Atlanta Falcons: Jaeden Graham Should Be the Backup Tight End

Atlanta Falcons, Jaeden Graham (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Atlanta Falcons, Jaeden Graham (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons, Jaeden Graham (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

The Encouraging Play of Jaeden Graham

With Luke Stocker having the team’s worse offensive grade (30.7), the Atlanta Falcons should consider giving more snaps to third-string tight end Jaeden Graham. The 6’4 250 pound Graham surprisingly beat out veteran Logan Paulsen, to win the final tight end spot on the team’s roster.

Graham spent last season on the Falcons practice squad, after being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Yale. Nevertheless, he is still considered to be a rookie, since he hadn’t seen official NFL game action or been on an active roster prior to this year.

Jaeden was impressive during the preseason, helping him to win a spot on the club. Known as a receiving tight end, Graham caught a remarkable 80 percent of his targets, pulling in 12 receptions for 127 yards.

Graham finished the preseason with a grade of 70.2, the ninth-highest on the Atlanta offense. Only four skill positions players graded better. Running back Tony Brooks-James was one of those four, and he is no longer with the team.

Wide receiver Russell Gage and running back Kenjon Barner were the only players to earn a receiving grade higher, than the 75.9 that Jaeden Graham posed. However Barner only caught two passes, so Graham was the team’s second most prolific preseason pass catcher.

Although he is known as a receiving tight end, Jaeden Graham also performed admirably as a blocker. His run blocking wasn’t spectacular, but his grade of 61.3 is much better than the 46.5, that Luke Stocker has posted thus far in the regular season. Graham had his best game as run blocker in the team’s finale against Jacksonville, with a grade of 78.1.

Jaeden Graham had a nightmare game as a pass blocker, in preseason game number three against the New York Jets. He graded a paltry 22.4. Yet he was solid in every other game, earning a low mark of 65.9 and a high grade of 78.6.

So far this season Graham has played in just seven snaps. The small sample size has yielded good results, with a run-blocking grade of 70.5 and an overall score of 67.2. That’s more than two times as high, as Luke Stocker’s 30.7 grade.