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LB Jalen Graham
LB Jalen Graham

With San Francisco's ninth pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the 49ers selected Jalen Graham from Purdue University 255th overall.

Keep reading to learn more about San Francisco's newest linebacker.

Viral High School Quarterback

Graham grew up in Detroit, Michigan and attended Cass Tech High School where he was rated as a three-star quarterback prospect by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports.

In his senior year, Graham went viral after completing a game-winning hail mary on 4th-and-27.

Standout Defensive Player

At Purdue, Graham played in 36 games, starting 35 of them. He played as both a linebacker and safety, where he recorded a pair of defensive touchdowns, one from a fumble recovery in 2020 and a pick-six in 2021. Throughout the course of his four-year collegiate career, Graham recorded 169 tackles, including 12.5 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, 2.0 sacks and three interceptions.

Following the 2021 and 2022 seasons, Graham earned All-Big Ten Conference honorable mentions.

49ers Connection

In college, Graham had a 49ers connection, as he learned from Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm.

Brohm was a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers from 1996-1997, serving as Steve Young's backup.

"He (Brohm) said I'm going to love the organization," Graham said. "When he would give us talks before the games, this was an organization he mentioned playing for, just because of the discipline and everything that he remembers coming from here."

NFL Combine Performance

At the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine, Graham ran the 40-yard dash in 4.64 seconds and the 10-yard split in 1.68 seconds, along with a 30.5-inch vertical jump and a broad jump of 9 feet, 4 inches.

NFL analyst Lance Zierlein described Graham as an "energy-driven hybrid player," and that the linebacker "plays faster than he's likely to test thanks to his football instincts and desire to get to where the ball is going... He's very willing to take on blocks and play with the aggression needed for the position... an instinctive ballhawk when dropping into zone."

Graham's Favorites

Graham appeared on a sports podcast, The Nest, and shared fun facts about himself.

Here's a list of some of Graham's favorite things:

  • Favorite football player: Hall of Fame wide receiver Calvin Johnson
  • Favorite food: pasta
  • Favorite car: Bentley
  • Dream vacation: on an island
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