With Stevie Johnson listed as out by Doug Marrone earlier this week due to his mother’s death it will be interesting to see TJ Graham. Will he show up and actually contribute or will he hide and basically be forgotten like the rest of this season?
Back in 2012 the Bills selected TJ in the third round. Not only did they select the former member of the Wolfpack (N.C State) but they traded up in doing so to ensure their selection. At 5’11” Graham wasn’t seen as ideal size to play outside but it’s what this staff seen in his speed that drew them in. Along with playing football Graham was also a member of the Wolfpack’s track team.
As the Bills selected Graham I remember hearing press conferences about that draft and players in particular. They were really happy in landing Graham (hence trading up for him) and it seemed there was a lot in store for him. My question to that is what happened? TJ was been one of the biggest disappointments seeing where he was taken and looking at his production. Way too many times over his short career here have I said is TJ Graham playing? With that said it may tell people as to how many times the Bills tend to throw deep. Having a weapon like this it may leave people wondering why this didn’t happen. Some may say we lacked that talent at the quarterback position but if that was the case why did we seem to waste this pick?
In TJ’s first season he really didn’t do anything to impress. The Bills having this deep threat now you’d think they would hit on some shots but it wasn’t the case. He finished the season with stats like this: 15 games played, 11 games started, 31 receptions for 322 yards and 1 touchdown. From those stats one thing interested me in the way of having a catch for 51 yards. Take that away from his 322 total and its leaves him basically doing nothing the rest of the year.
When this season rolled around I thought for sure the Bills would have a use for Graham. With one year of experience and the Bills drafting two more wide receivers in Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin he would have thought to be a bigger contributing factor. As in his first year it hasn’t been the case as TJ has been a very big disappointment again. With an understanding of the receivers having to work with three different quarterbacks he currently ranks 6th in receiving with Goodwin very close behind. Stat wise it’s pretty close to last years but again that’s terrible for a guy that should had some production this year.
As these last two games play out I’ll keep an eye on Graham but I think it’s too late. When a team trades up to get you the production has to be there or at least show that it’s possible. Earlier this year when I heard that TJ arguably had his best game as a pro with 2 catches that cemented it for me. Against the Jets he ended the game with 74 yards 2 receptions and a td. If that’s the best you can do in two years I think the Bills can basically find anybody else.