News of Jason Witten's spleen injury and Fred Davis' lackluster training camp are hurting the depth of quality starting options at the tight end position. Recent trends show us that 10 tight ends are going off the board in the first 10 rounds; that's just enough to give every team a starter.
Graham vs. Gronk
While I agree that Jimmy Graham is worth picking over Rob Gronkowski, the margin should be closer than recent average draft positions suggest. For whatever reason, Gronkowski has fallen into the early third round, while Graham is holding steady as the fifth player off the board in the second round.
If Gronkowski should fall into the late second round, jump on him. Assuming you're in a snake draft, you will soon pick again and have one of the elite tight ends on your squad.
As for Graham, he's worth selecting in the middle of the second round, but you must decide if you see enough talent at the running back position to pass on him. Running backs like Ahmad Bradshaw, Trent Richardson or Fred Jackson are names likely to fall back your way in the middle of the third round.
Jason Witten Dropping
Witten is sliding in fantasy drafts down to the ninth round and should continue to fall. Hopefully, Witten won't have surgery to remove his spleen, but he is being monitored (since last week) for up to 14 days.
Even when Witten is cleared for activities, he will be slowly worked back and is likely to miss time into the season. If you target Witten as a low TE1, give Kyle Rudolph a chance as a backup who can step in and produce early on.