Defensive end Brandon Graham was not present for the first day of practice for the rookies and selected veterans. There is no update on the status of the contract negotiations between the Eagles and the 13th overall draft pick. As of this morning, there is only one first-round draft pick under contract. Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said on Tuesday that the best 11 players are going to line up when the Eagles take the field this season. But how will he be able to evaluate Graham if he's not in camp?
"I don't want to speculate how long it's going to take here," McDermott said. "That's not for me to be involved with. I trust the powers-that-be that they'll work it out. You guys know as well as I do that if you're not here it's hard to improve as a football player. It's hard to build and contribute when you're not here. We're not waiting on anyone. We're moving forward as a defense. If and when they report, they'll have to get caught up."
Last year, first-round pick Jeremy Maclin, who was 19th overall, missed the start of training camp, but rebounded to have an impressive rookie season catching 56 passes for 773 yards and four touchdowns. He was among the top rookie receivers in the league. However, in 2006, defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley missed a significant portion of training camp and was not able to make an impact his rookie season. Why is it that some players can miss time, but still thrive, while others never get caught up?
"I think it's on a case-by-case basis. Every position is different. Every individual is different," McDermott said. "There is a transition. You guys, as well as I have, have seen it over the years. There's a transition that has to take place, to transition your skills from the collegiate level to the NFL level and to play at a high level which is what we need out of both Brandon and Nate (Allen)."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 12:11 p.m., July 27