Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Andy Reid

Opening remarks: "With our first selection, we took Brandon Graham from the University of Michigan, defensive lineman. We traded our two number three picks to move up. I thought it was important to better ourselves with the pass rush and our defensive line push. Brandon, we thought, was the best defensive lineman out there to help us out, so we tried to stay aggressive and go up and attack it with two third round picks."

On what stood out in terms of his play: "The thing we liked about Brandon was he's a relentless player. I think a combination of Brandon and our other defensive linemen, Trent Cole, and so on; the addition of (Darryl) Tapp, and (Juqua Parker) and (Victor) Abiamiri. It's a great combination of guys right there. We went into this offseason wanting to better ourselves on the defensive line. We thought this helps us out. The thing I know with good defensive linemen is it makes everybody around them better. So, when you have a defensive line that's getting after it, all of a sudden the corners look a little better and the safeties look a little better and the linebackers look a little better. That's why we made this move."

On whether he got a sense that another team was going to pick him: "Well, we did. We knew that was a rough spot right in there, that we were in. We watched Denver move back. As you remember here, Denver moved back a couple spots with San Francisco. In that area, right in there, it was a sticky area. What you know, the good defensive ends, the good secondary players, the good offensive tackles, those guys normally go fairly early in the draft. You saw it. You saw a couple safeties go relatively early here, both guys have the potential to play corner. Then you see the offensive and defensive linemen."

On whether he values the defensive end position more than the other players that were available: "Well, the thing that we didn't want to do, and there's a fine line here because we went into the offseason saying that we wanted to be better on the defensive line. Well, you don't know at that point or where you're picking the quality of the defensive linemen, number one, and then exactly where they're going to fall. Those are two things you have to overcome with the film study and studying the draft. So, we felt he was the best player there and we also felt it took care of a need."

On not including the 37th pick in the draft in the trade: "We wanted to keep our two (second-round picks). That's what we wanted to do and then that's something to do tomorrow so you guys had to be here. Those are two valuable picks right there. We wanted to keep those and we were able to do that."

On whether Graham was the only player they considered moving up for: "Yes."

On his build: "He's got about 270 pounds. He reminds you, I think when you see him, his body type a little bit of Hugh Douglas. I don't want to pump Hugh up here too big. He looks a little bit like Hugh Douglas, he kind of plays like Hugh Douglas. He is a relentless, relentless player. He's done it at the high school level, the college level, he did it in the All-Star game and he did it against great competition. A national offensive tackle went ahead of him, he had a very good game against him. He's a very good player."

On whether he is done dealing for the evening: "There's a chance, there's a chance we do something, but not as long as I'm sitting here. That's probably not going to happen."

On his thoughts of having an overnight break and then coming back tomorrow with two second-round picks: "I like it, I kind of like it. I mentioned that down at the owner meetings. This right here, I think, is a neat deal. You're able to step back and kind of see what your board looks like and re-evaluate and move on with a little bit of a clear head."

On whether he didn't talk to Denver until they traded back: "No, I had talked to Denver for a while. Listen, everybody is talking. Everybody was talking over the last couple of weeks here. So, I can't sit here and tell you – I did talk to Denver before the move back, yes."

On whether he was confident coming in that they were going to trade up: "Well, as long as we felt we could get to where we could grab him. So, yes."

On what it was about Graham that he liked more than some of the other available players: "This isn't taking anything away from the other guys, but I put a lot of value in guys that love to play the game and play relentless football and that have the character. I thought he kind of filled all those spots. I also like defensive linemen that can do a good job of playing and making plays on the other side of the line of scrimmage. There weren't a lot of them that were better in college football than this kid. So, those were some of the things."

On identifying Graham early on in the draft process: "(Eagles general manager) Howie (Roseman) has done a phenomenal job with helping me out from my standpoint, narrowing things down and coaching me up on the players that he thought were superb players and worthy of playing for the Philadelphia Eagles. Then I went and looked at the players that he gave me. Howie thought the world of this kid. I went and looked at every game that he played, as I did with the other defensive ends and many of the other players. We just came to the conclusion jointly that this was the guy. We felt very good about him."

On Roseman's tendency to call Reid during the season and say that he just found the team's first round pick and whether Graham was one of the guys that he was talking about: "Yeah, this was one that he liked a lot."

On comparing Graham's motor to DE Trent Cole and whether that comparison is accurate: "It's very accurate. I told you before, I haven't been around a lot of players who play harder than Trent Cole. That's the way this kid played at that level, at the college level. We'll see what he does here. Hugh Douglas was a little bit that same way. Both Hugh and Trent have phenomenal motors."

On how Graham's presence will help Cole: "If you have two good defensive ends, it's hard to double both of them. Trent gets chipped and doubled and everything else. He's seen it all."

On whether the New York Giants were one of the teams that the Eagles thought wanted Graham: "We knew that they kind of liked him, too. There were a few of them, right in that area."

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