We present a microscopic description of plasmon-enhanced optical absorption in graphene, which is based on perturbation theory. We consider the interaction of graphene with a lattice of plasmonic nanoparticles, as was previously realized experimentally. By using tight-binding wave functions for the electronic states of graphene and the dipole approximation for the plasmon, we obtain analytic expressions for the coupling matrix element and enhanced optical absorption. The plasmonic nanostructure induces nonvertical optical transitions in the band structure of graphene with selection rules for the momentum transfer that depend on the periodicity of the plasmonic lattice. The plasmon-mediated optical absorption leads to an anisotropic carrier population around the K point in phase space, which depends on the polarization pattern of the plasmonic near field in the graphene plane. Using Fourier optics, we draw a connection to a macroscopic approach, which is independent from graphene-specific parameters. Each Fourier component of the plasmonic near field corresponds to the momentum transfer of an optical transition. Both approaches lead to the same expression for the integrated optical absorption enhancement, which is relevant for the photocurrent enhancement in graphene-based optoelectronic devices.