2010 NFL Draft Boom, Bust or Bleh: Michigan DE Brandon Graham

The more I read about Brandon Graham the more I like him.  He doesn't have the eye popping workout numbers of a Jason Pierre-Paul, but his on the field production is unquestionable.  He was the rave of the Senior Bowl, and that is a good sign because those performances come against NFL-caliber talent.  

Maize 'N Brew, in a post I linked a couple of months ago, makes the argument that Graham is extremely underrated and should have been a first team All American.  Graham is going to be a huge value for someone because he is going to be on the board late in the first round.

Click through the jump for scouting reports and highlights.

Here is what Dan from Mocking the Draft had to say about him:

Brandon Graham
6'1, 263 pounds | Defensive end | Michigan

Pass Rush/Closing ability/Moves and counter moves: Graham is a physical pass rusher who never quits. Frequently gets pressure, even when facing chip blocking. Gets very low to the ground, but maintains good balance coming around the edge. Benefited some at Michigan because he was allowed to line up wide and beat slower tackles. Has a very good inside counter move.

Pursuit/Lateral movement and agility: Excels pursuing the ball carrier. As a junior, he chased down Michigan State running back Javon Ringer. Plays with a lot of effort. Moves fairly well laterally, but his hips are stiff when going left to right. A bit more a straight-foward player.

Quickness/Explosion: Fires off the snap with a lot of passion. Is an excellent effort player. Powerfully punches into linemen to get off the block. Very good short-area quickness.

Run defend: Shows excellent awareness against the run. Quickly recognizes counters that come his way. Gets off his block and outside with ease. Breaks down in space nicely, which indicates he could hold up in a 3-4.

Size/Length/Hand size: Doesn't have the size evaluators look for in a defensive end. Height is only average. Has short arms -- measured at 30 inches at the Senior Bowl. Build is good and ready for the NFL.

Strength/Ability to shed blocks: Has a powerful build and is strong throughout his frame. Knows his to use his low center of gravity to get leverage. Probably won't need to add more bulk.

Tackling: More a strength tackler than a form tackler. Does a nice job keeping his shoulders square to the line when tackling. Explodes through the ball carrier. Doesn't really ever try to strip the ball.

Technique/Hand use/Leverage: Graham always plays low to the ground, which helps him get under blockers at the point. Uses his hands to disengage fairly well. However, Graham doesn't have the kind of hand punch you'd expect. Will let athletic offensive tackles get into his frame.

Versatility: Because of his size, a lot of people think Graham is a 3-4 outside linebacker or another LaMarr Woodley. However, he doesn't have Woodley's agility or lateral movement. Played some tackle in obvious pass-rush situations.

Final word: Graham really exploded onto the scene during Senior Bowl week, establishing himself as a first-round talent. Graham started for 2 1/2 years for Michigan and was a star in that role. For his career he finished with 56 tackles for a loss and 29.5 sacks. As a senior, he led the nation in tackles for loss with 26, even though he was clearly Michigan's best player in the front four.

For me, Graham will be best as a 4-3 end. His playing quickness is very good and speed is solid, but he doesn't move well laterally at length. Graham is a power rush with good moves.

A very good all-around player, but don't get caught up in his size and athleticism numbers.

NFL Draft Countdown profile

The one thing you read about Graham over and over is that he has a high motor.  How awesome would it be for the Titans front office to give Jim Washburn a guy that already has the motor?  We are always hearing about how Wash can make guys play hard when they haven't in the past.  I can only thing of one other time they have given him a high motor guy (Boom King), and that experiment was a HUGE success.  Could Graham be Boom King part II?

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