ESPN mock draft snubs Hurricanes’ Jimmy Graham

Does ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay hate Jimmy Graham?

In McShay’s seven-round mock draft — available only to subscribers of’s ‘Insider’ package — Graham isn’t listed.

I sent an email to McShay and haven’t heard back, although you got to figure that the snub is unintended. McShay actually has Graham, the Hurricanes’ one-and-done tight end, third among a group of players under the heading “McShay’s Top Five Late-Rising Prospects” behind Texas quarterback Colt McCoy and East Carolina defensive tackle Linval Joseph.

But McShay has been on Graham’s case for quite a while. During a telephone news conference with reporters in early February, McShay ripped Graham’s attitude during Senior Bowl practices and questioned whether the 6-foot-8, 260-pound former basketball enforcer was tough enough.

Here’s the most damning quote: “…does he love the game and is he tough enough? Those are the two questions I keep hearing over and over again. A lot of guys [were] talking about him not being excited about doing the next drill and complaining here and there. There’s always an excuse. That mentality is going to hurt him when it comes to the draft. Teams are worried that he’s just not ‘football-tough’ and that he might not be worth trying to spend two or three years developing because (a) [will he] take to the coaching and (b) be tough enough to ultimately an all-around starting tight end.”

McShay was still riding Graham hard as of a month ago, saying during another conference call that Graham is “ a tough case. The concerns are out there. Is he football tough? There’s always an excuse and there’s always a reason that something is going wrong. Does he have the mental toughness in addition to the physical toughness to develop and become a solid blocker and just be a consistent football player? Those are the biggest questions you have with him.”

McShay does have four UM players being selected over the next three days beginning with the St. Louis Rams taking offensive tackle Jason Fox with the fourth pick of the fifth round followed by tailback Javarris James (5th round, Pittsburgh), linebacker Darryl Sharpton (5th round, Minnesota) and defensive back Sam Shields (7th round, Tampa Bay).

In a four-round mock draft published earlier this week, ESPN’s Mel Kiper has Graham going to the Cincinnati Bengals in the third round with the 92nd overall pick. No other UM players are listed in the top four rounds of Kiper’s draft.

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