Defensive end Brandon Graham isn't used to coming off the bench. And the 13th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft said that he doesn't want to get used to that notion any time soon.
"I'm trying to come in and get as much done as I can. I'm trying to learn from the coaches as much as I can. I'm just going to show it. I don't like to talk about it too much," Graham said. "I'm going to do whatever the team wants me to do. I'm going in with the mentality to try to learn anything I can to get out there on the field the best way I can."
The Eagles traded the 24th overall pick and a pair of third-round picks (70th and 87th overall) to Denver to move up 11 spots to get Graham. The 6-2, 268-pound Graham was a two-time school MVP at Michigan as he finished second in school history with 29.5 sacks. Head coach Andy Reid compared Graham to former Eagle Hugh Douglas and current two-time Pro Bowler Trent Cole.
It was rumored that the Eagles were in talks to move up for a defensive end. But Graham's name was never mentioned in those reports. And Graham was just as surprised that he will don midnight green. Other than a 15-minute interview at the Combine and, according to Graham, a couple of talks with scouts, the Eagles did not show extensive interest.
"Never in a million years did I think Philadelphia was coming for me," Graham said. "That makes me feel very good and know that I have a lot of responsibility because you know if they're going to trade up for me then they're expecting a lot from me. I'm going to give them what they're looking for. I just appreciate the opportunity to be a Philadelphia Eagle."
Graham's stock skyrocketed after his outstanding performance at the Senior Bowl. It was in Mobile, Ala., where he proved to the personnel execs that he could play defensive end in the NFL. Teams weren't sure whether he was a 4-3 defensive end or a 3-4 outside linebacker and one of the reasons was his height.
"After the Senior Bowl, I didn't hear about that too much. I had a good Senior Bowl and I let them know despite my height I'm going to play hard to the whistle," Graham said. "I'm a strong guy and I believe I know how to play football. I'm going to get to the ball. After seeing me at the Senior Bowl, I don't think it's too much of a question no more."
In reality, the questions are going to start all over again. Now, it's just a matter of answering them and proving that he can get to the quarterback at the pro level.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 9:57 p.m., April 22