Graham is a football player that has earned the respect of his peers on and off the field. He was voted as the top tight end in the nation, capturing the John Mackey Award over Miami's Jeremy Shockey and Oklahoma's Trent Smith. He was also selected his team's most valuable player, and offensive MVP.
|TE Daniel Graham (AP)|
The areas that some scouts would like to see him improve upon are his downfield blocking and overall strength and bulk. He registered in at 9.79% body fat and has a 36-inch vertical leap, so his athleticism really isn't in question, but his ability to punish smaller defensive backs and take on middle linebackers with a full head of steam is.
Graham is more of a natural athelete, with great quickness and precise route running. "Not only did he excel at running routes and catching passes, but he's a terrific blocker. His style of play, he is relentlessness and is the complete package at tight end," said Colorado Head Coach Gary Barnett after Graham accepted the John Mackey award as the nation's top tight end.
With all the talk of the Cowboys possibly trading down in the draft, the chance that a tight end could be the player that Jerry Jones has his eye is growing day by day. And of course that leads us to one of the hottest debates around Valley Ranch these days, who would you rather draft if you are going after a tight end, Jeremy Shockey or Daniel Graham? While there is no clear cut answer to that question, here is who we would give the edge to in the following areas:
Ultimately, this decision may come down to Bruce Coslet, and who he thinks will fit better into his version of the west coast offense. Our support tends to lean towards Jeremy Shockey. He is bigger, tougher, and comes from one of the winningest programs in college football over the course of the last 3 seasons.
Regardless, the Cowboys stand to improve significantly at tight end if they choose one of these players in either the first or second round of the 2002 NFL Draft.