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Is Jimmy Graham still a top tier Tight End?

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  • Hey guys, local Saints fan here. We are having a discussion on our Saints Forum about Jimmy Graham and the probability of him returning to the Saints. It seems that many Saints fans don't follow the Seahawks enough to give an accurate opinion of his situation, but I thought that I would bring the discussion here to the people who have watched him for the last 3 years.

    My thinking is that Jimmy is still a top tier tight end, he has just had issues that were outside of his control.
    1) Russ and Doug have that connection that Jimmy never got in on.
    2) Seattle is run first, run often.
    3) Darrell Bevell (it actually probably starts and ends here).

    But what are your thoughts, is Jimmy still a top tier guy who was just misused?

    Here is the Saints thread for those of you interested in reading the thoughts of others on JG.

    https://saintsreport.com/forums/showthr ... 205&page=2
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  • Honestly it seemed quite often this year, he was disinterested. He also had a lot of drops this year at inopportune times. Having said that, he was a red zone animal. I think a change of scenery could rekindle that spark inside him that seemed to be missing.
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  • I’m itching to resign him now we have a new OC, personally.

    3 year $21M-$24M deal ‘should’ get it done IMO.

    He’s quite hard to evaluate, though. Pretty much non existent between the 20’s but in the red zone? A total animal. I really don’t want to go back to our red zone struggles again and fear we will if he does leave Seattle.

    Despite my feelings, I’m 70% confident he will be on another team in 2018.
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  • What most people miss is that in 2016, he was the reverse of his 2017 self - animal between the 20s, fading out in the red zone.

    We know he can do both. We also have a new OC who may or may not misuse him. I personally hope he's back.

    As far as "disinterested", nobody can telepathically glean what his attitude was.

    That said, I imagine some other team that's less focused on running will probably snatch him up and pay him more than we're able to. But I hope not.
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  • I think he's still elite in the RZ, but he seemed slower than last year. Not sure if it was due to disinterest/frustration or athletic decline. He was frequently on the injury report so he might also have been hurt.

    We barely used him between the 20s. That's a combination of him not being open, drops, and scheme.
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  • Red zone threat mostly at this point. We need a guy that can block. As stated above lots of drops and is soft for his size.
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  • I guess the question boils down to do we want a Zach Ertz/Travis Kelce kind of TE. Someone who's not a beast in the endzone but can still contribute to a potent offense with run blocking and route running? Or do we want an Antonio Gates/Jimmy Graham kind of TE that can post up players and is unstoppable in the Red zone
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  • MontanaHawk05 wrote:What most people miss is that in 2016, he was the reverse of his 2017 self - animal between the 20s, fading out in the red zone.

    We know he can do both. We also have a new OC who may or may not misuse him. I personally hope he's back.

    As far as "disinterested", nobody can telepathically glean what his attitude was.

    That said, I imagine some other team that's less focused on running will probably snatch him up and pay him more than we're able to. But I hope not.


    Body language says a lot.
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  • I'd prefer to let him walk, and draft a tight end.

    Let the team get that comp pick.

    We need to establish a running game, and Graham wouldn't help with that imo. He can go back to New Orleans and put up nice stats again.
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  • seahawkfreak wrote:
    MontanaHawk05 wrote:What most people miss is that in 2016, he was the reverse of his 2017 self - animal between the 20s, fading out in the red zone.

    We know he can do both. We also have a new OC who may or may not misuse him. I personally hope he's back.

    As far as "disinterested", nobody can telepathically glean what his attitude was.

    That said, I imagine some other team that's less focused on running will probably snatch him up and pay him more than we're able to. But I hope not.


    Body language says a lot.


    +1.
    As does 2nd in the NFL in drops.

    Graham is done here, so don't anyone get too attached. If you want a run game, you don't spend $10M on a TE that refuses to block.
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  • Jimmy Graham should be playing Split End and Slot exclusively in this offense. He should NEVER be asked to pass block as an in-line blocker.

    If that is possible, then re-sign him. If not, then let him go to a team that knows how to use him effectively.
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  • Jerhawk wrote:I'd prefer to let him walk, and draft a tight end.


    Bad draft for that.
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  • We don't need to draft a TE, Willson is almost a clone of Graham, not a great blocker but a receiver, Vannett was already drafted and should be ready to step up, Swoopes is a player I would like to see more of, seems to like the physical aspect, can run, catch and anyone can block better the Graham. We will surely bring in some FA's as well. and we just got a lot more cap relief.

    10 touchdowns was nice, but there is another 80 yards of field he has to play on and have that same concentration, much like Alexander, fall down and curl from our end zone to the opponents 20, dynamic back from the red zone to the goal line.
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  • We NEED a solid blocking TE. That has been largely missing since Zach Miller retired. It has effected the run game and pass protection.

    There are some good BLOCKING TEs that can be had for close to the vet minimum, i.e. Troy Niklas.
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  • I hope he gets a MASSIVE deal on the market. Hopefully a team overvalues him and we get a nice comp pick. I think the Jimmy ship has sailed so I hope we get something of value in return.

    What I really want is another devastating run blocking tight end who can also give us 25-30 receptions. I wanted Seattle to draft George Kittle last year, but San Fran got him. Maybe we can locate someone this season and concentrate on pounding the rock again.
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  • Vannett is suppose to be that type of TE, now is it because Bevell didn't use him or Cable we don't know, but we drafted him for blocking and as stated the staff was really surprised about how good his hands actually were.
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  • chris98251 wrote:Vannett is suppose to be that type of TE, now is it because Bevell didn't use him or Cable we don't know, but we drafted him for blocking and as stated the staff was really surprised about how good his hands actually were.


    Vannett is a pretty good receiver and a decent blocker who will never dominate the line of scrimmage. He didn't really start to learn how to block at Ohio State until his senior season. If you watched him play earlier in his college career, he was as bad a blocker as Luke Willson. Like Willson, he started to develop those blocking skills later on, while still coming from a receiver-first mindset. As far as why the team touted Vannett's blocking, that is anyone's guess. I agree that Vannett makes Willson's skill set redundant. However, I think we still could use a stronger blocking TE on the roster.
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  • As a catching TE with a coordinator that isn’t brain dead, hell yes!!!!!!
    “I’m Jimmy” isn’t a good blocking TE and our dunce of an OC knew this coming in and still misused him.

    I think he lights it up whether it’s here (not likely) or somewhere else.
    He is a physical mismatch that Seattle refused to use properly.
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  • I think RW and him simply do not connect..Yes there was good RZ TD's this year finally
    but how many plays did we see RW throw low or behind him?
    I think him and Brees go well together and he would do great back in NO.
    We need picks and lower cap hits.
    We also need a blocking TE for sure so bye bye JG(not his fault)
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  • Scorpion05 wrote:I guess the question boils down to do we want a Zach Ertz/Travis Kelce kind of TE. Someone who's not a beast in the endzone but can still contribute to a potent offense with run blocking and route running? Or do we want an Antonio Gates/Jimmy Graham kind of TE that can post up players and is unstoppable in the Red zone


    Aren't Kelce and Ertz not that great as blockers, but are fantastic receivers? I know Ertz was lighting it up in the RZ when Wentz was healthy. Kelce was a monster receiver this year too.
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  • He's not a good fit for the Seahawks System...Little Golden Tate was WAY better at blocking than the 6'7" 270 lb Graham, and as far as I'm concerned, had just as much (if not more) upside in catching the ball between the 20's.
    I'm hoping that the Seahawks can find another Zach Miller TE, either in the upcoming Draft, or FA.
    I think that the Seahawks misused JG, I think that they thought that they could Coach up the big guy to be a better blocker.
    I think he's done playing for the Seahawks...Too much Money, too little upside.
    Too bad too, as personally, I really like the guy.
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  • On most teams, probably.

    If I was Jimmy, I wouldn't re-sign here unless it was by far the most lucrative offer. He was on a Hall of Fame track before he was traded to Seattle.
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  • IndyHawk wrote:I think RW and him simply do not connect..Yes there was good RZ TD's this year finally
    but how many plays did we see RW throw low or behind him?
    I think him and Brees go well together and he would do great back in NO.
    We need picks and lower cap hits.
    We also need a blocking TE for sure so bye bye JG(not his fault)


    How many plays did we see Jimmy develop stone hands??

    On Saints forums some criticize his selfishness, his alligator arms, and his lack of effort on blocking. Very few Saints fans were crying about losing him, and the ones who want him back, want him at the right price

    That matches up with all the criticism we have of him. Some also believe he's lost explosiveness after his injury. I know we can spend all day throwing it on Russell and his supposed inaccurate passes, but tape doesn't lie
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  • Zach Miller was better. Idk...guy can't block and must have balance issues...falls over when u touch him. No rumbling bumbling stumblin
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  • hawknation2018 wrote:We NEED a solid blocking TE. That has been largely missing since Zach Miller retired. It has effected the run game and pass protection.

    There are some good BLOCKING TEs that can be had for close to the vet minimum, i.e. Troy Niklas.


    So true. I would almost rather draft a tackle, put #89 on him and just use him as an extra blocker. Personally, knew a lot of linemen that took pride in catching a ball.

    There has to be a happy medium,,,,,, more so towards the blocking side but linemen like to make big plays too and do not take high points for granted.
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  • The Jimmy is S-O-F-T !!!

    Not suited to a running game focused team. Easily intimidated and taken out of the game.

    Seen what he brings, want him gone.

    Believe he checked out this last season. The team can do better with Willson and Vannett and a half way
    competent OC.
    Until we develop a pass rush that will cause opposing teams to be forced to scheme to defend it we will never be able to consistently take the final step. The interior rush needs improvement. The OLine clearly still needs work.

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  • Scorpion05 wrote:
    IndyHawk wrote:I think RW and him simply do not connect..Yes there was good RZ TD's this year finally
    but how many plays did we see RW throw low or behind him?
    I think him and Brees go well together and he would do great back in NO.
    We need picks and lower cap hits.
    We also need a blocking TE for sure so bye bye JG(not his fault)


    How many plays did we see Jimmy develop stone hands??

    On Saints forums some criticize his selfishness, his alligator arms, and his lack of effort on blocking. Very few Saints fans were crying about losing him, and the ones who want him back, want him at the right price

    That matches up with all the criticism we have of him. Some also believe he's lost explosiveness after his injury. I know we can spend all day throwing it on Russell and his supposed inaccurate passes, but tape doesn't lie

    To be fair,it is correct that JG has had drops that were his fault but overall I feel
    him and RW just never really had it.
    Some is on RW and some on JG when combined with expecting a blocker out of him
    just compounded the problem even more.
    I blame PC/JS just as much for being so short sighted in how he was to be used.
    This trade was in some ways worse than the Harvin one.
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  • If they allowed him to just be a WR and not block, hell yes he is. That being said, he seemed to vanish in certain games, and pout a little as well. That drop he had on the final drive at Jax, he glares at Russ like it was his fault. Ball in hands, you should catch it, period.
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  • Rat wrote:On most teams, probably.

    If I was Jimmy, I wouldn't re-sign here unless it was by far the most lucrative offer. He was on a Hall of Fame track before he was traded to Seattle.


    Exactly how I see it. I dont think he really wants to be here anymore with the lack of effort he displayed. I would be surprised if he was.
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  • I guess we need to define "top tier."

    If it's top 10 TE's in the NFL? Yeah he probably squeaks in there. But if it's top 5? Nope, not even close for me.

    Guys like Gronk, Kelce, Ertz, Olsen, Walker, etc are dynamic route runners, playmakers with exceptional hands that can take over a game.

    I don't think Graham's been that since New Orleans. He wanders out into his routes, drops balls, and is too easily flustered and frustrated...........which takes him out of long stretches of games.

    Not sure why we even keep talking about Graham, he's gone.
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  • MontanaHawk05 wrote:
    Jerhawk wrote:I'd prefer to let him walk, and draft a tight end.


    Bad draft for that.


    Incorrect...Durham Smythe out of Notre Dame would be a great pick and have a nice long career, blocking AND catching.
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  • Here's to hoping he gets a huge deal elsewhere, along w/any other guys who leave in FA. Get them comp picks piled up the next couple seasons.
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  • Sgt. Largent wrote:I guess we need to define "top tier."

    If it's top 10 TE's in the NFL? Yeah he probably squeaks in there. But if it's top 5? Nope, not even close for me.

    Guys like Gronk, Kelce, Ertz, Olsen, Walker, etc are dynamic route runners, playmakers with exceptional hands that can take over a game.

    I don't think Graham's been that since New Orleans. He wanders out into his routes, drops balls, and is too easily flustered and frustrated...........which takes him out of long stretches of games.

    Not sure why we even keep talking about Graham, he's gone.


    But you're also missing....none of those players would be the same in this system, with this OL. System fit is paramount for production, and none would put up the same stats here they do on their teams.

    There has never been a TE that has ever received 100 targets in Hawks history. All the players you named, receive 100, 110, 120, 130 targets a year, depending on the year. Only 1 of them has ever had double digits TDs in a single year in their careers, Gronk, 5x.

    For as much disappointment that he receives around here, Graham holds essentially every single TE Seahawks receiving record (both single season and cumulative) in what amounts to only 2.5 seasons.

    Who knows if he'll be back, but his time with the Hawks isn't as bad as many are making out.


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  • Seahawkville wrote:
    MontanaHawk05 wrote:
    Jerhawk wrote:I'd prefer to let him walk, and draft a tight end.


    Bad draft for that.


    Incorrect...Durham Smythe out of Notre Dame would be a great pick and have a nice long career, blocking AND catching.

    So are you basing an evaluation of the depth of talent at TE in this draft class on one player? One payer? I suggest throwing out a few more names if you are going to argue that the prior statement is incorrect.
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  • scrummymustard wrote:
    Sgt. Largent wrote:I guess we need to define "top tier."

    If it's top 10 TE's in the NFL? Yeah he probably squeaks in there. But if it's top 5? Nope, not even close for me.

    Guys like Gronk, Kelce, Ertz, Olsen, Walker, etc are dynamic route runners, playmakers with exceptional hands that can take over a game.

    I don't think Graham's been that since New Orleans. He wanders out into his routes, drops balls, and is too easily flustered and frustrated...........which takes him out of long stretches of games.

    Not sure why we even keep talking about Graham, he's gone.


    But you're also missing....none of those players would be the same in this system, with this OL. System fit is paramount for production, and none would put up the same stats here they do on their teams.

    There has never been a TE that has ever received 100 targets in Hawks history. All the players you named, receive 100, 110, 120, 130 targets a year, depending on the year. Only 1 of them has ever had double digits TDs in a single year in their careers, Gronk, 5x.

    For as much disappointment that he receives around here, Graham holds essentially every single TE Seahawks receiving record (both single season and cumulative) in what amounts to only 2.5 seasons.

    Who knows if he'll be back, but his time with the Hawks isn't as bad as many are making out.


    Our system and poor O-line has nothing to do with how Jimmy runs routes, mopes when he doesn't get the ball or disappears for entire games because he got hit hard on a crossing route.

    Fantastic athlete that needs to be in a finesse system, that ain't here.
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  • El Caliente wrote:Hey guys, local Saints fan here. We are having a discussion on our Saints Forum about Jimmy Graham and the probability of him returning to the Saints. It seems that many Saints fans don't follow the Seahawks enough to give an accurate opinion of his situation, but I thought that I would bring the discussion here to the people who have watched him for the last 3 years.

    My thinking is that Jimmy is still a top tier tight end, he has just had issues that were outside of his control.
    1) Russ and Doug have that connection that Jimmy never got in on.
    2) Seattle is run first, run often.
    3) Darrell Bevell (it actually probably starts and ends here).

    But what are your thoughts, is Jimmy still a top tier guy who was just misused?

    Here is the Saints thread for those of you interested in reading the thoughts of others on JG.

    https://saintsreport.com/forums/showthr ... 205&page=2


    Jimmy Graham was overrated because he had a lot plays schemed for him in Payton's Air Coryell, and Drew Brees was a top QB in the NFL.

    For the most part, with great scheming and a great QB receivers become fungible.

    For you guys Colston becomes Cooks becomes Thomas.

    Graham becomes Watson for a year who then becomes Kamara and Ingram.

    The Pats work the same way.

    As the Saints are running more due to Brees' arm decline Graham's liability in the running game becomes even more of a liability.

    If I was a Saints there's no way I'd want Graham back.

    Le him go to a bad team with too much cap room. Think of a team like the Browns. He's the type of splashy signing that will be cleared off the books in a few years when cap space might matter. I could also make arguments for him in Indy or Houston.
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  • He doesn’t want to be here.

    It’s jusy been a disaster.

    Get rid. I’d give Vannett a go. Im sure he could catch balls just as good as Jimmy.
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  • I think it just depends on what you mean by "top-tier."

    Is he a 10 million dollar TE? Nope, but he might be a 6-7 million dollar TE.
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  • Gibbo wrote:He doesn’t want to be here.

    It’s jusy been a disaster.

    Get rid. I’d give Vannett a go. Im sure he could catch balls just as good as Jimmy.


    Ah, good. We're relying on a third-round backup to provide the kind of red-zone production that (on average) only 9 or 10 players in the entire LEAGUE, across all positions, provide every season.

    I agree there's a disaster in the vicinity, but I don't think it's in the past.
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  • Sgt. Largent wrote:
    scrummymustard wrote:
    Sgt. Largent wrote:I guess we need to define "top tier."

    If it's top 10 TE's in the NFL? Yeah he probably squeaks in there. But if it's top 5? Nope, not even close for me.

    Guys like Gronk, Kelce, Ertz, Olsen, Walker, etc are dynamic route runners, playmakers with exceptional hands that can take over a game.

    I don't think Graham's been that since New Orleans. He wanders out into his routes, drops balls, and is too easily flustered and frustrated...........which takes him out of long stretches of games.

    Not sure why we even keep talking about Graham, he's gone.


    But you're also missing....none of those players would be the same in this system, with this OL. System fit is paramount for production, and none would put up the same stats here they do on their teams.

    There has never been a TE that has ever received 100 targets in Hawks history. All the players you named, receive 100, 110, 120, 130 targets a year, depending on the year. Only 1 of them has ever had double digits TDs in a single year in their careers, Gronk, 5x.

    For as much disappointment that he receives around here, Graham holds essentially every single TE Seahawks receiving record (both single season and cumulative) in what amounts to only 2.5 seasons.

    Who knows if he'll be back, but his time with the Hawks isn't as bad as many are making out.


    Our system and poor O-line has nothing to do with how Jimmy runs routes, mopes when he doesn't get the ball or disappears for entire games because he got hit hard on a crossing route.

    Fantastic athlete that needs to be in a finesse system, that ain't here.


    Soooo, we agree, he's not a system fit? And as bad as that fit was, he still is the most productive TE in Hawks history? Not bad for someone who disappears for entire games and mopes around all the time. Yea, a super bowl wasn't in play for 2017, but it isn't for 31 teams.

    The stats don't lie; Graham put up never before seen numbers from the TE position in new Orleans, that has yet to be duplicated. Then came here, did the same thing (albeit to a smaller extent than new Orleans). He's a great player, in the wrong offense, being used incorrectly.

    The failure of 2017 offense is on the OL, and it wasn't for lack of investment: a $9M LT, $8M LG, $9M C, 2nd Rd RG & 1st Rd RT.

    I get it, a Zach Miller type TE is a better fit for this offense, but does anyone really think the 2017 season changes with him instead of 88? We couldn't run the ball due to the OL, not because we didn't have a blocking TE.
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  • The problem with evaluating the Seahawks this year on both sides of the ball are injuries and philosophy. The latter has been addressed, the former is always an unknown.

    Personally I would love to have Jimmy back but money is a problem this year. A lot depends on cuts and or possible trades.

    I also think we need to draft a TE. that's why I suggested Smythe.
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  • Seahawkville wrote:The problem with evaluating the Seahawks this year on both sides of the ball are injuries and philosophy. The latter has been addressed, the former is always an unknown.

    Personally I would love to have Jimmy back but money is a problem this year. A lot depends on cuts and or possible trades.

    I also think we need to draft a TE. that's why I suggested Smythe.


    Smythe has been a nice late emergence from the Senior Bowl, but he's one guy at a starved position. That makes it harder to nab him, as other teams will be pushing for his services, and we have few picks.

    I think it's a better bet to take a flier on Tyler Eifert or (gulp) ASJ.
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  • I'm concerned about the receiving situation. I think Graham is a much better weapon, particularly in the red zone, than Paul Richardson. The difference in salaries could be negligible. I'm also leaning toward re-signing Graham instead of Sheldon Richardson because receiver seems like the bigger need.

    With a new OC, maybe Graham can be persuaded to re-sign here.
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  • scrummymustard wrote:
    Soooo, we agree, he's not a system fit? And as bad as that fit was, he still is the most productive TE in Hawks history? Not bad for someone who disappears for entire games and mopes around all the time. Yea, a super bowl wasn't in play for 2017, but it isn't for 31 teams.


    I'm saying not only is Graham not a good system fit, he's not a good team fit either. Thus the reason I give the percentage that he's back at 0%.

    One out of three years as a productive red zone target while being WILDLY inconsistent and downright terrible at every other aspect of the TE position is not "top tier" to me............and it's not to John and Pete who are trying to circle the wagons and get back to the young, physical ball control punishing style of offense.

    Wasn't a good fit when we traded for Graham, and it's certainly an even worse fit three years later when he'll be just as expensive and three years older and less effective.
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  • MontanaHawk05 wrote:
    Seahawkville wrote:The problem with evaluating the Seahawks this year on both sides of the ball are injuries and philosophy. The latter has been addressed, the former is always an unknown.

    Personally I would love to have Jimmy back but money is a problem this year. A lot depends on cuts and or possible trades.

    I also think we need to draft a TE. that's why I suggested Smythe.


    Smythe has been a nice late emergence from the Senior Bowl, but he's one guy at a starved position. That makes it harder to nab him, as other teams will be pushing for his services, and we have few picks.

    I think it's a better bet to take a flier on Tyler Eifert or (gulp) ASJ.


    There's a bunch of good ones.

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  • Top tier is guys like.

    Tony Gonzalez
    Mark Bavarro
    Kellen Winslow Sr
    Zach Miller


    No Graham is not close to one of them, they are a complete TE not a big WR.
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  • chris98251 wrote:Top tier is guys like.

    Tony Gonzalez
    Mark Bavarro
    Kellen Winslow Sr
    Zach Miller


    No Graham is not close to one of them, they are a complete TE not a big WR.


    You honestly believe Zach Miller belongs with the other guys? Let's at least be reasonable.




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  • scrummymustard wrote:
    chris98251 wrote:Top tier is guys like.

    Tony Gonzalez
    Mark Bavarro
    Kellen Winslow Sr
    Zach Miller


    No Graham is not close to one of them, they are a complete TE not a big WR.


    You honestly believe Zach Miller belongs with the other guys? Let's at least be reasonable.




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    Elite top tier, he was heading there till he got Bevelled and Cabled, he was a All Pro coming in from Oakland, then we stopped using him as a receiver, he had it all going for him, remember the Atlanta game and that was with the same injury Bennett had but worse, if I remember his required surgery. In Oakland he was a force, why we made the trade.
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  • chris98251 wrote:Top tier is guys like.

    Tony Gonzalez
    Mark Bavarro
    Kellen Winslow Sr
    Zach Miller


    No Graham is not close to one of them, they are a complete TE not a big WR.

    Mark Bavaro was probaly the best complete TE I ever saw..
    It's no brainer that the Giants had all those 1,000 yrd rushers in his years.
    Winslow was more of a smaller JG though but faster.
    Today Gronk is top tier.
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