Defensive end Brandon Graham has every reason to be flashing his bright smile. Graham put the pen to the paper on his five-year contract earlier Friday. That was part of a whirlwind day that began with a flight to Philadelphia from Detroit first thing this morning and then arriving at Lehigh to take part in the first full-team practice in the afternoon, one in which he saw some reps at first-team left defensive end.
"I'm just happy to be done with everything and be a part of the team now," Graham said. "I just believe that my agent (Joel Segal) did a great job. He was coaching me through the whole thing and he just let me know that I'm going to have you in on time. It took a lot of pressure off of me because a lot of people weren't signed. I just wanted to get here to show Coach (Andy) Reid, Mr. (Joe) Banner and Mr. (Jeffrey) Lurie that they didn't waste a pick."
Graham understood that he wouldn't be in camp for the rookie and selected vet practices. He wanted to get in as soon as he could because he didn't want to feel like he was better than anybody else. When Graham agreed to terms on Thursday night, he was the second-highest pick to get under contract.
"I think Joe Banner did a phenomenal job with it and Joel did a phenomenal job on Brandon's side," head coach Andy Reid said. "I think Brandon, the whole time, wanted to be here. This first-round thing was crazy this year. It's good to get him in. It looks like he's been working."
Graham spent the time between the OTAs and the start of training camp training at his alma mater, the University of Michigan. He even bulked up to 278 pounds while there. Graham is expected to be an integral part of the defensive line rotation early on. Graham is just one of the many young players on defense who will be expected to make a contribution in 2010.
"I think we have a stable of them that we can look at," Reid said. "How many actually work in to plan, we'll see over the next few weeks. I know we have a number of them. Now, it's just a matter of getting out here and playing them."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 5:45 p.m., July 30