In the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft the Philadelphia Eagles moved up 11 spots in order to draft Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham with the 13th overall pick. The Eagle’s have a recent history of shrewd draft day maneuvers (see WR Jeremy Maclin from Missouri). The trend continues in 2010. In the weeks leading up to the draft, Graham visited five teams, but not the Eagles. In a surprise move, Philadelphia sent two third-round picks and the No. 24 overall, to the Denver Broncos in order to secure Graham with the 13th choice.
First Round Pick- Brandon Graham Biography
As a prep player, Graham attended Crockett Vocation Tech, leading that school to its first Detroit Public School League title as a junior. During his storied High School career Graham earned several accolades such as making the Parade Magazine All-American and being named to the USA Today All-USA High School All-America first team. He was the very first player from Michigan to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, where he was elected captain of the East squad. While playing for the Michigan Wolverines Brandon Graham was selected to the All-Big Ten first team in 2009, and to the second team in 2008. Over his college career Graham played in 47 games, making 28 starts at defensive end. Graham has shown a knack for disrupting plays at the line of scrimmage as he led the nation in 2009 with 26 tackles for loss.
Football Leadership Qualities
As a senior in 2009 Brandon Graham was elected team captain at Michigan. A highly regarded team leader, Graham earned four varsity letters and was voted Bo Schembechler Most Valuable Player for two consecutive years. The Eagles have a history of looking for character guys, which makes Graham a natural fit for this young Eagles team.
Impact on the Philadelphia Eagles
Brandon Graham is joining an Eagles defensive unit that consists of Defensive ends Victor Abiamiri, Trent Cole, Juqua Parker, and Darryl Tapp. The addition of someone the caliber of Graham should provide an instant upgrade to the position, as well help to solidify the defensive line. This move compliments the recent acquisition of Ernie Simms from the Detroit Lions, as the Eagles continue to make moves to sure up their defensive unit. While this pick does not address some of the Eagles other issues (offensive line, secondary), it does add a potential starter to a defensive unit that has been the subject of criticism over the past few years. His leadership qualities will also add to a locker room that has a history of strong defensive leaders like Brian Dawkins and Jeremiah Trotter.
NFL 2010 Draft 1st Round- Final Analysis
The draft is not officially over, but the Eagles are off to a good start with their first-round pick. Now let’s see if Coach Andy Reid and the coaching staff utilize the later rounds to address some of the other needs on the Eagles roster. With a young and talented team built around solid draft picks, I anticipate a strong showing from the Eagles in the 2010 NFL Draft.