The Chicago Bears missed an integral part of their offense this past season. The tight end core was arguably the worst in the NFL as they had injuries to all three of their main tight ends: Trey Burton, Ben Braunecker, and Adam Shaheen. This led to the Bears leaning on undrafted free agent Jesper Horsted and J.P. Holtz who didn't play in a game until this past season.
As a comparison, the Bears ran 12 personnel, which is the Andy Reid-style offense bread and butter, the third least in the NFL at 11% according to Sharp Football. The other Reid-style offenses (Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs) were both in the top five in the NFL.
Now, the Bears have revamped their tight end core. They upgraded at 'U' tight end from Burton adding Jimmy Graham and have replaced the duo of Braunecker and Shaheen, the 'Y' tight ends, and replaced them with an improved duo of Demetrius Harris and second-round pick Cole Kmet.
As stated above, Graham steps into the role that Burton once held. Graham gives the Bears a great receiving option at the 'U' and should be very valuable for the offense. Here are the reasons why he's a buy.
What Trey Burton Did
For starters, Burton finished as the TE8 in PPR formats back in 2018. He was integral to the Bears offensive plans and constantly was being targeted as he had the fourth-most targets on the team with 77. He turned that into 54 receptions for 569 yards and six touchdowns.
Now, Graham goes into that role and should do better. Although Graham is aging, he still is a great yards after catch guy and is a great outlet for his quarterback. He truly wasn't being used correctly in Green Bay as they prefer tight ends who can block. Graham won't need to line up on the line of scrimmage much and will mainly line up split out.
No matter who is at the helm for Chicago in 2020, they both love their tight ends. Nick Foles knows how important the position is as he constantly targeted Zach Ertz in Philadelphia en route to a Super Bowl.
Mitchell Trubisky as well loves to throw to his tight ends as shown by the season Trey Burton had. Additionally, Trubisky loves his 12 personnel groupings as well as he completed around 67% of his passes and posted a 99.7 passer rating in 2019. Those tight ends help him out greatly.
What's His Value?
Currently, Graham is being drafted as the TE35 in standard-scoring formats. Basically, he isn't being drafted. He is even being drafted behind his counterpart Cole Kmet who likely won't be doing a lot given he is a rookie.
Graham has the upside of being a top 12 tight end for the 2020 NFL season. You don't even have to draft him, but you can stash him on your bench in deeper leagues for a few weeks and it won't even harm your team.
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