PROS: Has very good athleticism, and able to make jump catches using his vertical leap. Can make the grab in traffic. Has nice hands and adjusts to the ball in the air. Has nice speed. Effective effort blocker due to his size and able get seal on the edge.
CONS: Raw. Will body catch at times. Needs to improve his route-running and get a better release off the line. Lacks pop as a blocker and underwhelming at times there considering his size.
OVERVIEW: A former UM basketball player, he showed considerable improvement as the year progressed in his lone year playing football. Hadn't played since his junior high school days. He was used mostly in the red zone by the Hurricanes, but was starting to show better range in the final month of the season. Finished year with 17 grabs and 5 touchdowns. Only had 2 games where h caught more than 2 passes. As a power forward, he averaged 16.1 minutes, 4.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks per game in four years. Also shot 50.8% from the field, starting 40 of 120 total games.
NFL FORECAST: Graham has a bright future, but is a bit of a project. His basketball past will draw immediate comparisons to players like Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez, and he does have that sort of athleticism and ability to be a matchup nightmare for NFL defenses. However, he's raw, and is re-learning the position, but the improvement he showed from September to January tells me that he has a good chance of living up to his potential on the next level. He's going to need some time, but I think he could be an impact receiver by his third season. His blocking and route-running are two areas that need to improve, but they did get better as he progressed last year as well. He'll probably never be a top blocker, but could be above average down the road. I think he has a bright NFL future, it just may take some time for him to reach it.
ATL FORECAST: Graham has a chance to succeed Gonzalez down the road, although I'm not confident he's going to be ready to be an impact player by 2011 if Gonzo decides to hang it up. But with his size, speed, and athletic ability he has the potential to be a matchup nightmare for defenses and danger in the redzone just like Gonzalez. But if not by 2011, it shouldn't be that long after that before Graham starts to pay dividends. I'm not sure he'll ever be a consistent go-to target as a receiver like the top NFL tight ends, but he should be productive as a complementary option at the least.
VALUE: Graham's athletic potential is on par with first round tight ends, but considering how raw he is, teams should wait until the second round.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
BODY CONTROL: 4.0
Scouting reports of tight ends in the 2010 draft.
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