Why Snubbing TE Jimmy Graham from the Top 100 Players of 2013 Was a Huge Mistake

This is a guest post by Erica Blackburn. Erica is a graduating senior at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia seeking her Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism. She writes complementary articles for emPower magazine and has written for her college newspaper, Hampton Script, for the sports section. She is passionate about sports, in particular football and in her free time, she enjoys to read, watch documentaries, blog and online shop.

It’s the NFL offseason and like any other football fan, I look forward to seeing the Top 100 Players of 2013 list. This list consists of players that their peers have deemed to be the top 100 players for that particular season. Players, coaches, even bitter rivals set their pride to the side to give kudos to players that had a remarkable or just downright great statistical season. This years’ list has a glaring flaw. Jimmy Graham isn’t on there.

Yes, Jimmy Graham had a down season compared to his 2011 statistics of  99 receptions, 1,310 yards and 11 touchdowns. But, while battling a wrist injury that plagued him all season, Graham was able to fight through the pain, play in 15 games and was only 18 yards away from getting another 1000-yard season. But to say that he wasn’t a top 100 player is simply ludicrous and this will serve Graham as motivation.

Let’s begin with Rob Gronkowski. Clearly, Gronkowski battled a slew of injuries this season but still mustered 55 receptions, 790 yards and 11 touchdowns in 11 games. If I read correctly, Gronkowski had a “down season” as well, yet he stilled topped all the tight ends listed on the Top 100. Gronkowski had more touchdowns in fewer games, which is the reason why he should have been the top tight end in my eyes. Obviously Jason Witten played all sixteen games, racking up 110 receptions, 1,039 yards and 3 touchdowns. Tony Gonzalez simply deserved to be on the list because at 36 (he turned 37 in February), he was able to muster up 93 receptions, 930 yards and 8 touchdowns in 16 games.  Here is where I believe “the list” flagrantly left out one of the top tight ends in this league.

Jimmy Graham

85 receptions

982 yards

9 touchdowns

15 games

Vernon Davis

41 receptions

548 yards

5 touchdowns

16 games

Antonio Gates

49 receptions

538 yards

7 touchdowns

15 games

Heath Miller

71 receptions

816 yards

8 touchdowns

15 games

Aaron Hernandez

51 receptions

483 yards

5 touchdowns

10 games

Dennis Pitta

61 receptions

669 yards

7 touchdowns

15 games

Graham leads all these tight ends in receptions, yards, touchdowns and only one game behind Davis. I understand Davis was a key contributor that led the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl. Individually, however, Davis didn’t have a better season than Graham. The same goes for Gates, Miller, Hernandez and Pitta. Graham should have been the top 3 or 4 tight end this past season.

Thanks to this flagrant snub, players across the league effectively woke up a sleeping and now healthy giant and allowed Graham to post this material on his motivation board. Of course, the horrendous season the New Orleans Saints had should provide enough motivation for a young and hungry Graham, but it doesn’t hurt to add a little more right?


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Graduate from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. Lives in Houston. Currently interning for ESPN 97.5 FM/Yahoo! Sports Radio 1560 AM/Yahoo! Sports Radio in Houston. Writes complementary NFL and NBA articles for All Sports Talk. On her free time, enjoys watching sports documentaries, writing sports articles and blogging.
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1 Comment

  1. SMH says:

    I call this motivation for Jimmy Graham!!! The numbers don’t lie and whoever gets in his way this coming season you better strap up!!! Because the one we all know as being a “Beast” will be loose…..