By Ty Schalter
Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham is 6-7, 260 pounds of awesome. He’s got five Pro Bowl nods, a first-team All-Pro nomination, 6,800 receiving yards and 69 touchdowns on his eight-season NFL resume. He helped redefine the position for this decade’s new era of pass-first offenses.
But he’s not the player the Detroit Lions need right now.
In the aftermath of ESPN’s Adam Schefter reporting the Lions have been listening to trade offers for tight end Eric Ebron, many Detroit fans and writers have suggested that Graham could replace him.
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“At this stage, he’s probably a slight upgrade over Ebron on the field,” Atkins wrote, “but the key is how he fits where the Lions are headed.” Atkins believes Graham’s superiority in the red zone fits a need.
But Graham is 31 years old, and his yards-per-catch average dipped to an Anquan Boldin-like 9.1 last season. He’s not the big-play weapon between the 20s that he used to be. Meanwhile, Ebron’s not only averaging far more yards per catch (10.8 in 2017), he’s doing more when he’s not...