As I was reading around the “Interwebs” today, I came across an article by NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling on the top 25 free agents. It got me to thinking, “Who on this list would fit in with the Green Bay Packers and what would it look like?”
I am going to attempt to write an article for each one from top to bottom, and give some perspective on whether they would help, if they could produce an impact in the Packers’ scheme, and allow us to simply dream a little.
The list starts with tight end Jimmy Graham.
Graham has played his entire NFL career with the New Orleans Saints, racking up 301 receptions, 3,863 yards, and 41 TDs. This year Graham went off for 86 receptions for 1,215 yards and 16 TDs despite missing 4 games while fighting a partially torn plantar fascia. He is a match-up nightmare at 6- 7, 265 pounds.
Graham is the player on this list most likely to not leave his current team. The Saints simply cannot survive the loss of Graham given they do not have a stockpile of weapons anymore. Defenses have learned how to key in on Marques Colston, and while I expect Darren Sproles to have a bounce-back year next season, I do not see defenses being scared of him if Graham is missing.
So, what if Jimmy Graham somehow escaped the confines of the Superdome and dropped into the middle of Lambeau?
For one, I think Aaron Rodgers may explode from happiness, along with every Packers fan out there. Graham, as mentioned, is simply a nightmare to plan around. While his physicality is a bit questionable (he did fade down the stretch, especially when teams schemed for him), I’d be willing to chalk that up to injury. In Green Bay, Graham would not have to be a focal point given Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Eddie Lacy.
Graham would have an immediate impact with the Packers. Jermichael Finley was on his way to a career season (25 receptions, 300 yards, and 3 TDs in 6 games) before injury. Given that Finley’s return is unlikely (unfortunately, we have experience with this from the Nick Collins injury), Graham would fill a need – replacing one superstar with another.
While we all know this will not happen (the Saints will find a way to sign Graham), what would you think of Graham in Green and Gold? Stats, projections, predictions? Leave a comment below!