T.J. Graham might not be rated in the top tier of this draft's deep wide receiver class, but don't think he can't have a major impact in games immediately.
The 6'0", 188-pound Graham flashed his speed at the combine when he posted a 40 time of 4.41, then showed improved route-running skills at NC State's pro day. Graham caught 46 passes for 757 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011, and was also very productive as a punt and kick returner. He was NC State's top return man for the past four years, scoring one touchdown in each season.
The North Carolina native took third in the 100 meter Nike Nationals track meet in high school, and finished fifth at the ACC Outdoor Track Championship in 2011, garnering All-American honors in the process.
WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING
Scouts, Inc. had Graham listed as the No. 10 receiver in the draft, slightly higher than most publications, but no doubt taking into account his talents as a return man as well.
Pro Football Weekly was also high on Graham's ability in the return game. Its one-line scouting report on Graham read as follows:
Lean, small-framed, tight-skinned, linear burner/return man with rare speed to hit the home run if given a seam.
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller projected Graham to be selected by the Giants in the fifth round with pick No. 169.
Graham's 40-yard dash time of 4.41 tied for seventh among all wide receivers who worked out at the combine.
EXPECTED IMPACT AS A ROOKIE
By all accounts, Graham is a work in progress at wide receiver and most likely will need extensive NFL coaching to adapt in the pro passing game. However, with Graham's speed, don't expect him to be buried on the practice squad while he learns.
His abilities in the return game will give him the inside track to impact games directly and his home-run speed means he can make a game-changing play at any time.
The Buffalo Bills add a definite speed threat in Graham, but that plus feature may be the only one he possesses. Widely considered to be in need of extensive coaching to stick at the next level, Graham could nevertheless make an immediate impact in the return game.
At the very least, Buffalo scored itself a burner who could theoretically be a game-changer on special teams.