New Orleans Saints: TE Jimmy Graham Making Big Impression At Rookie Camp
Currently the Saints are hosting a bevy of players they drafted or invited for workouts at their “rookie camp”, an event that is closed to the public and media alike.
The camp represents the first chance for the Saints to get a long close look at their coveted draft picks and to scope out the talent that went undrafted for whatever reason in hopes of finding the next hidden gem.
Early reports out of the camp mention the Saints third round draft selection tight end Jimmy Graham to be showcasing some elite ability and the type of work ethic that coaches covet, head coach Sean Payton had this to say about his newest weapon.
"“If you were just watching he’s a been a guy who has stood out,” Payton said in between practices at the Saints facility in Metairie. “He has things to learn but he’s willing to do that and he’s smart.”"
Graham, a former basketball star at the University of Miami, switched to football his senior year catching 17 passes for 213 yards and five touchdowns mainly being utilized in red zone situations.
At 6-6 260 pounds Graham ran a 4.5 forty at the combine and is uniquely athletic for such an imposing frame that many experts predict, with time, could become just as good as tight ends Anthony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates.
Both Gonzalez and Gates took similar paths as Graham developing into star collegiate basketball players before moving on the the NFL to have very productive careers.
Here is what Graham has said of his experience at rookie camp to date courtesy of the Times-Picayune.
"“I was told by a lot of veterans who come back to ‘the U’ what to expect and how to prepare for it,” Graham said, explaining how rookie camp has matched his expectations. “But it’s all a wonderful opportunity and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”"
Some criticized the Saints selection of Graham in the draft claiming he was just too raw a football player to be taken in the third round or even at all after such a short stint in college football.
That opinion seems to be few and far between as most close the sport think Graham could develop into the steal of the draft, the Saints included.