The New York Jets are already loaded with offensive weapons, but could they trade for another in Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham?
After adding explosive playmakers like Le’Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder this offseason, the New York Jets have one of the most promising offenses in the AFC, behind young franchise quarterback Sam Darnold.
But could a veteran addition take the unit to the next level?
That’s the opinion of NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks, who believes the Jets would benefit from a trade with the Green Bay Packers, targeting star tight end Jimmy Graham.
Brooks believes Graham’s ability to make big plays down the field in the passing game could be what puts Darnold and this talented offense over the top in their division:
The Jets’ ascension to the top of the AFC East will be fueled by Sam Darnold and his growth as a QB1 in Year 2 of his NFL career. The team added the ultimate weapon to the backfield in Le’Veon Bell to give the young quarterback an electric RB1/WR2 to lean on in critical situations. And free-agent signee Jamison Crowder will further help bolster a pass-catching lineup that features intriguing talents Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa at receiver and Chris Herndon at tight end.
Even so, the Jets could use another playmaker with the capacity to do damage over the middle of the field. Graham would be an interesting option as a veteran pass catcher with mismatch potential as a “flex” tight end. He was a bit of a disappointment in Green Bay during his first season with the Packers (55 catches, 636 yards, two touchdowns), so the former All-Pro could be a viable option if he doesn’t quickly acclimate to new coach Matt LaFleur’s system in training camp.
As Brooks notes, Graham hasn’t enjoyed the same success in Green Bay (as well as the Seattle Seahawks) that he experienced with the New Orleans Saints earlier in his career, despite going from one future Hall of Fame quarterback (Drew Brees) to another (Russell Wilson) and yet another (Aaron Rodgers).
That said, Graham is still a matchup problem for opposing defenses, especially in the red zone. His athleticism, catch radius and route-running ability would give the Jets a valuable weapon at every level of the field, making Darnold’s life much easier.
With second-year pro Chris Herndon and rookie fourth-round pick Trevon Wesco already in the mix, Graham’s presence would bring much-needed experience to the tight end room, and give the Jets a well-rounded group with varying skill sets.
Depending on the compensation, this deal could be a big win for the Jets if it ends up going down.