate matchups. Only Julius Thomas had more yards after the catch (472) than Graham's 433 last autumn, but it took Thomas 247 more snaps to do so, per Pro Football Focus.

With Graham fully operational and Cooks stepping into a version of the Darren Sproles role on offense, the Saints loom as a megaton-level headache for the rest of the NFC.

Bookmark and Share
blog comments powered by Disqus