Defensive end Brandon Graham truly had a whirlwind weekend.
On Friday, Graham showcased the burst off the line and lower body strength that made him the 13th overall pick in this year's draft. On Saturday, he was at the University of Michigan shaking hands with commencement speaker President Barack Obama as he became the first person in his family to graduate from college.
He returned Saturday evening to rejoin his teammates for the final practice of the post-draft mini-camp on Sunday before getting right back on a plane to the University of Michigan which is where he'll spend the next two-and-a-half weeks before the Organized Team Activity for rookies and selected vets gets underway.
"I feel I did real well. I want to make all my mistakes now because in the game I don't want to cost us," Graham said. "They expect a lot from you. They really try to get you onboard because they want to win a championship. I'm just happy I'm a part of it."
For second-round pick Nate Allen, he had more of a whirlpool weekend. Recovering from a quad injury that was suffered during pre-draft workouts, Allen took part in the post-draft mini-camp on a limited basis. He went through the installation periods to learn where he'd line up, but didn't take part in any of the team drills where he'd have to put more stress on the quad.
"I was just trying to focus mainly on the playbook and what I have to do on the field. Everything else will come," said Allen, who stressed that he needs to get healthy.
Graham explained that the key to improving is not being afraid to go full-blast on the field.
"I'm going to play fast regardless even if I don't know everything yet because I know that's what coach wants us to do," Graham said. "At the same time, I'm going to learn everything and once I get moving fast - it's trouble."
Allen realizes that at safety he can't truly play fast until he understands the scheme.
"I just have to get under the veterans and learn, learn, learn," Allen said. "Just learn. If you know it, you can play fast."
And with speed being one of the common denominators of the new pieces added to the Eagles defense this off-season, it will behoove these rookies to get up to , for the lack of a better term, speed, as soon as possible.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 7:07 p.m., May 2