04/24/10 — Goldsboro's Graham drafted by defending Super Bowl champs

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Goldsboro's Graham drafted by defending Super Bowl champs

By Staff Reports
Published in Sports on April 24, 2010 11:09 PM

NEW YORK -- Jimmy Graham had to wait until Friday to hear his name announced at Radio City Music Hall as a pick in the 75th annual NFL draft.

The wait was worth it.

A Goldsboro native, Graham came off the board late in the third round with as the 95th pick overall by defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans. Graham will learn behind former Pro Bowler and fellow University of Miami alum Jeremy Shockey.

"This kid could possibly be the heir apparent to Jeremy Shockey in the Saints offense," said ESPN analyst Chris Mortensen following the selection. "At 6-foot-6, 260 pounds, Graham has the size and the athletic skills to develop into a playmaker in New Orleans."

Graham was the third player selected by the Saints in the draft. New Orleans added cornerback Patrick Robinson from Florida State with the final pick in the opening round. Left tackle Charles Brown was selected in the second round out of the University of California.

Recently listed as a "player on the rise" by ESPN draft expert Todd McShay, Graham was projected by several publications to get drafted somewhere between the third and fifth rounds.

A four-year player in the Hurricanes' basketball program, Graham tallied over 100 career blocked shots and honed his hands. In one season with the Miami football team, Graham posted meager numbers with just 17 catches for 213 yards. However, he did haul in five touchdown receptions.

Graham appeared in all 13 games for the Hurricanes in 2009.

The success of other former college basketball standouts like Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates at the tight end position has led to Graham being compared favorably to the pair of Pro Bowlers.

After playing one year of football at Eastern Wayne High School, Graham transfered to Charis Prep and focused on basketball because the school did not field a football team.

Graham graduated from Miami with a dual degree in Business Management and Marketing in 2009.