Friday, July 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Graham's size, Day 2 notes

How concerning is Brandon Graham's size - just over 6-1? How is Day 2 going to shake out? Some notes recapping the first round and looking ahead to rounds two and three.

Graham's size, Day 2 notes

Brandon Graham, a DE from Michigan, was drafted by the Eagles in the first round of the NFL draft. (Kirthmon F. Dozier / Detroit Free Press)
Brandon Graham, a DE from Michigan, was drafted by the Eagles in the first round of the NFL draft. (Kirthmon F. Dozier / Detroit Free Press)

More notes now that I've had a few hours to sleep on the first round. I also posted late Thursday night about Brandon Graham, the first round and the NFC East.

* I'm going to take a more detailed look at this in the coming weeks, but a lot is being made about Graham's size: 6-1 1/3, 268. I took a look at last year's top sack guys to see how their height compared to Graham's. Keep in mind that these might not be prototypical left defensive ends (some fall in the hybrid OLB/DE mold), but we don't really know how the Eagles plan on using Graham.

Elvis Dumervil, who led the league in sacks with 17, is listed at 5-11, 248 pounds. Dwight Freeney's listed height and weight is identical to Graham's: 6-1, 268. He's had double-digit sacks in six of eight NFL seasons. Pass-rushing linebacker LaMarr Woodley (also from Michigan) is 6-2, 265. He had 13.5 sacks last season with the Steelers.

The point? Look at each prospect individually. Making generalizations based on height, school or conference is easy, but doesn't really work. Remember 1997 first-round pick Jon Harris? He was 6-7. He finished his career with two sacks in two seasons.

Derrick Morgan, the Coatesville native, had this to say about the Eagles passing on him: "I felt like I was the best pass rusher in this draft so I'm just gonna use it as motivation and I got a chip on my shoulder."

* Tonight should be interesting. I've been saying for months that cornerback remains this team's biggest concern. I refuse to believe Ellis Hobbs will be the starter in Week 1. They're already thin, and the situation would turn into a full-on disaster if Asante Samuel were to get injured. We'll find out if there is a corner the team likes at 37 or 55, a guy that can come in and play right away. Last year, they traded a pair of fifth-rounders for Hobbs. I wonder if trading picks for a corner is a possibility again this year.

* Day 2 mocks? Hey, why not? ESPN.com's Todd McShay has the Eagles taking guard Jon Asamoah out of Illinois at No. 37 and South Florida cornerback Jerome Murphy at No. 55. Meanwhile, Mel Kiper Jr. has the Birds taking Florida safety Major Wright at No. 37 and Asamoah at No. 55.

* And draft grades already? Once again - why not? Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com gives the Eagles an A:

Love this pick. Love the aggression to go get him. He is a big-time pass rusher. He will be an immediate impact player in their defense. I like this pick as much as any.

* John Czarnecki of FoxSports.com analyzes the Eagles' pick:

Graham's play was a big reason why Iowa's Bulaga is still available in this draft because he beat him like a drum when he played him. Now, Graham is a speed rusher and Andy Reid is hoping that he can mature into another Dwight Freeney. Graham was a solid producer and his selection proves that there were a lot of defensive linemen in this draft.

* A reminder that I'll be back at 6 p.m. to chat rounds two and three. As of now, that means two picks for the Eagles, but that of course could change.


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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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