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A 'bucket list opportunity:' Brandon Graham to announce Eagles Day 2 draft pick in his hometown 

Brandon Graham
Brandon Graham

Brandon Graham will check an item off his bucket list on Friday when he announces one of the Eagles' second-round selections in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Why is this so special for the 36-year-old?

This year's draft is in his hometown – Detroit, Michigan.

"When they asked me, that was a bucket list opportunity right there," said Graham, who was presented with the idea a month ago. "I didn't even think about doing it at home until they reached out to me, so that's when I got super excited."

Graham was born and raised in the heart of Detroit. He attended Crockett High School, just blocks away from Campus Martius Park, the location of the draft stage where Graham will announce the Day 2 pick.

He stayed close to home for college, spending four years at the University of Michigan before being selected by the Eagles with the 13th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Detroit is also where he met his wife of nine years, Carlyne, who will be there with her husband to share the special moment.

"Detroit is another blue-collar city, just like Philly," Graham said. "You have to grind for what you want. Nothing was ever given. For me, it's somewhere that brought me up and made me who I am today."

Although it was 14 years ago, Graham still fondly remembers the day his name was called by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. He was surrounded by loved ones at his draft party at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Michigan, just 20 miles outside of downtown Detroit.

The Eagles were one of 26 teams Graham met with at the NFL Scouting Combine, but he did not come to Philadelphia for a visit. Still, the organization loved the player and the person so much that they traded the 24th pick and two third-round picks in 2010 to the San Francisco 49ers for the 13th pick.

The rest is history ...

"With the 13th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select ... Brandon Graham, defensive end, Michigan," said Goodell, as he announced the pick from Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

"I remember being hyped to be in the talks to go in the first round," Graham said. "It was cool to be around family and it was such a good experience from the buildup to getting to the moment where I was drafted."

PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 23: First round draft pick Brandon Graham of the Philadelphia Eagles  on April 23, 2010 at the NovaCare Complex in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)  *** Local Caption ***

Now, Graham will be an integral part of one lucky prospect's special moment of getting drafted into the NFL.

Knowing the leader he is, Graham's involvement won't stop at announcing the draft selection. He is looking forward to mentoring the newest Eagle, no matter what side of the ball he is on.

"That's going to be cool," Graham said. "Whoever we bring in, I will be that captain and leader for him, so that they can keep that going when I'm gone. I really want to build them up, help them to where they are trying to go."

When the franchise's all-time leader in games played (195) was a rookie, he had two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Trent Cole (2005-14) as a mentor. That leadership gave Graham a foundation to move forward.

Going into his 15th season, which will set a new franchise record, Graham has played on the league's biggest stages. However, he admitted that there will be some nerves with millions of people watching on television.

"It's going to be really cool," Graham said. "I just have to make sure I stick to the script."

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