Packers 2018 prediction: Jimmy Graham will score double-digit touchdowns

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 09: Tight end Jimmy Graham
GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 09: Tight end Jimmy Graham /

Jimmy Graham will find the end zone on at least 10 occasions in his first season with the Green Bay Packers.

Posting double-digit touchdowns in a season is nothing new to Jimmy Graham. He’s hit this milestone four times in his eight-year career.

He’s had the benefit of playing with two elite quarterbacks, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. But now he’s playing with arguably the best passer in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers is highly efficient in the red zone, as are the Packers.

Let’s rewind to 2016, Rodgers’ last fully healthy season. That year he was the most efficient quarterback in the red zone, throwing 33 touchdown passes with zero interceptions inside 20 yards. The next closest to Rodgers in TDs was Drew Brees, who threw 28 with three picks.

That year, Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams were both in the top three for red zone touchdowns, with a combined 20.

Adams was third in that category again last season, which was even more impressive as Rodgers missed half the season with a broken collarbone.

Who was number one in red zone receiving touchdowns? That would be Graham, the Packers’ big offseason signing. Last year, Graham had 16 receptions (second in the NFL) for 108 yards (fourth) and 10 touchdowns (first) inside the red zone.

The Packers are already one of the most efficient red zone offenses in the league. They now have two of the NFL’s top red zone receivers.

Green Bay’s new six-foot-seven tight end is going to be difficult to defend inside the 20, especially with Adams also on the field. With Graham’s ability in the red zone, and Rodgers’ incredible accuracy, it’s going to be a combination almost impossible to defend.

While Graham’s overall numbers dipped last year in Seattle, his numbers in the red zone increased from the season prior.

The Packers will reach their opponents’ 20-yard line with regularity. They now have a big-time target in the red zone who can help them convert good field position into six points.

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Graham has scored nine touchdowns or more five times in eight seasons. I predict he’ll find the end zone at least 10 times this year.