Atlanta Falcons 2020 Preview: Jaeden Graham
Jaeden Graham was the feel good guy of the 2019 training camp for the Atlanta Falcons. Graham signed with he Falcons as an undrafted free agent following the 2018 NFL Draft out of Yale.
Graham made some plays in the passing game in the camp leading up to the 2019 season, though he didn’t catch a pass during the preseason games. Graham showed his value as a blocker in alongside Austin Hooper.
When Hooper was sidelined with an injury in weeks 12 and 13 Graham started in his place. He collected five receptions, 94 yards and a touchdown over those two games. Graham caught 10 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown in 16 games last season.
Hooper departed in the offseason. The obvious replacement was Graham, but the Falcons appeared to be looking another direction as they double-down to address the position immediately following Hooper signing with the Cleveland Browns.
The Falcons traded a second round pick the Baltimore Ravens for former first round pick Hayden Hurst. The Falcons then added Khari Lee from the XFL’s Washington Defenders.
Lee has NFL experience with the Chicago Bears prior to his stint with the Defenders. Graham likely wouldn’t start over Hurst.
There will be competition for who will play the role of the second tight end for the Falcons. With a good camp Graham could be the guy in on blocking downs and playing a role similar to the one he played last season.
If he is outperformed by Lee and or undrafted rookie Carson Meier, Graham could be a player on the fringe of making the roster. He is likely to stick based on his value in the run game as a blocker.
Graham is also a heavily used player on special teams. Should he earn the third tight end spot instead of the second tight end job Graham would still find himself on the field a lot in a special teams role and as a third blocker in short yardage situations.
Wherever he ends camp on the depth chart Graham has value for the Falcons and needs to begin to separate himself in some part of his game to stick as a mainstay in the coming years.
Check out the full list of Atlanta Falcons player previews here.