In a continuation of my ongoing series on “The Guys No One Is Talking About” I have included another group of great sleeper picks that I believe have the potential to make an impact for the Dallas Cowboys.
T.J. Graham, WR North Carolina state
If there is one thing Graham knows he can offer an NFL team it’s speed. Graham was a former track standout who was known to run the 100 meter dash in 10.21 seconds. I don’t know if you can comprehend just how fast that really is. Add that to 40 times that have ranged anywhere between 4.35 – 4.41 he was among the top 10 fastest players in the NCAA. He was a top performer at the NFL combine where he ran a 6.77 3 cone. This is the one event NFL scouts pay close attention too because it shows the players ability to change direction while maintaining speed.
“Speed, speed, speed. That’s one thing you can’t teach,” said Graham. “A lot of guys in the NFL can’t run as fast as I can. I’m not going to out-muscle anybody, but I will out-run you. I’ve been catching a lot of balls, too, because they said I can’t catch.”
Graham has been working on his hands at his old high school field at Wakefield, taking passes from former East Carolina quarterback Rob Kass. Graham was recruited from the track team and spent most of his early years at NC as a kick and punt returner and was only used as a situational receiver in certain packages. He is still a developmental route runner, but has shown steady progress becoming the “Go-To Guy” in 2011. He finished the season with 46 catches for 757 yards and 7 TDs, including a stellar performance in his final game against Louisville in the Belk Bowl. Statistically, Graham has been better returning punts than kickoffs, and has set a lot of all purpose yardage records.
Graham thinks at the very least, he can find a role returning kicks to get his foot in the door in the pros.
“I’ve improved my draft stock a lot. I can be a punt returner and kick returner, that can save two roster spots and hopefully help out the team that way”.
Graham also does daily speed workouts with his father, Trevor Graham, the famous former Olympic track coach. Graham is your prototypical Slot WR, PR/KR type of prospect. Graham is to small framed to be an every down outside/deep threat, but projects to be a nightmare in the slot. There are very few NFL safeties, let alone Nickel CB’s in the NFL who will be fast enough to cover him. He will definitely spread the field because teams will be limited on who they have that can stay with him. He Projects to be able to get separation with ease at the NFL level.
Regardless of his small stature he is a physical player who is not afraid to lay down a block or make a tackle after an interception .In spite of his rather short football career, he has shown progress every year as a WR and this is the kind of upside I look for in a 7th round to undrafted player.
“Fast, quick, decent turning, gets consistent separation. True burner with deep speed. Versatile enough to effectively handle WR, slot, PR, and KR duty. Makes good effort to secure the ball. Legit NFL PR talent. Energetic, healthy, inspiring, hard working team leader who keeps getting better.” –Brad Noel
My Story is continued on the next page…….