The Detroit Lions recently hired Darrell Bevell as their new offensive coordinator. If tight end Jimmy Graham hits the open market, could the two reunite in the Motor City?
The Detroit Lions have a long way to go towards improving their anemic offensive performance from last season. Though injuries certainly played a role in the steep decline, consistently underwhelming production came from the tight end position.
General manager Bob Quinn had a plan in place for life after Eric Ebron. Quinn signed free agent tight ends Luke Willson and Levine Toilolo, two players who demonstrated competence as blockers and pass catchers with their previous teams, to compliment Michael Roberts.
By virtually all standards, Quinn’s post-Ebron plan failed miserably. Across the board, the production (or lack thereof) from the Lions’ tight ends was staggering. The trio of Willson, Toilolo, and Roberts combined for a total of 43 receptions for 450 yards and four touchdowns.
It would be reasonable to assume that the Lions will use as many avenues as possible to improve the position group. This year’s draft class includes a number of intriguing prospects, but a possible solution may also exist in one of new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s former players – Jimmy Graham.
According to ProFootballTalk, there is a possibility that the Green Bay Packers may cut Graham after just one season with the team.
In the event that Graham hits the open market, the Lions would appear to be a natural fit. Although age and injuries have slowed him down, he is familiar with Bevell’s offense and is an imposing target if used properly. At 6’7″ and 265 pounds, Graham can still use his size to get the job done.
Last season with the Packers, a team that hardly relies on the tight end in their passing game, Graham still out-produced all the Lions’ tight ends combined. He finished with 55 receptions for 635 yards and two scores.
Graham will turn 33 next season, so he is by no means a long-term solution. For the right price, however, his veteran leadership and athleticism would certainly be an upgrade from what the Lions currently have.