Thursday, April 22, 2010

Eagles Move Up - DE Brandon Graham


The Eagles gave up 24, 70, and 87 to move up to pick 12 and take Michigan DE Brandon Graham. 

This is a good move.  We needed to boost the pass rush.  Graham was one of the best rushers in the draft class.  We were able to move up and get him without having to sacrifice our 2nd round picks.  That gives us a chance to be active on Friday.  We don't have a 3rd rounder now, but could easily move down and pick one up.  We can play the board. 

Tapp is our LDE.  Cole is the man on the right side.  Graham becomes a key backup.  He also can move inside to DT in some passing situations. 

Here is the report I wrote up for ScoutsNotebook:

Relentless and disruptive defender.  Led the nation in TFLs in 2009 with 26.  Finished his career with an amazing total of 56.  Athletic edge rusher who is more fast than quick.  Michigan moved him around to keep teams from gameplanning too much.  Graham played both DE spots.  Slides inside to DT at times. Fights off cut blocks. Uses his hands well. Beat Bulaga for a sack in the Iowa game. Used good dip move. Beat Bulaga to the inside for another sack. Got the RT off balance, threw him to the ground, and hit the QB. Uses his hands well. Fights to hold the point on run plays. Quick, but not explosive. Mixes in some bull rushes.  There were questions about his height.  Measured in at 6013.  That means he's almost 6'1 1/2.  That's acceptable for a 4-3 DE.  There will be plenty of 3-4 teams who value him as a LB.  His size and build will be perfect for some schemes.  He can play in space if needed.  Made a real impressive play against Terrell Pryor in the OSU game.  Pryor was on the run.  Graham showed great agility and COD skills to handle the fakes and still make a solid tackle in space.  Graham is an athletic defende and a top flight pass rusher.  His ability showed up in workouts as well.  Ran a 4.71 at the Combine.  Had a solid showing at the Combine.  Only came up short in the VJ (31.5).  Great career production.  29.5 sacks and 8 FFs. 

Had a monster performance at the Senior Bowl, both practices and in the game.  Looked like a dominant player.

1st round prospect.  Could go real high if teams are okay with his size and build. 

Good start to the 2010 draft. 


Adam S. said...

Not too sure how I feel about this. It just seems high for Graham but if there is nobody that you think will be willing to trade around pick 16 or 17 then I guess you pull the trigger. I trust that they've done their homework and saw that Thomas wasn't their guy. I fully expect Nate Allen or highest rated cb with pick 37.

em26jamie said...

I don't know, man. 13 seems really high for Graham.

Mr_Boomy said...

I'm happy we drafted him, he's the best pass rusher in this draft class IMO.

Steven said...

Im sorta dissapointed. I didnt see Brandon Graham as a top 15 pick

Ben said...

Rethinking this the last 20 minutes... I like it, but I would have rather gone Kyle Wilson. I hope graham's bad vert doesn't kill him. He probably won't be one of those guys who's just lightning quick off the line. You also mentioned he's more fast than quick... Kinda worries me

Cliff said...

Not the player I wanted either, but it's not like Graham's a scrub, so I'm fine with this. I'm about 99% sure we'll be drafting 2 DB's tomorrow.

Another thing to remember about this trade and pick: Graham can come in and have some impact right away. Earl Thomas isn't Eric Berry, he would need a greater learning curve. The only other player I would've really, really esmted here is Kyle Wilson because of the same thing.

ZackISM said...

How can you say a good start to the draft?

Do we not have bigger needs? Did we not pay a rather large price to move up? 3 picks for 1 player? Graham had better turn out or Roseman may quickly join the ranks of former NFL GM's. Last time we moved up for a "pass rusher" we got McDougle.

Gotta say I don't think we are the team that many on your blog believe. I don't think we're in a position to draft back-ups. we drafted Trevor Laws (as our first pick albeit in the 2nd round) 2 years ago for depth, and he can't see the field.

Having depth is great - having starters is better. Macho Harris, Ellis Hobbs, Dominique Patterson, Marlin Jackson, Quentin Demps, etc don't exactly give me a lot of calm regarding the left side of our secondary.

Graham is gonna have to be a whole lot like the guy Gruden compared him to for me to like this move....

Bad start for the Eagles in this fans eyes.

Adam S. said...

Completely off topic but god do I want a double down!!! I live in Canada and we can't get em here.

Myron will be happy his "bust" went to the giants, let's hope he's correct.

Pitmanite said...

in my opinion your DBs are only as good as their defensive line. i was not thrilled at all to go into this year with J. Parker and D. Tapp as our DEs. we weren't going to get a top DE sitting at #24 and we went for the guy we thought was best. I'll trust the eagles opinion on this one over mine.

i think we can still get a very solid CB & FS in the 2nd round. can't say the same for a DE.

Chris said...

I've seen this guy a lot. He is a pretty incredible player and is absolutely relentless. Michigan stunk, he was getting double and triple teamed almost every play and was still productive. Plus, he embarrassed Iupati at the Senior Bowl and Bulaga in the Big Ten so he has bested top notch talent. So, in a general sense, I don't mind the pick.

That being said, I feel they could have picked him up a little later on (right before Atlanta) and maybe held on to one of those 3rd rounders.

Ben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bthackra said...

While I like the Graham pick, it looks like the pass rushers slipped (Hughes, Kindle) while the CBs are all gone in the first.

Which would you have preferred?
Graham and whoever we take #37 (Ghee, Robinson) or Wilson and Hughes? Hindsight is 20/20 but the latter seems more intriguing.

David said...

Soooo, what now? Top 4 CBs and top 2 safeties are already off the board; do we still take 2 DBs in round 2, BPA be damned?

Pitmanite said...

well, hughes is gone now in the 1st, so we'd have wilson and nobody at DE. all the highly rated DEs are gone. kindle is there but will probably be gone by #37 and is not a fit in our system.

Mike said...

The only thing I dislike about the Graham pick is what we paid in draft picks for it. I think two thirds in this draft was way too much...especially the 6th pick in the 3rd round.

Sal Pal reported the Giants really wanted Graham. Part of me wonders if the Giants were also trying to move up to get him but the Broncos wanted to move further back.

Pitmanite said...

i don't think we gave up too much. if you go by the trade chart we gave up the right amount to move up 11 spots in the draft. w/o looking at the trade chart you're gonna have to give something up to move 11 spots. denver gave up a 4th rounder to move up 2 spots!!

everyone keeps saying that this is such a deep draft, but just because it's a deep draft doesn't mean it's deep at every position, and more importantly deep at all the positions we need. we got what we think is a big playmaker at a premium position where we had a real hole. we kept our two 2nd round picks and can address the secondary w/ these picks. having 3 picks in the top 55 is still good. if the draft is so deep then there should still be some players in the 4th round where we have 2 picks & where we've had some success.

let's be positive fellas...the glass doesn't have to be half empty!

izzylangfan said...

The question is not whether we gave up too much. But how are the Eagles going to meet their needs for a safety and a cornerback in round two. Then they need another cornerin my view perhaps a center and backups at running back, offensive tackle, and tight end. A lot of needs to meet in rounds four, six and seven.

Chris said...

Well, if we get Nate Allen or Morgan Burnett with one of our 2nd rounders we'll still be doing OK for a safety.

Seems like a lot of the stud CBs are gone. We could get Chris Cook as CB with all the size the Cowboys have at WR. For upside, there is the guy from IUP. He's got size, incredible physical skills and is a good returner too.

Myron said...

The problem here is that why the hell do you move up to #13 overall and burn your first round pick and two third round picks for a backup?

Especially when you pass on players like Earl Thomas and Kyle Wilson?

Brandon needs to be a starter from day one and make an impact as a rookie, or else this move was bad.

And if he does come in and do that, why did you trade for Tapp?

Keith M. said...

This move will grow on me. But I think what we do with these two seconds on Friday (even if we trade back from 37 to pick up a 3rd) will play a real key role in how I feel about this draft.

We needed to bolster the defense, period. There's a relationship between your pass rush and pass coverage, as someone said above. And I'm less worried about where we take guys and how we manage the draft's value than if these guys pan out. We need a defensive nucleus to match the offensive one.

I give you credit, Tommy. Re-reading your pre-draft stuff, you were on top of it. Had us taking a DE and mentioned Graham.

Chris said...

I do think Graham will beat out his competition. I don't think he'll be a backup. We needed more pressure on the QB as Romo's time in the pocket could be clocked with a calendar. We needed someone who could do this without us blitzing too.

That being said, I'd want the Eagles to move someone like Laws or MJG for a 3rd if it is possible.

I think the draft went in a surprising direction where a lot of big names fell and a lot of the CBs who were supposed to be around in the 2nd round and went much earlier.

I'm not happy with our CBs especially with the Boys getting Bryant. If he doesn't have some issue to blow up the team (a la TO) it'll be really hard to cover Austin, Williams and Bryant. All are at least 6'2, 220 lbs. Samuel isn't going to tackle those guys. Maybe we can trade for Marshall on the Carolina Panthers.

bp said...

While I thought his draft value was probably lower than both Morgan and Pierre-Paul, if there was one DE we were going to come out of the 1st with, I'm glad it was Graham. We've always liked to have depth on the d-line, so I don't think the value of this pick breaks down so clearly as to whether or not he can start. When you combine Graham with Cole, Tapp, Abiamiri (I've been intrigued by his ProFootballFocus ratings from last year), and Parker (in a strictly pass rushing role) I think our DE situation looks a whole lot better for the foreseeable future. Not to mention that we've got multiple guys there who can feasibly play the DT role in the nickel.

Yet, while I do like coming out of the first round with Graham, I absolutely think we overpaid to do it. We came out +15 according to the outdated Jimmy Johnson trade chart and -125 by the updated NFLDraft101 chart. But either way, with the depth of this draft and the number of holes on our roster, to trade away both of our 3rd round picks for a position that was definitively not our biggest need, and a guy who was neither the consensus 1st nor 2nd best player at that position, invariably strikes me as a reach.

I'd have much rather ended up with Kyle Wilson at 24, Ben Tate/Toby Gerhart and AJ Edds with the picks we traded away in the 3rd, and then taking someone like Daniel Te'o-Nesheim in the 4th. Oh well. I hope Daniel Graham knows how get outside quickly on bubble screens.

Myron said...

bp: I agree.

Kyle Wilson / Earl Thomas in the 1st, and then Nate Allen / Morgan Burnett in the 2nd and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim / Jason Worilds in the 3rd or 4th would have been a far superior draft.

I'm definitely bummed about the way this turned out.

bsencore said...

myron et al: chill out.

I would have liked one of those top CB's too, but just because the first group of guys are gone doesn't mean the Eagles can't find a productive starter.

Sheldon Brown was the 5th CB taken (#59 overall) in 2002. Who's to say one of these other second round guys can't do the same thing?