Michigan hybrid Brandon Graham was the most outstanding defensive player at the Senior Bowl and showcased his explosion and strength as a pass rusher. But the question still remains, what position is he best suited to play at the next level, defensive end or outside linebacker? Graham has generated plenty of interest from NFL teams that run both defensive schemes, and most scouts believe that the 6-foot-2, 268-pound sack artist can thrive in any defense.
Graham is a tweener, but will be an impact pass rusher at the next level.
So far this offseason, Graham has visited two teams, the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots run a 3-4 and view Graham as the perfect solution to their pass rush woes, while the Falcons, who run a 4-3, project Graham as a DE and are looking for a boost off the edge with John Abraham advancing in age and Jamaal Anderson labeled a bust.
It’s been a couple of weeks since Graham visited the Patriots and Falcons, but with the draft less than two weeks away, things are starting to heat up, and his schedule is booked next week. Scout.com has learned that Graham will visit the Tennessee Titans on April 11th and 12th, the New York Jets on April 12th and 13th and the Denver Broncos on April 13th and 14th.
A two and a half year starter at Michigan, Graham compares favorably to another former Michigan hybrid, current Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley. Graham has been one of the most feared edge rushers in college football since 2007, and since that time he’s generated 135 tackles, 55.5 for a loss, and 28.5 sacks. This past season, Graham had the best statistical outburst of his career recording 64 tackles, 26 for a loss (led the nation), and 10.5 sacks.
Graham is projected to be a mid-first round draft pick and is expected to hear his name called in the 13 – 22 range. He’s currently the No. 1 rated outside linebacker listed on Scout.com’s 2010 NFL Draft Rankings.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also now follow Chris Steuber on Twitter.