New Orleans’ third round draft choice in 2010 after playing only one season of college football, Graham is a rising star who in just four seasons has become one of QB Drew Brees’ favorite targets and one of the NFL’s elite tight ends. Posting career totals in only 62 games with 36 starts of 301 catches for 3,863 yards with 41 touchdowns, he’s already shattered the club’s receiving records for a tight end. Graham, who played four years of basketball and one year of football at the University of Miami (Fla.), has recorded 270 receptions for 3,507 yards with 36 touchdowns the past three seasons, ranking him fourth in the NFL in receiving, first at his position. In 2013, he led the Saints in receiving for the third consecutive season with 86 grabs for 1,215 yards with a club-record and NFL-best 16 touchdown grabs, leading NFL tight ends in all major statistical categories. Graham possesses explosive capabilities with 34 career catches of 25-plus yards, including 13 in 2013.
NFL CAREER – New Orleans’ third round draft choice in 2010 after playing only one season of college football, Graham is a rising star who in just four seasons has become one of QB Drew Brees’ favorite targets and one of the NFL’s elite tight ends. Posting career totals in only 62 games with 36 starts of 301 catches for 3,863 yards with 41 touchdowns, he’s already shattered the club’s receiving records for a tight end. Graham, who played four years of basketball and one year of football at the University of Miami (Fla.), has recorded 270 receptions for 3,507 yards with 36 touchdowns the past three seasons, ranking him fourth in the NFL in receiving, first at his position. In 2013, he led the Saints in receiving for the third consecutive season with 86 grabs for 1,215 yards with a club-record and NFL-best 16 touchdown grabs, leading NFL tight ends in all major statistical categories. Graham possesses explosive capabilities with 34 career catches of 25-plus yards, including 13 in 2013.
HONORS – 2013: Pro Bowl; First-team Associated Press All-Pro; All-Pro (CBSSports.com, ESPN.com, Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News); PFWA All-NFL and All-NFC; NFC Offensive Player of the Week (Week 3); NFC Offensive Player of the Month (September). 2012: NFC Offensive Player of the Week (Week 10); 2011: Pro Bowl starter; Second-team Associated Press All-Pro; Pro Football Weekly/PFWA All-NFC; Ed Block Courage Award (Saints recipient).
CAREER TRANSACTIONS – Agreed to terms on a four-year contract, 7/28/10; Selected in the third round (95th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft.
2013 – Enjoyed one of the most prolific campaigns for a tight end in NFL history, leading the team in receiving for the third consecutive season with 86 receptions for 1,215 yards (14.1 avg.) with a team-record 16 touchdowns, the second-highest receiving touchdown total for a tight end all-time in NFL history, which led the NFL in scoring grabs and ranked second in scoring among non-kickers…Led tight ends in virtually every receiving category, while overall, ranked 13th in the NFL in receptions, 15th in receiving yardage and tied for 11th in third down receptions (25)…Also tied the club record for 100-yard receiving games (6), which was tied for most in NFL record books for a tight end...Started and hauled in four receptions for 45 yards and a TD in opener vs. Atlanta, Sept. 8…Started and finished with 10 receptions for a career-high 179 yards with one TD at Tampa Bay, Sept. 15…Started and caught nine passes for a game-high 134 yards and two TDs vs. Arizona, Sept. 22, earning NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career…Capped the month of September by hauling in four passes for 100 yards and two TDs as he became the first tight end to be named NFC Offensive Player of the Month, as his 413 receiving yards over the final three games of the month is tied with Shannon Sharpe (1996) and Dave Kocourek (1961) for the highest total by a tight end in a three-game span…At Chicago, Oct. 6, hauled in 10 receptions for 135 yards (13.5 avg.), as he tied the NFL record streak of four consecutive games with over 100-yards receiving by a tight end. His 548 receiving yards during the streak was the most by a tight end over any four-game span in a single season in NFL history…Caught three passes for 37 yards and two TDs vs. Buffalo, Oct. 27…Started and posted nine receptions for 116 yards with two TD grabs to lead team in catches, yardage and TDs at New York Jets, Nov. 3…Caught five passes for 59 yards vs. Dallas, Nov. 10, as he became the club’s all-time leader in receiving among tight ends…Started and caught a team-leading six passes for 41 yards vs. San Francisco, Nov. 17…Started and led team in receiving, catching five passes for 100 yards, including a 44-yard TD at Atlanta, Nov. 21. With his sixth 100-yard receiving game of the season, tied a franchise record and also tied the NFL single-season mark for a tight end (Tony Gonzalez – 2000, 04)…Led team in receiving with 42 yards, while hauling in one TD to set a team-record with 12 scores on the season at Seattle, Dec. 2…Had six receptions for 58 yards with two TDs, also surpassing the 1,000 yards receiving mark for the second time in three seasons vs. Carolina, Dec. 8…Started and tied for the team receiving lead with five grabs for 73 yards, including a five-yard TD grab at Carolina, Dec. 22…Started and caught five passes for 71 yards and a touchdown in regular season finale vs. Tampa Bay, Dec. 29…Appeared in both postseason contests with one start and recorded four receptions for 52 yards (13.0 avg.). 2012 – Appeared in 15 games with nine starts and led team in receiving for the second consecutive season with 85 receptions for 982 yards with nine touchdowns. Finished third on team in receiving yardage and second in touchdown receptions. Tied for 13th in the NFL in receiving, ranked third at his position. Among tight ends, yardage total ranked second and touchdown total tied for second. With at least one touchdown in the first three games, carrying over from the last three contests of 2011, Graham’s six-game streak of touchdown receptions set a team record, while he tied for the longest streak in touchdowns. The six-game touchdown reception streak is tied for the second-longest among tight ends since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger…In the opener vs. Washington, Sept. 9, started and tied for team-lead with six receptions for 85 yards (14.2 avg.) with one touchdown…Started at Carolina, Sept. 16 and caught seven passes for 71 yards with one touchdown…Started and hauled in four receptions for 16 yards with one touchdown vs. Kansas City, Sept. 23…Made seven receptions for 76 yards at Green Bay, Sept. 30…Inactive due to ankle injury at Tampa Bay, Oct. 21…Returned to lineup at Denver, Oct. 28 and made five receptions for 63 yards with one touchdown…Vs. Philadelphia, Nov. 5, led the team with eight receptions for 72 yards and one touchdown…Enjoyed the most explosive game of career vs. Atlanta, Nov. 11, when he caught seven passes for career-high 146 yards (20.9 avg.) and tied career-best with two touchdowns. Yardage total was the highest by a Saints tight end in a single game. Named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for the first time…Started and led the team in receptions with six catches for 29 yards and one touchdown at Oakland, Nov. 18…Caught four passes for 59 yards (14.8 avg.) at Atlanta, Nov. 29…Finished with five receptions for 56 yards at N.Y. Giants, Dec. 9…Started and recorded five receptions for 69 yards (13.8 avg.) vs. Tampa Bay, Dec. 16…Hauled in seven passes for 88 yards at Dallas, Dec. 23, but his biggest play was when he recovered a fumble by teammate Marques Colston in overtime that set up the game-winning field goal…In season finale vs. Carolina, Dec. 30, led team in receiving with nine catches for 115 yards and one TD. 2011 – Enjoyed the most prolific season by a TE in franchise history in all categories. Played in all 16 games with 11 starts, leading team in catches, yardage and scoring grabs with a club-record 99 receptions for 1,310 yards (13.2 avg.) with 11 touchdowns as he was selected a Pro Bowl starter, second-team Associated Press All-Pro and the team winner of the Ed Block Courage Award. Receiving touchdown total was tied for first in club record books at the time, while yardage total ranks fourth. Yardage total was ranked second all-time in NFL history for tight ends, while receptions total tied for third and scoring grab total was then tied for eighth. Also set team record for a tight end with seven or more receptions in seven games and at least six in 10 contests and also set a club mark for all Saints by having at least 50 yards receiving in 14 games. Contributed to an offense that produced a club record 7,474 net yards and 416 first downs…In postseason, finished with 12 receptions for 158 yards (16.6 avg.) with a team-best three TDs…In NFL opener at Green Bay, Sept. 8, had four receptions for 56 yards, including a fourth quarter five-yard TD grab to put Saints within eight…Finished with six receptions for 79 yards (13.2 avg.) in home opener vs. Chicago, Sept. 18…Had first career 100-yard game, when he finished with four grabs for a team-best 100 yards (25.0 avg.) with one TD vs. Houston, Sept. 25. Fourth quarter 27-yard scoring grab ignited a 23-point fourth quarter…Set new career-highs in catches, yardage (since broken) and a receiving long at Jacksonville, Oct. 2, when he grabbed ten balls for 132 yards (13.2 avg.), including a 59-yard grab, with one TD…Became the first Saints tight end to have three straight 100-yard games when he led New Orleans in receiving and yardage with eight grabs for 129 yards at Carolina, Oct. 9…Became first Saint and only the second tight end since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to have four straight games of 100 yards receiving when he had seven grabs for a game-high 124 yards at Tampa Bay, Oct. 16. This capped a four-game period where Graham had 29 receptions for 485 yards with two TDs…Caught two touchdowns as part of six receptions for 54 yards vs. Indianapolis, Oct. 23, his second career multiple-TD game…Finished with seven receptions for 82 yards, including a second quarter 21-yard scoring grab at Atlanta, Nov. 13…Had his second two-TD performance of the season and third of his career as he tied for the team lead with eight catches for 84 yards vs. N.Y. Giants, Nov. 28…Caught eight passes for 89 yards on Sunday Night Football vs. Detroit, Dec. 4, to become the first Saints tight end to surpass 1,000 yards receiving…Posted five receptions for 55 yards at Tennessee, Dec. 11…Shook off early fumble to record seven receptions for 70 yards with a second quarter one-yard TD grab at Minnesota, Dec. 18…Had four receptions for 42 yards, including a second quarter nine-yard TD grab near the end of the first half to give New Orleans a 21-10 halftime lead vs. Atlanta, Dec. 26. It was the tenth TD grab of the season for Graham, giving him the club record for a tight end…Vs. Carolina, 1/1/12, Graham had eight receptions for 97 yards and a TD. For a brief moment, Graham held the NFL record for receiving yards in a season by a TE (1,310) before New England’s Rob Gronkowki caught a 23-yard pass in the final two minutes at Buffalo to up his season total to 1,327…In his NFL postseason debut in the NFC Wild Card Playoff vs. Detroit, Graham’s third quarter three-yard TD grab opened up a 24-14 lead. Graham tied for the team lead in receiving with seven catches for 55 yards. His reception total was the highest by a Saints TE in a postseason contest…In the NFC Divisional Playoff at San Francisco, Graham finished with five receptions for 103 yards with two TDs, the latter two being franchise playoff records for a TE. Graham’s 66-yard fourth quarter scoring reception, the longest for a Saints TE in a postseason contest, had given New Orleans a lead with under two minutes remaining in the contest…In the Pro Bowl, Graham finished with five receptions for 74 yards, including a second quarter two-yard TD pass from QB Drew Brees. 2010 – Appeared in 15 games with five starts as a rookie and had 31 receptions for 356 yards with five touchdowns…Also had a three-yard rush and one special teams tackle…Reception and yardage total was ranked third all-time among Saints rookie tight ends, and receiving TD total ranked second…Caught four of his TDs in a three-week span from weeks 15-17…Recorded one special teams stop and made an athletic play to save a ball on a punt from going out of bounds that was recovered by LS Jason Kyle to set up a TD vs. Atlanta, Sept. 26…Converted a third down with a three-yard rush vs. Carolina, Oct. 3…Made first career start in two-TE set at Arizona, Oct. 10…Made first career catch, an 11-yard grab at Tampa Bay, Oct. 17…Caught four passes for 38 yards and recovered a fumble on a Saints punt return and advanced ball 20 yards vs. Cleveland, Oct. 24…Started and had three receptions for 49 yards, including his first career TD, a 19-yard grab, at Carolina, Nov. 7…Filled in for an injured Jeremy Shockey and had five receptions for 72 yards vs. Seattle, Nov. 21…Caught three passes for 72 yards, including a career-long 52-yard grab to set up a field goal before halftime at Cincinnati, Dec. 5…Had five receptions for 29 yards, including 18-yard and one-yard TD grabs in his first multiple-score game at Baltimore, Dec. 19…Started in three-TE set and had game-winning six-yard TD with 3:24 left on Monday night at Atlanta, Dec. 27…Started and had two receptions for 15 yards, including a four-yard TD in regular season finale vs. Tampa Bay, 1/2/11, before departing with an ankle injury that would cause him to miss team’s playoff game.
COLLEGE – Appeared in 13 games with one start in a multiple-tight end set in only season of football and made 17 receptions for 213 yards (12.5 avg.) with five touchdowns…Appeared in 120 games with 39 starts for UM basketball team as a four-year letterwinner and averaged 4.2 points per game and 4.2 rebounds per game, while his 104 blocked shots ranked eighth in school history when he finished his career…Two-time Academic All-ACC selection…Earned a business degree with a double major in marketing and management in 2009.
PERSONAL – Attended Charis Preparatory (Goldsboro, N.C.) Academy, where he played basketball, football, baseball and tennis…On the hardwood, earned All-American honorable mention from Street & Smith Magazine, in addition to garnering All-State and conference and team Most Valuable Player honors…As a senior, averaged 20.7 points, 13.8 rebounds and 4.6 blocks per game…During junior season, grabbed 15.1 rebounds and scored an average of 18.2 points per game…Favorite basketball player is the Miami Heat’s LeBron James…Earned his airplane pilot’s license in 2012…The only two NFL games Graham had ever attended prior to being drafted by the Saints was a New Orleans-Oakland contest at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 12, 2008 and Super Bowl XLIV…Featured in a television program on USA Network in 2012 titled “NFL Characters Unite”, where he mentors a New Orleans teenager in need…Hosted a youth football camp at the Tulane University campus in 2012…Serves as a spokesperson for Smoothie King, with whom as a former foster child, has partnered with the company to donate funds to Boys Town Louisiana…A supporter of Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and the Toys for Tots program.
Jimmy Graham made his case as the NFL's top tight end as he racked up 1,215 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns while serving as an impact player for potent New Orleans Saints offense.
New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham is voted the 10th-best player in the NFL by his peers on "Top 100 Players of 2014."
Jimmy Graham's dunks during the 2013 season (New Orleans Saints video)
Atlanta Falcons president and the NFL's competition committee chairman Rich McKay explains the league's reasoning for making dunking on the goalpost a penalty starting next season (New Orleans Saints video)