Graham Is Newest Eagle
By Lance Epstein
On Thursday night, the Philadelphia Eagles worked a deal out with the Denver Broncos where they Eagles exchanged first round picks and gave up two 2010 third-round picks to acquire heralded defensive end Brandon Graham.
Before the draft, Graham was projected to go anywhere from 13-20 and was considered one of the best defensive ends in the entire draft. The Eagles took a chance and made him the first end taken in the entire draft.
Graham is expected to compete with Juqua Parker, Victor Abiamiri and Darryl Tapp for the starting left defensive end spot. Many scouts have compared Graham to a mini Dwight Freeney due to his relentless and non-stop motor. If he turns out to be anything like Freeney, Eagles fans will be very excited. Here are some of his conference call quotes.
On Whether He Knew the Eagles Were Interested:
I was very surprised. You know the Eagles at the combine, I mean we for 15 minutes and talked to a couple different scouts, but never in a million years did I think Philadelphia was coming for me."
On What It Mean That the Eagles Gave Up Two Third Round picks To Get Him:
"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."
On Reid Comparing Him to Hugh Douglas and Trent Cole, What He Knows About Them and If he has ever Been Compared to Them Before:
"No, no I haven't. I have heard the names , but I really didn't get up into their game. I looked at the guys like the Dumervils [Broncos], and guys that are my size and see what I could take from their game and help my game. For Philadelphia to see that in me, I'm glad it made them make a move to get me and i appreciate that."
On Whether He Can Come In Right Away and Contribute:
"Hey I believe. i haven't sat on the bench for so many years. I ain't trying to start now. 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. I am just going to go out there and shot it. I don't know if coach wants me out there, I know he wants me out there as much as possible and i am just going to do that and be a starter.
On Team's Concern With 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. 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."
Did He Know How Much interest the Eagles had in Him:
"No I did not know at all. I didn't take a visit there and just met with them at the combine. I am just happy they see a lot in me. I see a lot in myself too and I am give them what they want."
On Himself As A Player:
"Great pass rusher. Disruptive run stopper. High motor guy. A humble guy. Coachable kid cause some one that is going to come in and learn. Someone who just loves the game of football."
On Senior Bowl Week:
"Senior Bowl week, I just wanted to answer any questions they had for me. They wanted me to play linebacker or anything and I was ready to go in and play and let them know that I could do this. That was the question of whether I could come in and play linebacker or come in and play defensive end. I wanted to show them both. I just kept going with what i know and that was defensive end that is where i was the last four years. So I just kept playing that and doing it to the fullest."
On Whether He Was Going to Be Drafted by a 4-3 OR 3-4 Defense:
"I knew it was going to be one of them. I was ready for whoever. I knew it was going to be one of them. I just wasn't banking on one, I was just banking on either one. i was just saying I know at whichever one I am going to be good at whatever position I play."
On Saying He Expects To Start Says He is Not a Role Player But Standout:
"Yes. I am going to do whatever the team wants me to do. But at the same time I am going in with the mentality that I am going to learn everything I can to get out there on the field. If it is starting off on special teams or anything, if I got to get out there I got to get out there. I am just not used to getting cold on the bench or sitting on the bench. I like to be out there helping my team win."