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49ers make Purdue LB Jalen Graham a 7th-round draft pick

Apr 29, 2023 at 3:50 PM--

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The San Francisco 49ers selected Purdue linebacker Jalen Graham with the 38th pick (No. 255 overall) in the seventh round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Graham registered 52 tackles, five tackles for a loss, a sack, five passes defensed, an interception, and a forced fumble through nine game appearances as a senior in 2022, per Sports Reference. He recorded 169 tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks, 13 passes defensed, three interceptions, a touchdown, and three forced fumbles through his four collegiate seasons.

"Energy-driven hybrid player who will need to make a full-time conversion to a 4-3 linebacker role," Lance Zierlein wrote within the player's scouting report. "Graham plays faster than he's likely to test thanks to his football instincts and desire to get to where the ball is going. He needs to get a little bigger and improve his technique when fitting the run, but he's very willing to take on blocks and play with the aggression needed for the position. He's limited in man coverage, but he's an instinctive ballhawk when dropping into zone. Graham has the potential to compete as a backup Will linebacker and has upside still left to mine."

Graham is from Detroit, MI. He earned a pre-draft grade of 5.93 from, which equates to an "average backup or special-teams player," per the site's 8-point grading scale.

At the NFL Scouting Combine, the 6' 1 7/8" and 220-pound Graham had a 40-time of 4.64 seconds, a vertical jump of 30.5 inches, and a broad jump of 112 inches. His other measurables include an arm length of 33 inches and hands measuring 9 7/8 inches. projected Graham to be a sixth- or seventh-round draft pick.

Below is the draft profile bio on Graham:

Graham traveled south to West Lafayette, Indiana, after garnering first-team All-Michigan honors at Detroit's Cass Tech High School. He started eight of 11 games played as a true freshman (37 tackles, 2.5 for loss) and five contests in the shortened 2020 season (16 tackles, one for loss). Graham earned honorable mention All-Big Ten Conference honors the next two seasons, starting all 13 games as a junior (64 tackles, four for loss with one sack, two interceptions with one returned for a touchdown, seven pass breakups) and nine games his senior year (52 tackles, five for loss with one sack, one interception, five pass breakups), after missing four early-season games due to injury. Graham opted out of the team's bowl game to prepare for the draft. -- by Chad Reuter


Height: 6' 1 7/8"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Arm length: 33 inches
Hand length: 9 7/8 inches

NFL Scouting Combine

40-time: 4.64 seconds
Vertical: 30.5 inches
Broad jump: 112 inches

College Statistics
Year School Class G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int
2019 Purdue FR 11 24 13 37 2.5 0 --
2020 Purdue SO 5 12 4 16 1 0 --
2021 Purdue JR 13 45 19 64 4 1 2
2022 Purdue SR 9 37 15 52 5 1 1
Total Purdue 118 51 169 12.5 2 3


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