Five Best Tight Ends the Buccaneers Face in 2016
5. Jimmy Graham
Who would have thought that this player would have been anything short of number one?
Don’t get me wrong, Graham is well-deserving of being on this list. This was a find for the Saints in the third round of the 2010 draft. Once he became Drew Brees‘ favorite target, he was near unstoppable. For four straight seasons, Graham caught no less than 85 passes per season. He averaged just under 89 receptions per year, nearly 12 touchdowns per year, and 1,099 receiving yards per year.
He put up 99 receptions in 2011 and a whopping 16 touchdowns in 2013, two of his three Pro Bowl appearances. Standing at 6’7″ tall, he represents a force that is tough to beat when his team enters the red zone. He will only be turning 30 this year, leaving him right in his prime.
For his career, he has played the Bucs nine times and averaged over 70 yards per game.
Graham would be higher on the list if the Seahawks work him more into the scheme. In 11 games, he was only targeted 74 times by Russell Wilson, a far cry from the four straight 100 target seasons. Combine that with him recovering from a knee injury and he may not be what he used to be.
But Mike Smith better not forget about him, because he can play.
Next: Number Four