If Jimmy Graham can bounce back in 2019, it will help the Green Bay Packers offense get back on track.
New offense, better luck for the Green Bay Packers at tight end?
After making multiple free agency signings and now a draft pick at the position, the Packers will be hoping new head coach Matt LaFleur can help Jimmy Graham get back to his best in 2019.
Playing in all 16 games, Graham caught 55 passes for 636 yards and two touchdowns. He finished second on the team in receiving yards and was tied for second in receiving touchdowns.
Despite finishing second in receiving for the Packers, it wasn’t a great season for Graham, who was inconsistent and failed to make a significant impact in the red zone. He tied his career-low in touchdowns with just two, but the other season was in 2015 when he missed five games with injury.
Some of the blame goes to Graham, and he was frustrated with his performance late in the season, but it’s also important to consider the offense as a whole. Outside of Davante Adams, which player offered consistent production as a receiver? Adams had 13 receiving touchdowns on the year, which is more than the rest of the team combined.
So the fact Graham finished second on the team in receiving suggests he was possibly playing at the highest possible level in an offense that struggled throughout the season and lacked creativity.
Odds of making roster: 99 percent
If the Packers were going to move on from Graham, it would have happened earlier in the offseason. You can never rule out a surprise cut in September if Graham doesn’t play well at training camp, but that’s unlikely.
What to expect in 2019?
Was Graham’s drop in production a sign of what’s to come, or was it just a bad season in a struggling offense? Graham turns 33 in November, so it’s entirely possible his best football is behind him and it will be more of the same.
But there’s also a chance a change in head coach and offensive scheme will lead to a bounce-back season. Mike McCarthy’s offenses rarely led to success at the tight end position, but it’s possible that changes with LaFleur calling the plays.
If nothing else, the Packers will be hoping Graham can offer more inside the red zone. That alone would help this year’s offense improve in a big way.