The Packers tried to acquire a receiving tight end for the last two years when they added Martellus Bennett and Jared Cook. Neither met expectations and the Packers landed Jimmy Graham to give Aaron Rodgers a proven, elite option in the passing game. Not coincidentally, the Packers released Jordy Nelson shortly after the signing was announced.
|Year||Team||Gms||Plays||Targets||Catch||Catch Yards||YPC||Catch TDs||Car||Rush Yards||Rush TDs||Fum||Total Yards||Total TDs||25+ Yd TDs||50+ Yard Gms||1+ TD Gms|
Graham saw his numbers decline when he moved from the Saints to the Seahawks though he remained a top fantasy tight end. He gains the unique advantage of pairing up with Drew Brees early in his career and now with Aaron Rodgers for two of the best quarterbacks arguably in NFL history.
The Packers had little productivity from the tight end position since the days of Jermichael Finley during Rodger’s early years nearly a decade ago. The signing of Graham signals a fundamental change to the offense that regularly employed three and four wide receivers. Graham’s best strength is catching red zone touchdowns – a skill shared with the departed Jordy Nelson who averaged over ten scores per season over the last six years.
Graham went to the Seahawks that had not relied on a tight end in recent seasons and still built up to the ten scores of 2017. Now he arrives in Green Bay where the Packers will be missing around ten touchdowns that Jordy Nelson normally provided. They knew where they would go before releasing Nelson.