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 DE Brandon Graham 
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I just don't see Brandon Graham falling out of the first round....no way. He was a very productive college player and is getting rave reviews at the Senior Bowl. This is why I typically question Mike Mayock's assessments. Graham was a first round prospect during the college season, and he has remained there. They only question is, will he be top 20 or not? He's definitely top 30. I think if he's on the board at #22, New England snaps him up, and laughs at the teams ahead of them for passing him over.

Graham may not have the size of Lamarr Woodley, but I think he's more of an athlete and should be able to transition into coverage fairly well.


January 28th, 2010, 10:37 am
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m2karateman wrote:
I just don't see Brandon Graham falling out of the first round....no way. He was a very productive college player and is getting rave reviews at the Senior Bowl. This is why I typically question Mike Mayock's assessments. Graham was a first round prospect during the college season, and he has remained there. They only question is, will he be top 20 or not? He's definitely top 30. I think if he's on the board at #22, New England snaps him up, and laughs at the teams ahead of them for passing him over.

Graham may not have the size of Lamarr Woodley, but I think he's more of an athlete and should be able to transition into coverage fairly well.


I agree. And that begs the question:

What the heck was UofM doing? Not playing this guy until his senior season?


January 28th, 2010, 11:45 am
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BillySims wrote:
What the heck was UofM doing? Not playing this guy until his senior season?


Graham started 5 games as a sophmore and 11 games as a Juniors.

Graham is VERY likely to be picked in the 1st round. The only reason I don't say lock is becuase this is such a talent class some players may fall who shouldn't.

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January 28th, 2010, 12:00 pm
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As Stallion just said, Graham has been starting since his Sophmore year. He even got some playing time as a Freshman. And I thought you were a Michigan fan, Billy? You must not follow them very closely or something. :lol:

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January 28th, 2010, 12:17 pm
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slybri19 wrote:
As Stallion just said, Graham has been starting since his Sophmore year. He even got some playing time as a Freshman. And I thought you were a Michigan fan, Billy? You must not follow them very closely or something. :lol:


It's hard to follow them since I have been driving Truck. And since they haven't been a top 25 team for a few years, it's rare that I can find their games on satalite radio. I could swear I heard a serius radio guy, can't remember who, say that while he played as a junior, he only started his senior season.

But, yes, I have fallen in my ability to follow Wolverine football because of my job until they return to top 25 caliber football.


January 28th, 2010, 12:28 pm
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I see a lot of Elvis Dumervil OLB/DE 5' 11" 248 in Brandon. He'll always get told his measurables are not up to par, but the dude just keeps making plays. This isn't just a size comparison but a playmaking ability comparison.

If there was any way we get could get another pick in the mid to late first, or a trade down scenario developes, I wouldn't hesitate. This guy was one of the only true players on a god awful Michigan D. Every team planned for him, and yet they still couldn't stop him.


January 28th, 2010, 1:27 pm
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To me Graham is more Darryl Tapp than either Freeney or Dumervil. Which in my opinion isn't a bad thing at all. I'm big fan of Tapp and Graham but they just aren't guys that are going to consistantly give a team double digit sacks. They do however give tons of effort will get enough consistant pressure to force QBs to move around and or force throws.

Dumervil is a rarity because despite his lack of height he has freakishly long arms for a guy that short. I remember the year he was drafted telling people to not put much stock in hbis height because he had the arm length and leverage to keep O-Linemen from overpowering him. While Freeney is just a freak of nature (I wanted the Lions to draft him that year more than anything). He has RB speed and explosion combined with the technique and strength of a top DE. While he was at Syracuse he had an more moves that a lot of NFL DEs. That's what set him apart from most college DEs. A lot of these guys are just so physically gifted that they are one trick ponies and quickly get shutdown when they get to the NFL.

I was hoping Graham made the jump last season where the Lions probably had a better shot at landing him. I think he's going to be a solid DE in the NFL but not a premier pass rusher. I'd expect that he will be a 6-9 sack a year guy with a really good year or two sprinkled in. If he were still there in the 2nd round I wouldn't be upset if the Lions drafted him, although I'd prefer a CB with that pick. If they did draft Graham they could then try and get a guy like Romeus next season in the draft. The two of them paired together could form a formidable duo.


January 28th, 2010, 7:36 pm
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Detroit Free Press wrote:
Michigan DE Brandon Graham follows LaMarr Woodley's path
BY NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

MOBILE, Ala. -- It's the quick-and-easy comparison, but for good reason. It goes beyond the fact that Brandon Graham played defensive end at Michigan like LaMarr Woodley did.

"LaMarr Woodley was the one who taught me most of my stuff," Graham said this week while preparing for today's Senior Bowl. "Coming in as a freshman, I tried to imitate everything I saw him do."

Graham (6-feet-1, 263 pounds) measures almost the same as Woodley (6-2, 265) does, although his build is more stout. He could play defensive end in a 4-3 scheme in the NFL or move to outside linebacker in a 3-4, as Woodley has. He is projected to go in the first or second round of the draft in April; Woodley went to Pittsburgh in the second round three years ago and has blossomed into a star who will play in the Pro Bowl on Sunday.

The Lions run a 4-3 defense and hold the second pick of the second round, No. 34 overall.

"I looked at Woodley a lot when he came out, and I loved him," said Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham. "I didn't know if he was going to be big and strong enough. But, boy, he's had a great career already.

"Maybe Graham will be the same thing. ... They're very much alike."

To make the NFL, Graham will play where he's asked
When Woodley went through the NFL draft process three years ago, he told teams he wanted to play defensive end. That's where he starred at Michigan. That's where he felt most comfortable.

Graham starred at defensive end for the Wolverines, too. But as he goes through the process now, he's telling anyone and everyone that he will play defensive end or outside linebacker.

"Right now, I'm in the best position possible for myself as a D end," Graham said this week while preparing for today's Senior Bowl. "If coaches want me to stand up, I can show them tomorrow I can drop back and cover, if that's what they want me to do."

It worked pretty well for Woodley. Pittsburgh drafted him in the second round and moved him to outside linebacker.

"When the Steelers called me and said, 'We're going to draft you with the next pick, and you'll play outside linebacker,' I definitely wasn't going to say no," Woodley said at the Super Bowl last year. "I knew it was going to be a challenge for me, but I knew once I had the opportunity to have the reps at the position ... that I could get it down."

It took him a year to make the transition, but Woodley has been outstanding since, racking up 25 sacks over the past two regular seasons. He will play in the Pro Bowl on Sunday.

Graham is projected to be a first- or second-round pick, but it remains to be seen what he'll play.

NFL folks scrutinize body type as they project how a player might fit, and they like their pass rushers at least 6-feet-2. Graham is considered more stout than Woodley, even though he measured 6-1, 263 at Monday's weigh-in and Woodley is listed at 6-2, 265.

But while he said "you'd like to have more height," Cunningham compared Graham favorably to Woodley as an end.

"I think Graham has more pass-rush skills at this stage, if they were both at the same stage," Cunningham said. "Woodley was a powerful player, and he looked like a linebacker to you."

The Lions' staff is coaching the North for the Senior Bowl. The Lions -- who have the No. 34 pick and need a pass rusher -- run a 4-3 scheme and have used Graham as a defensive end this week.

"He's really showing himself in the one-on-one pass rush," Cunningham said. "He's certainly been consistent every day beating guys."

Graham learned a lot from Woodley at U-M. He also learned a lot practicing against left tackle Jake Long, whom Miami drafted first overall in 2008.

"That was the hard thing," Graham said. "He played every down like it was a game, so he really got me ready, too."

Teams that run a 3-4 scheme and want to look at Graham as an outside linebacker likely will put him through different drills at Michigan's pro day, testing to see how he drops in pass coverage.

Graham said he would be comfortable with that. He did it at Detroit Crockett.

"I played linebacker all my life," Graham said. "And then when I came to Michigan, they put me down as a D end. I mean, stuff happens for a reason."

One thing teams don't need to test is Graham's motor, no matter how they view him as a player.

"From the first meeting we had him, I could tell that he loves to play football," said Kris Kocurek, the Lions' assistant defensive line coach. "He likes the game. He has fun. He feeds off other guys making plays.

"As far as him fitting in what we do, we look for explosive guys on the edge, and I think he's shown some things this week where he's shown some explosion and he has playmaking ability."

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said "despite an underwhelming body," Graham showed this week "he's able to do everything you need him to do." McShay raved about Graham's hustle, technique and intelligence and said he would not be surprised if Graham went late in the first round.

"Whether he plays defensive end in a 4-3 or outside linebacker in a 3-4, he's just the kind of guy that seems to get to the NFL and have success," McShay said in a conference call. "LaMarr Woodley didn't come off the board in the first round, so it doesn't really matter where you get picked, it's how you do at the next level. And I think Graham is going to be very successful."

It sounds like Gunther really likes him, but who really knows what they're going to do?

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January 30th, 2010, 12:23 pm
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I thought Graham played really well today in the senior Bowl.


January 30th, 2010, 7:45 pm
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Lionman3 wrote:
I thought Graham played really well today in the senior Bowl.


Would not be suprised to see him get MVP. In fact he just did. as i type this.

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January 30th, 2010, 8:08 pm
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2 sacks, a forced fumble and the MVP. Unless the Lions trade down the only way he wears a Lions jersey is for Halloween :cry:


January 31st, 2010, 12:48 pm
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This guy is a stud DE and Michigan was terrible on defense. if Graham wasnt there they would even be worse if that was possible.


January 31st, 2010, 10:51 pm
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We all knew he was short. I think his arm length has to be a concern though. Sure he played well in college and at the senior bowl but I am concerned he may have trouble playing DE against NFL tackles. I hope he gets drafted by the team he wants(ravens) because it will probably be the best for him.

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February 1st, 2010, 1:43 am
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Detroit News wrote:
Posted by John Niyo (The Detroit News) on Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 4:56 PM
Graham tough: U-M star hard to place as a top NFL prospect
Another mock draft worth checking out here from Pro Football Weekly: They've got the Rams going with Gerald McCoy over Ndamukong Suh, who falls to the Lions at No. 2.

But they've also got Michigan's Brandon Graham undrafted in Round 1, which seems a little less likely after the way he practiced and played this past week at the Senior Bowl.

Graham made a quick impression on the Lions' coaches with his persistent, high-energy approach to practices, and he was dominant in individual pass-rush drills. And then he carried that over in Saturday's game, earning MVP honors with a pair of sacks and a forced fumble for the victorious North squad.

"He has a lot of skills," Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said. "He's got good quickness, he's very consistent in his approach. I know he's a failry well-thought-of player -- not only by the media guys, but the coaches like him, too."

The question is whether his productivity -- and that non-stop motor -- will be enough for teams to overlook some of the raw numbers. In particular, that 6-foot-1 frame (263 pounds) and the 30.5-inch arm length. (By contrast, a guy that also turned heads in Mobile, Arkansas State's Alex Carrington is 6-5 and 284.)

"You'd like him to have more height," Cunningham said. "But I looked at (the Steelers') LaMarr Woodley a lot when he came out (of Michigan) and I loved him, I really did. I didn't know if he was gonna be big and strong enough. But, boy, he's had a great career already. So maybe Graham will be the same thing."

I asked Cunningham if that Graham-Woodley was a fair comparison, since that's the one we in the media keep making. (I'm going to ignore the comparisons to Dwight Freeney unless he suddenly runs a sub-4.5 40-yard dash time at the combine like the Colts' All-Pro did.) Woodley, of course, made the switch to a 3-4 OLB in Pittsburgh, something that has been talked about with Graham.

"They're very much alike," Cunningham said. "I think Graham has more pass-rush skills at this stage. Woodley was a powerful player, and he looked like a linebacker, too. We haven't dropped Graham (as a linebacker) or done any of those things with him, but he sure lights 'em up."

From The Detroit News: http://apps.detnews.com/apps/blogs/lion ... z0ePMJ79X2

I would prefer the Lions take a CB at #34, but if Graham is still there, they'd have to think about it. Unfortunately, I could see the Patriots, Ravens, Packers, Jets, and Chargers all possibly taking him at the end of the 1st.

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February 2nd, 2010, 3:28 pm
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I'd be ecstatic to get Iup.... or Graham in the 2nd.

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February 2nd, 2010, 3:34 pm
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