Jimmy Graham says basketball players make the best tight ends
There has been a long history in the NFL of great tight ends playing college basketball at an elite level before switching to football permanently. Some of the great tight ends who played college basketball include Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, and Jimmy Graham.
Graham played four years of basketball at the University of Miami and only one year of football. Graham was on John Clayton’s 710 ESPN Seattle radio show and explained what makes basketball players such great tight ends.
“We have really good body control and foot work,” Graham said, via ESPN.com. “When the ball’s in the air, it doesn’t matter where it is, we can adjust to it. And now when you come down, you don’t have to worry about a hardwood floor. You have some nice grass to land on.”
Graham says the elite tight ends are often the biggest players in football, but in basketball they were always undersized.
“A lot of the guys who transitioned from basketball to football were undersized big men, for the most part,’’ Graham said. “You get used to going against guys who are 6-11 or taller. You either have to be real strong or real tough or both.”
Graham credits a lot of his football talent from division rival Gonzalez, who helped him make the smooth transition from basketball.
“My first Pro Bowl  I was there with Tony and really picked his brain,” Graham said. “He looked to teach me a lot of things. Even though we were in the same division, he was so generous with giving me information. He would talk about how he preps in the offseason and all the little details.”