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FinAtic8480
04-02-2010, 04:32 AM
12. Miami Dolphins...OLB Brandon Graham (Michigan)...The Dolphins filled one of their needs on the defensive side of the ball with the signing of LB Karlos Dansby and now add Brandon Graham, who I've heard, is very high on Bill Parcell's wish list...Graham will bring some heat off the ege as a standup llinebacker in the Dolphins 3-4 scheme. *Note - The Dolphins would like to move down a few spots and still take Graham, but the possibility exists that he won't be on the board if they move too far.

http://www.eastcoastsportsnews.com/2010Draft.html

This is the time of year you believe everything you hear and nothing at the same time. April 22nd cannot get here sooner.

normaniii
04-02-2010, 05:50 AM
I would love to trade down and pick up Graham/Kindle or even JPP between 20-25

Chubby
04-02-2010, 08:07 AM
I would love to trade down and pick up Graham/Kindle or even JPP between 20-25

You started that post so well and killed it with JPP :), Seriously though Graham might not make it past #19. There is a huge storm brewing in Atlanta, all reports are that its not just the fanbase that is spilit down the road 50/50 on whether they want Graham or Spoon. From what I have heard the Atlanta FO is evenly torn as well.

It's so bad on the Falcon Forums that no other picks are even being discussed anymore, its only Graham or Spoon. You think the fin forums gets bad with repetitivy(is that a word?) over there its the only thing they post about right now.
Chubbs

Mcganiel
04-02-2010, 08:33 AM
I love this kids motor and play but he is just to small to play in a 3-4 scheme. He is only 6'1" and has short arms. I think we will be stuck trying to sort out what to do with him.

Danny
04-02-2010, 09:27 AM
Please, no to JJP.....Graham I like and Kindle as well....I think that for what we want to do, Kindle could be a better fit tho.

Ozzy rules!!

normaniii
04-02-2010, 10:02 AM
I would prefer Graham as he would provide a better option at SOLB.

LikeUntoGod
04-02-2010, 10:14 AM
Teams very very rarely move down. What happens is that other teams want to move up.

When we moved down in the 2nd round last year it was the Colts who came to us with the offer.

EireTiger
04-02-2010, 10:18 AM
For those posting negative comments on Jason Pierre-Paul, could you provide some explanation as to why you think he would be a bad pick other than that the fact that he played two years of JUCO ball and 1 year in Div 1?

Is there a specific reason you don't think he is good?

finner
04-02-2010, 10:29 AM
Interesting, he has Dez falling into the 2nd round...

Phin-Phan 66
04-02-2010, 10:46 AM
I'm all for Graham! I'm glad they are doing their homework.

JCfinfan
04-02-2010, 10:47 AM
I love this kid. I'd take him at 12 but if we can move down a few spots and get him, its a bonus.

ckparrothead
04-02-2010, 11:42 AM
I have an exclusive group I would personally consider at #12. They are:

1. Eric Berry
2. Dez Bryant
3. Brandon Graham
4. C.J. Spiller

Caveat being that if we trade Ronnie Brown for, let's say, Shawne Merriman? I would bump Spiller up the list.

I've settled on Graham as my guy at OLB. I've had him mocked to Miami at #12 forever. He played linebacker for 11 years before playing DE for Michigan for 4 years. There's some linebacker left in him and he looks forward to playing it. He can get to the QB, he has tremendously powerful hands, he's very BALANCED and CONTROLLED, and yet he's also very aggressive. He can genuinely run, and he's a big boy, built very stout.

dagger151
04-02-2010, 12:14 PM
I would love a Brown for Merriman trade. I am a huge Brown fan but lets get value while we can at a position of need!

TheBow305
04-02-2010, 12:39 PM
lol, I'll believe it when I see it. Graham will not be the pick.

krosston
04-02-2010, 12:56 PM
Not only does he have Bryant dropping to the 2nd, he has Tate and Thomas also dropping. It would wonderful to be in the running for one of these WRs in the 2nd.

SR 7
04-02-2010, 12:59 PM
I have an exclusive group I would personally consider at #12. They are:

1. Eric Berry
2. Dez Bryant
3. Brandon Graham
4. C.J. Spiller

Caveat being that if we trade Ronnie Brown for, let's say, Shawne Merriman? I would bump Spiller up the list.

I've settled on Graham as my guy at OLB. I've had him mocked to Miami at #12 forever. He played linebacker for 11 years before playing DE for Michigan for 4 years. There's some linebacker left in him and he looks forward to playing it. He can get to the QB, he has tremendously powerful hands, he's very BALANCED and CONTROLLED, and yet he's also very aggressive. He can genuinely run, and he's a big boy, built very stout.

why did Thomas fall off your board?

hooshoops
04-02-2010, 01:01 PM
yeah i'm in complete agreement with ck's list...and order

ckparrothead
04-02-2010, 01:10 PM
why did Thomas fall off your board?

He'd be on it if I listed more players.

When I do a short board like this...there's no point listing a bunch of players I expect to be there. I don't expect all four of the players I listed to be taken in picks #1-11, mostly because I don't expect anyone to take Brandon Graham before we could.

I could list Earl Thomas at #5, but what would be the point? Someone in #1-4 is going to be available, so I'm not bothering to list more than those four.

You shouldn't take it to mean that I'm down on Earl Thomas. You should more take it to mean that my priorities are heavily placed on Berry, Bryant, Graham and Spiller.

SR 7
04-02-2010, 01:21 PM
He'd be on it if I listed more players.

When I do a short board like this...there's no point listing a bunch of players I expect to be there. I don't expect all four of the players I listed to be taken in picks #1-11, mostly because I don't expect anyone to take Brandon Graham before we could.

I could list Earl Thomas at #5, but what would be the point? Someone in #1-4 is going to be available, so I'm not bothering to list more than those four.

You shouldn't take it to mean that I'm down on Earl Thomas. You should more take it to mean that my priorities are heavily placed on Berry, Bryant, Graham and Spiller.

I think Graham to Denver is a very strong possibility.

ckparrothead
04-02-2010, 02:10 PM
I think Graham to Denver is a very strong possibility.

...Really?

I don't see any reason why that would happen. They just drafted Robert Ayers to play OLB and they have Elvis Dumervil. I'm pretty sure they're set there.

rev kev
04-02-2010, 02:44 PM
I have an exclusive group I would personally consider at #12. They are:

1. Eric Berry
2. Dez Bryant
3. Brandon Graham
4. C.J. Spiller

Caveat being that if we trade Ronnie Brown for, let's say, Shawne Merriman? I would bump Spiller up the list.

I've settled on Graham as my guy at OLB. I've had him mocked to Miami at #12 forever. He played linebacker for 11 years before playing DE for Michigan for 4 years. There's some linebacker left in him and he looks forward to playing it. He can get to the QB, he has tremendously powerful hands, he's very BALANCED and CONTROLLED, and yet he's also very aggressive. He can genuinely run, and he's a big boy, built very stout.

I like this and with 1,2 gone that leaves Graham who should be there...

SR 7
04-02-2010, 02:55 PM
...Really?

I don't see any reason why that would happen. They just drafted Robert Ayers to play OLB and they have Elvis Dumervil. I'm pretty sure they're set there.

Oh **** I forgot all about Ayers.

NoblePhin
04-02-2010, 03:00 PM
I have an exclusive group I would personally consider at #12. They are:

1. Eric Berry
2. Dez Bryant
3. Brandon Graham
4. C.J. Spiller

Caveat being that if we trade Ronnie Brown for, let's say, Shawne Merriman? I would bump Spiller up the list.

I've settled on Graham as my guy at OLB. I've had him mocked to Miami at #12 forever. He played linebacker for 11 years before playing DE for Michigan for 4 years. There's some linebacker left in him and he looks forward to playing it. He can get to the QB, he has tremendously powerful hands, he's very BALANCED and CONTROLLED, and yet he's also very aggressive. He can genuinely run, and he's a big boy, built very stout.




it would be nice if berry was there, but i don't think we're even close to getting him. Any one of the others at 12 i wouldn't mind at all. We need a playmaker, besides the obvious elite potential of Bryant, Spiller can hurt teams in many ways. He can fill the position of Ricky in the wildcat, kickoffs, screens, passes out of the backfield, line up in slot, and finally run. Him and Graham are my two top choices for the pick. Regardless of height, Graham is going to be good, very good. He could be a better Dumervil for Nolan to mess with. If we go Spiller at 12, then Kindle or Worlids in the second would make me happy, Worlids over Kindle that is. I can see why people might think Kindle is a potential bust, but I must admit with some years to fully develop his skills and weightlifting, he could be scary as hell. COULD is the big word there though. So many players to choose from. I wish i could wake up and it just be the 22nd

Roman529
04-02-2010, 03:16 PM
I love this kids motor and play but he is just to small to play in a 3-4 scheme. He is only 6'1" and has short arms. I think we will be stuck trying to sort out what to do with him.

People said the same thing about Zach Thomas who was maybe 5'11" at best, with short arms. He turned out alright.

gdiaz0358
04-02-2010, 03:27 PM
I love this kids motor and play but he is just to small to play in a 3-4 scheme. He is only 6'1" and has short arms. I think we will be stuck trying to sort out what to do with him.

Elvis Dummerville is 5'11 and under Nolan he led the league in sacks i believe...another example is Mr. Harrison in Pitt. Hes about 6'0 and last i checked he is a top 3 OLB in the 3-4....size is only important to Parcells, but ask Nolan how he felt about Dumerville......we are gonna pass on this stud cuz of his size and NE is gonna snatch him up and hes gonna reck havoc on our QB/ Oline for years to come....FML

ckparrothead
04-03-2010, 01:36 AM
About the size thing.

1. The short arm criticism turned out to be a myth. He was mis-measured at the Senior Bowl. He was re-measured at the Combine and his arms were 32+ inches long. He's got a wide chest and shoulders. You don't pass on a guy for having 32 inch arms where you'd take him if he had 33 inch arms. That's the definition of getting too caught up in numbers or measurements.

2. At 6'1.5" he's not as short as people are making him out to be. You can easily be an OLB in the NFL at that height. It's not even a detriment. Lamarr Woodley and Parys Haralson are the exact same height. Dwight Freeney, Elvis Dumervil and James Harrison are both significantly shorter. Joey Porter, Clint Sintim and Cameron Wake are barely an inch taller. Darryl Tapp and Robert Mathis are the same height. Tully Banta-Cain, Larry English and Chris Gocong are little more than a half inch taller. I agree that height is something you look for, but it is NOT worth splitting hairs over when we're talking about really good players.

j-off-her-doll
04-03-2010, 01:46 AM
About the size thing.

1. The short arm criticism turned out to be a myth. He was mis-measured at the Senior Bowl. He was re-measured at the Combine and his arms were 32+ inches long. He's got a wide chest and shoulders. You don't pass on a guy for having 32 inch arms where you'd take him if he had 33 inch arms. That's the definition of getting too caught up in numbers or measurements.

2. At 6'1.5" he's not as short as people are making him out to be. You can easily be an OLB in the NFL at that height. It's not even a detriment. Lamarr Woodley and Parys Haralson are the exact same height. Dwight Freeney, Elvis Dumervil and James Harrison are both significantly shorter. Joey Porter, Clint Sintim and Cameron Wake are barely an inch taller. Darryl Tapp and Robert Mathis are the same height. Tully Banta-Cain, Larry English and Chris Gocong are little more than a half inch taller. I agree that height is something you look for, but it is NOT worth splitting hairs over when we're talking about really good players.

Was waiting for someone to correct the short-arms criticism. On my board, I flop Graham and Thomas, but I give only a slight edge to Spiller over Graham. He's the only OLB that makes perfect sense - to me - at #12. I do, though, think we can get him in the 15-17 range. But, the same can probably be said for E. Thomas. That's not a knock on either player or a reason to pass either up - just looks like it will shake out that way with the teams drafting behind us.

JT-forpresident
04-03-2010, 01:52 AM
About the size thing.

1. The short arm criticism turned out to be a myth. He was mis-measured at the Senior Bowl. He was re-measured at the Combine and his arms were 32+ inches long. He's got a wide chest and shoulders. You don't pass on a guy for having 32 inch arms where you'd take him if he had 33 inch arms. That's the definition of getting too caught up in numbers or measurements.

2. At 6'1.5" he's not as short as people are making him out to be. You can easily be an OLB in the NFL at that height. It's not even a detriment. Lamarr Woodley and Parys Haralson are the exact same height. Dwight Freeney, Elvis Dumervil and James Harrison are both significantly shorter. Joey Porter, Clint Sintim and Cameron Wake are barely an inch taller. Darryl Tapp and Robert Mathis are the same height. Tully Banta-Cain, Larry English and Chris Gocong are little more than a half inch taller. I agree that height is something you look for, but it is NOT worth splitting hairs over when we're talking about really good players.


while i think the arm lenght is somewhat of an indicator for the ability to create separation off blocks, shed, push-pull, etc. an offensive lineman, it's not the ONLY one. People get caught up with that measurement, but hey listen i played with a DE back in high school who was 6'7 and had arms about 3-4 inches longer than mine, and i'm 6'4 , and he couldn't get off a block to save his life.

It's important to see beyond that measurement and go watch some tape to see how he fares against tall and long-armed offensive tackles (which are basically what he's gonna face in the nfl, those guys are bigger than in the ncaa)

While I haven't spent time doing so, i'm pretty confident after watching his overrall play that shedding a block isn't a problem for him. He's strong, he's got the experience, he's got big hands, and he plays low... arm lenght my ***

as for the height thing, i don't know... i personally think it's pretty important, but when i see guys like you mentionned, being succesful at the position, it pretty much proves me wrong :lol: ...

on the other hand, who I think are the best End/ OLB players in the league right now happen to be pretty tall ... jared allen, julius peppers, mario williams, demarcus ware... :rolleyes:

So I have a lukewarm opinion over your point on the height, but when all is said and done, besides height, i see no reason whatsoever to pass on him, none, zip. (except, you know, the guys named eric berry and dez bryant :lol: )

j-off-her-doll
04-03-2010, 02:06 AM
while i think the arm lenght is somewhat of an indicator for the ability to create separation off blocks, shed, push-pull, etc. an offensive lineman, it's not the ONLY one. People get caught up with that measurement, but hey listen i played with a DE back in high school who was 6'7 and had arms about 3-4 inches longer than mine, and i'm 6'4 , and he couldn't get off a block to save his life.

It's important to see beyond that measurement and go watch some tape to see how he fares against tall and long-armed offensive tackles (which are basically what he's gonna face in the nfl, those guys are bigger than in the ncaa)

While I haven't spent time doing so, i'm pretty confident after watching his overrall play that shedding a block isn't a problem for him. He's strong, he's got the experience, he's got big hands, and he plays low... arm lenght my ***

as for the height thing, i don't know... i personally think it's pretty important, but when i see guys like you mentionned, being succesful at the position, it pretty much proves me wrong :lol: ...

on the other hand, who I think are the best End/ OLB players in the league right now happen to be pretty tall ... jared allen, julius peppers, mario williams, demarcus ware... :rolleyes:

So I have a lukewarm opinion over your point on the height, but when all is said and done, besides height, i see no reason whatsoever to pass on him, none, zip.

Would you rate J. Allen and J. Peppers ahead of D. Freeney? I wouldn't.

Mr. Magoo
04-03-2010, 02:34 AM
I agree that height is something you look for, but it is NOT worth splitting hairs over when we're talking about really good players.

According to you. And if I were running things, me too.

But Parcells/Ireland and Nolan's history tell a different story. It can't be ignored that men of Graham's height are almost never taken by these guys to play linebacker, especially outside linebacker, and especially that high.

These guys don't have the same philosophy as the Steelers, who don't really seem to care about height in the outside backers. But the prototype for our defense is 6'3, 255 pounds. That's Terrell Suggs' size, who Nolan helped pick at the top of the 1st round in Baltimore. That's John Abraham's size, who Parcells and Nolan picked in the top of the first round in New York. It's been their prototype for years and I see no reason it'll stop this year.

I agree Graham has fantastic tape, but I can absolutely see them sitting there going, "nice production, but an overachiever without prototypical size and no outstanding measurables. Late first, early second round grade." Other teams will of course have him higher than that so we don't end up with him.

Not the way I'd grade him. But I can see it happening.

ckparrothead
04-03-2010, 08:29 AM
According to you. And if I were running things, me too.

But Parcells/Ireland and Nolan's history tell a different story. It can't be ignored that men of Graham's height are almost never taken by these guys to play linebacker, especially outside linebacker, and especially that high.

These guys don't have the same philosophy as the Steelers, who don't really seem to care about height in the outside backers. But the prototype for our defense is 6'3, 255 pounds. That's Terrell Suggs' size, who Nolan helped pick at the top of the 1st round in Baltimore. That's John Abraham's size, who Parcells and Nolan picked in the top of the first round in New York. It's been their prototype for years and I see no reason it'll stop this year.

I agree Graham has fantastic tape, but I can absolutely see them sitting there going, "nice production, but an overachiever without prototypical size and no outstanding measurables. Late first, early second round grade." Other teams will of course have him higher than that so we don't end up with him.

Not the way I'd grade him. But I can see it happening.

I disagree with that statement altogether, especially with respect to Mike Nolan.

Pinkboy
04-03-2010, 09:07 AM
Let's hope this report is true.

A couple months ago I wrote a bunch of long and detailed posts explaining the NUMEROUS positive points to Graham's game. How I would love this guy to be our 1st round pick.

Extremely NFL ready and polished player. He is a gazillion times better than JPP and Kindle.. it's not even funny how those guys are 3, 4 and 5 notches below Graham's game.

flynryan15
04-03-2010, 09:08 AM
For those posting negative comments on Jason Pierre-Paul, could you provide some explanation as to why you think he would be a bad pick other than that the fact that he played two years of JUCO ball and 1 year in Div 1?

Is there a specific reason you don't think he is good?

3 words!

Vernon Gholston Junior!

Mr. Magoo
04-03-2010, 09:42 AM
I disagree with that statement altogether, especially with respect to Mike Nolan.

Disagree all you like, but I've already made a study of it.

In the 17 years Nolan has been a defensive coordinator or a head coach, his teams have drafted 14 pure linebackers and 9 defensive end to linebacker conversion guys.

Of those 23 players, only 4 were shorter than 6'2.

6'1, 237 pound Jessie Armstead, the 207th pick in 1993.
6'1, 230 pound Twan Russell, the 148th pick in 1997 (while running a 4-3).
6', 255 pound Paryls Harralson, the 140th pick in 2006.
6'1, 240 pound Patrick Willis, the 11th pick in 2007.

http://www.finheaven.com/forums/f75/comprehensive-study-every-defensive-player-drafted-while-mike-nolan-was-the-dc-hc-271786.html

As you can see, Patrick Willis was the only even remotely high pick of those, and Harralson was the only conversion guy of the 9 shorter than 6'3, much less 6'2.

Now a lot of people like to point to guys like Dumervil (6'1 Ray Lewis being another example, though interestingly the Giants and then-DC Nolan passed on him in 1996) as proof that Nolan doesn't care about height, but I have to say I consider this viewpoint rather foolish. When you're a new defensive coordinator and you come to a team, there's only so much you can change right away. For the most part you have to work with the guys you have, especially if they're guys like Dumervil and Lewis who are really talented and prove up close they can do it despite not meeting the prototype.

Sure, you can jettison the Gibril Wilson's of the world, but you're not in a position to demand the prototype at every position from the get go. These preferences come out as you move along down the years in the draft and free agency, when you have control over who you bring in (6'4 Karlos Dansby being a recent example).

As much as I love Brandon Graham, he doesn't fit Nolan's proven prototype. And he doesn't have the kind of eye popping measurables a player like Willis has to make you think about looking the other way.

As Sparano recently said, he doesn't like making exceptions for players because if you do you suddenly turn around and you have a roster full of exceptions. I'm fairly well convinced Brandon Graham would be an exception for them, especially as high as #12.

#1dolphinsfan
04-03-2010, 09:43 AM
I'm not a big fan of Graham

XxfeensterxX
04-03-2010, 12:12 PM
Graham is going to be a GREAT NFL player in my opinion, he would be a great pick for our defense.

Pinkboy
04-03-2010, 01:37 PM
Right at the 1:30 mark... Notice a Photo of Chad Henne right over a pic of Graham on a pole (or column) in Michigan's weight room.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-Aky4TdRuI

You can also get a good look at it at 1:52.

is that a sign ?? There are other columns with other pair's of Michigan players... But on that particular one it's only Henne and Graham.

hmmm..... the 2 leaders of our offense and defense over the next 10 years plastered together there ??

And of course, we all know how much Parcells just loves good productive players from the University of Michigan.... and yeah, this just so happens to be an off season where the FO's #1 priority is rebuilding the Linebacker corps.... with Roth, Ayodele, Taylor, and Porter all gone from the start of last year.

That wall could very well be the young leaders of this Miami Dolphins team for a long, long time.

finfan54
04-03-2010, 06:36 PM
I think we are very high on him if he drops to 43. Not 12. Just my blowhard opine.

insomnia411
04-03-2010, 07:23 PM
For those of you who feel that Brandon Graham is going to turn off Parcells and Nolan due to his size, I'd like to remind you of a player by the name of Elvis Dumervil who Mike Nolan coached last year. While Dumervil is 6'0 wearing stilts, he also happens to be a top 5 pass rusher in football. I see a lot of Dumervil in Brandon Graham because of his motor, his versatility, his pass rush ability and his toughness. Graham is also very stout against the run, despite what his size might indicate.
Brandon Graham is not only underrated, I think he is the best 3-4 olb prospect in this draft, and I believe he would be a steal at #12.

AZStryker
04-03-2010, 07:24 PM
THis is the draft where I wish Ireland/Parcells weren't in charge. THe pick should be Dez Bryant hands down according to team needs and value. However, if it has to be a linebacker, and it probably does, hopefully it's McClain. We passed on Ray Lewis in favor of Daryl Gardner and WIllis in favor of Ginn. If we pass on McClain over a tweener or a high potential guy i'm gonna be sick.

Pinkboy
04-03-2010, 09:21 PM
McClain is no Patrick Willis or Ray Lewis.

AZStryker
04-03-2010, 10:07 PM
McClain is no Patrick Willis or Ray Lewis.

And Graham is no Dumerville. My point is that we reached for potential instead of just taking the best player at the position.

Pinkboy
04-03-2010, 10:24 PM
I not once compared Graham to Dumervil. So don't know where you got that from... they are different players... Graham is a lot more stout and a lot stronger at the point of attack, for instance.

If Graham ends up on a 3-4 team I will bet good money that he will be a better pro than Rolando McClain... and make more of an impact on a team.

And lastly, ILB is not as an important position as OLB is on a 3-4 defense.

There have only been a couple ILB's taken in the top 10 over the past 15 years..... and if you want to go further, there have been far more OLB's/DE's drafted in the first round than ILB's in any scheme... ILB is simply not as important as OLB is in such a scheme... for obvious reasons.

insomnia411
04-03-2010, 10:25 PM
And Graham is no Dumerville. My point is that we reached for potential instead of just taking the best player at the position.

To me, the draft is all about matching up need with BPA. Now, you may feel that McClain is a better player than Graham, and I wouldn't necessarily disagree with you, but it's pretty damn close. The fact is that we have a much bigger need at OLB than we do at ILB at the moment, and in today's NFL there is a much higher premium on pass rushers anyway.
The way our roster is now, Crowder is making way too much money to just cast him aside, and he's more than adequate as a #2 ILB in the 3-4. IMO, McClain would be a luxury pick for us, and we just can't afford to be making those. See Pat White last year.

MiamiDolfan85
04-03-2010, 10:41 PM
Brandon Graham is a Parcells player,and even though he hasn't been in Davie yet(for what we know of),neither was Jake Long when he was drafted...Hell,no Dolphins scout was even at his Pro Day.I think Miami has legit interest in Graham.

j-off-her-doll
04-03-2010, 11:09 PM
Graham is so much better than McClain that comparing them is a joke.

TheBow305
04-03-2010, 11:16 PM
Like I said in an email earlier, I'm not saying I wouldn't draft him, I'd be fine with him as our pick, but I KNOW the Trifecta won't take him. Look at their history. They value size over all other qualities first. They don't draft LB's, especially OLB's under 6'2". The sooner people realize this, the easier it will become on draft day for these people who want him so bad. It's just not going to happen. Why do you think that we have heard so little about the interest in him? We've had Sergio Kindle and Derrick Morgan in for visits. Why? Because they fit what the FO is looking for to a T. Both are over 6'3", 255 lb SOLB prospects. They can set the edge and are pass rushing beasts. Morgan isnt the ideal fit, but he has the motor to make it work. People are just hyped up on Graham after his Senior Bowl week, but he isn't a good fit and isn't anywhere near the prospect that Morgan and Kindle are. He isn't worth a Top 15 pick, that's the reality. If we go OLB, it will be one of the two, but it won't be Graham, that I am certain of. If you don't believe me, just wait until draft day and you will see.

TheBow305
04-03-2010, 11:19 PM
Graham is so much better than McClain that comparing them is a joke.

No he's not. McClain is a legit Top 10-15 pick. I wouldn't say Graham is a sure-fire Top 15-20 pick. I don't think he'll go any earlier than NE at 22 TBH.

j-off-her-doll
04-03-2010, 11:24 PM
No he's not. McClain is a legit Top 10-15 pick. I wouldn't say Graham is a sure-fire Top 15-20 pick. I don't think he'll go any earlier than NE at 22 TBH.

I don't care how much McClain's being overrated. Graham's a better athlete, plays with better instincts, and much better explosion. Oh, and he's a good deal stronger, and he uses his strength: he plays physical - unlike McClain.

Graham > McClain

All day erryday.

XxfeensterxX
04-04-2010, 02:04 AM
Isnt a good fit? Are you kidding me, honestly? He is a perfect match for what we need at a SOLB. People say he doesnt have much exp. in coverage, but he can learn that part of the game. He has the run stopping and pass rushing already, and a non-stop motor to go with it. I will be PUMPED if he is our pick at 12. He is going to be an awesome NFL player.

SRM
04-04-2010, 02:26 AM
I'd love for us to take this guy.

Mr. Magoo
04-04-2010, 04:39 AM
Like I said in an email earlier, I'm not saying I wouldn't draft him, I'd be fine with him as our pick, but I KNOW the Trifecta won't take him. Look at their history. They value size over all other qualities first. They don't draft LB's, especially OLB's under 6'2". The sooner people realize this, the easier it will become on draft day for these people who want him so bad. It's just not going to happen. Why do you think that we have heard so little about the interest in him? We've had Sergio Kindle and Derrick Morgan in for visits. Why? Because they fit what the FO is looking for to a T. Both are over 6'3", 255 lb SOLB prospects. They can set the edge and are pass rushing beasts. Morgan isnt the ideal fit, but he has the motor to make it work. People are just hyped up on Graham after his Senior Bowl week, but he isn't a good fit and isn't anywhere near the prospect that Morgan and Kindle are. He isn't worth a Top 15 pick, that's the reality. If we go OLB, it will be one of the two, but it won't be Graham, that I am certain of. If you don't believe me, just wait until draft day and you will see.

See, I agree that the chances are pretty good they won't take him. A look into Nolan's history should be fairly conclusive as to the "prototype" player they're looking for, whatever anyone says.

But I disagree that Graham isn't worth a top 15 pick. He's a fantastically productive player with strong, quick hands, great motor, good awareness, and good quickness in space.

If I were the GM, and guys like Eric Berry and Dez Bryant were gone, I'd take him and be very happy about it.

But this isn't about me, or what I think. The question is whether this regime would take him, given their preferences and their history.

And I simply don't know how anyone can look at the record and be confident predicting it will be Graham. He's enough of an outlier from their preferences it makes it very hard for me to project him to them @ #12.

I think if Keith Butler had been hired away from Pittsburgh it'd be a different story. That team has proven over and over again they don't care so much about the height of their linebackers. But Nolan has proven it, and people shouldn't let their personal feelings about what a prospect should or shouldn't be physically interfere with their ability to predict what these guys will do.

Pinkboy
04-04-2010, 04:46 AM
TheBow305, what a bunch of total nonsense. Kindle can't get anywhere close to sniffing Graham's jockstrap as a pass rusher or as a player... That must be a joke there that you wrote. Because you can't possibly be serious.

Kindle is one of the most overrated players in the entire draft.. He has EXTENSIVE flaws to his game as a pass rusher.. He totally stinks in using leverage, his hand use sucks and he has no moves... he also can't sink his hips on the arc, he doesn't play heavy coming around the edge and doesn't show heavy hands whatsoever. and SERIOUSLY lacks instincts.. Moreover, he gets washed out against the run all too frequently, and quite easily downfield. He also lacks in change of direction movement, and seriously lacks leg drive.

Just like Gholston who sucked in so many areas to his game but scouts got blinded by his explosion off the snap.. and totally ignored the dozen areas of his game where he stunk.... Gholston had no moves whatsoever, he didn't understand leverage at all. Never knew how to counter at all... his hips lacked fluidity, had very bad instincts and awareness for the game etc etc etc,.. I talked extensively about how I despised Gholston months before that draft, for the reasons given... talked about how I was 100% certain he would be a total bust.. and I despise Kindle almost the same way now.

And of course, now people are getting blinded because Kindle has some straight line speed ?? well so what ! He sucks in so many other areas of the game it's not even funny. If straight line speed is all you look for at that position, then I think you are following the wrong sport - you should be following track, not football.

Brandon Graham's technique is flawless... he has a great array of pass rush moves and makes the position look like it comes 2nd nature to him, like he was born to play it.. His hand use is at an ELITE level already. His motor kills all.. His understanding of leverage and how to manipulate and use it to his advantage is NFL elite already... has high awareness/recognition and a high football IQ... has the burst when making a play on the close you look for of course.. has great strength at the point of attack. He is an extremely polished player in other ways than what I listed.

Thinking Kindle is even half the football player Graham is is totally silly.. Anyone who thinks Kindle is even half the player Graham is HAS to be totally off their rocker and absolutely nuts ( take no offense when I say that guys, but it astounds me how so many people miss the many important attributes it takes to be a good pass rusher and OLB in the NFL).

I'm glad that former Ravens scout Daniel Jeremiah just came out recently and said that Kindle is simply not a pass rusher.. PERIOD.. And he's absolutely right.. Kindle isn't. If we draft that guy you will rue the day for a very very long time. He stinks.

Furthermore, that doesn't include the intangibles Graham brings over Kindle on and off the field.

The Dolphins might as well start giving their division rivals their 1st round picks if they're going to start passing on very good players like Graham for garbage like Kindle.

hooshoops
04-04-2010, 04:52 AM
i wouldn't say that graham has such a great array of pass rush moves nor better instincts than mcclain...

of course they don't project to play the same position in the pros so that comparison makes zero sense to me anyways...

as for kindle very overrated imo...

AZStryker
04-04-2010, 05:04 AM
Graham is so much better than McClain that comparing them is a joke.

Hmm... every single draft guru that is getting paid to research and voice their opinion disagrees with you.

Plus if we wanted a short, high motor guy to play the strong side we could've just kept Roth.

TheBow305
04-04-2010, 05:12 AM
TheBow305, what a bunch of total nonsense. Kindle can't get anywhere close to sniffing Graham's jockstrap as a pass rusher or as a player... That must be a joke there that you wrote. Because you can't possibly be serious.

Kindle is one of the most overrated players in the entire draft.. He has EXTENSIVE flaws to his game as a pass rusher.. He totally stinks in using leverage, his hand use sucks and he has no moves... he also can't sink his hips on the arc, he doesn't play heavy coming around the edge and doesn't show heavy hands whatsoever. and SERIOUSLY lacks instincts.. Moreover, he gets washed out against the run all too frequently, and quite easily downfield. He also lacks in change of direction movement, and seriously lacks leg drive.

Just like Gholston who sucked in so many areas to his game but scouts got blinded by his explosion off the snap.. and totally ignored the dozen areas of his game where he stunk.... Gholston had no moves whatsoever, he didn't understand leverage at all. Never knew how to counter at all... his hips lacked fluidity, had very bad instincts and awareness for the game etc etc etc,.. I talked extensively about how I despised Gholston months before that draft, for the reasons given... talked about how I was 100% certain he would be a total bust.. and I despise Kindle almost the same way now.

And of course, now people are getting blinded because Kindle has some straight line speed ?? well so what ! He sucks in so many other areas of the game it's not even funny. If straight line speed is all you look for at that position, then I think you are following the wrong sport - you should be following track, not football.

Brandon Graham's technique is flawless... he has a great array of pass rush moves and makes the position look like it comes 2nd nature to him, like he was born to play it.. His hand use is at an ELITE level already. His motor kills all.. His understanding of leverage and how to manipulate and use it to his advantage is NFL elite already... has high awareness/recognition and a high football IQ... has the burst when making a play on the close you look for of course.. has great strength at the point of attack. He is an extremely polished player in other ways than what I listed.

Thinking Kindle is even half the football player Graham is is totally silly.. Anyone who thinks Kindle is even half the player Graham is HAS to be totally off their rocker and absolutely nuts ( take no offense when I say that guys, but it astounds me how so many people miss the many important attributes it takes to be a good pass rusher and OLB in the NFL).

I'm glad that former Ravens scout Daniel Jeremiah just came out recently and said that Kindle is simply not a pass rusher.. PERIOD.. And he's absolutely right.. Kindle isn't. If we draft that guy you will rue the day for a very very long time. He stinks.

Furthermore, that doesn't include the intangibles Graham brings over Kindle on and off the field.

The Dolphins might as well start giving their division rivals their 1st round picks if they're going to start passing on very good players like Graham for garbage like Kindle.

LOVE how you totally ignored Morgan. I like Kindle, but I would prefer Morgan at this point. Maybe Kindle is not better than Graham as a prospect, I think that can be argued for or against. But he is at least comparable. Morgan is NO QUESTION the better prospect between the TWO, and I'd bet my house that if the two are sitting there, we go with Morgan 10 times out of 10. You guys are acting like I said Graham's not a good player. I've said he is over and over again, and I also said I would be fine with him in Miami if they chose him. I'm just saying, it's 100% not going to happen. I'm just trying to help you guys realize that.

Mr. Magoo
04-04-2010, 05:29 AM
I don't get either side of this debate.

For TheBow305: I don't see how anyone who watches Graham's tape can come away anything but hugely impressed by his skills.

For, uh, everyone else: But I furthermore don't see how anyone who has looked at the draft tendencies of this FO and it's defensive coordinator and reliably think a guy of Graham's height would be the pick for that position.

hooshoops
04-04-2010, 05:30 AM
graham is a downright monster on tape...he really is

plays with such great strength and leverage...a power player

Fin_Frenzy_84
04-04-2010, 05:52 AM
You cant even compare McClain and Graham ones inside the other is outside.

ckparrothead
04-04-2010, 06:16 AM
graham is a downright monster on tape...he really is

plays with such great strength and leverage...a power player

Well then this one is for you...a post I created on another forum the other day.

**********************************************************************

Let's get away from the Dez Bryant debates for a second.

Right now, and probably through draft day, my Short Board at #12 overall looks like the following:

1. FS Eric Berry, Tennessee
2. WR Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State
3. OLB Brandon Graham, Michigan
4. RB C.J. Spiller, Clemson

On the other hand, my Mel Kiper-esque overall Big Board looks like the following:

1. DT Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
2. QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
3. DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma
4. FS Eric Berry, Tennessee
5. RB C.J. Spiller, Clemson
6. WR Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State
7. OLB Brandon Graham, Michigan
8. RB Ryan Matthews, Fresno State
9. CB Kareem Jackson, Alabama
10. OLB Jerry Hughes, TCU
11. DE Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech
12. DE Tyson Alualu, California
13. CB Joe Haden, Florida
14. OT Trent Williams, Oklahoma
15. OT Russell Okung, Oklahoma State
16. DT Dan Williams, Tennessee
17. DE Jason Pierre-Paul, South Florida
18. DT Jared Odrick, Penn State
19. ILB Daryl Washington, TCU
20. ILB Rolando McClain, Alabama
21. FS Earl Thomas, Texas
22. QB Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame
23. ILB Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri
24. DE Everson Griffen, Southern California
25. OT Charles Brown, Southern California

By the way I've set up my Big Board, and the way I've set up my Short Board, the most likely pick at #12 for me is Brandon Graham. And most recently Al Fronczak who is a very respected mock drafter (is that an oxymoron?), wrote that he has heard that Brandon Graham is very high on Bill Parcells' wish list (http://www.eastcoastsportsnews.com/2010Draft.html) (see his comment on the #12 spot).

I had him going to Miami in the first Mock Draft that I created for Universal Draft. Back then I was not necessarily convinced of his talent.

Now, I am. The more I watch of him, the more I get genuinely excited about his ability. I like powerful players, and there is no player on defense that I consider to be more powerful for his position than Brandon Graham.

Something that Awsi Dooger once taught me is the background matters. He's big into profiles. A lot of these great football players just grew up playing football, love it, have been great football players as long as they can remember, they're practically football aristocracy.

Brandon Graham's background checks out beautifully. This guy has been a star football player since he could remember. He's no Rocky Balboa. He's Ivan Drago. A linebacker for the first 11 years of his football career, he came out of high school weighing 240 pounds, running in the low 4.4's at Nike camp, boasting a 10.9 second 100 meters time, and having racked up ridiculous statistics at the high school level as a linebacker. How ridiculous? I call it Elgin Hicks ridiculous. Elgin Hicks was a WR at Charlotte High School back when I went to school there, and he happened to be a friend of mine. He was a blue chip prospect and went to the Florida Gators, had academic problems (common for my high school) as well as some injury problems, transferred to USF, did OK there, went to camp with the Colts and was one of their final cuts and just couldn't make it over Aaron Moorehead. But, during his junior year of high school he caught for something monstrously ridiculous liks 2300+ yards and 30+ TDs. I sh-t you not.

In Brandon Graham's junior year of high school he had 91 tackles, 20 sacks, and maintained a 3.8 GPA. In one game he posted 12 tackles, 4 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 blocked punts, and he scored a TD on a 78 yard fake punt. His senior year, he was one of 16 finalists for Parade High School Player of the Year (high school equivalent of the Heisman). His high school team was undefeated in the regular season for all three years that he started at linebacker. He had a 3.2 GPA by the end of his senior year. His senior year was cut short due to an injury, but he was on a similar statistical run. He came out of school ranked by Rivals as the 15th best recruit in the nation.

Character-wise, as I said he maintained a high GPA in high school, but he was not without his bumps in the road at Michigan. He received a ticket for playing loud music and when he failed to appear in court, a warrant was actually issued for his arrest. After the Wolverines' shocking loss to Appalachian State during his sophomore year, when he was expected to start and instead played sparingly, Lloyd Carr said about him "Brandon, he needs to get focused in and do the things he's capable of doing." Carr noted that he was disappointed in Graham's efforts during practice. He had that turned around by the third game of the year when he recorded 3.5 sacks against rival Notre Dame. Graham was known for ballooning up weight-wise. I believe by the time he got to Michigan he was upwards of 280 pounds and he fought those weight issues right through to his junior year when he showed up for Rich Rodriguez' spring camp slimmer than expected.

The position he played at Michigan was the same one-gap 3-4 Defensive End spot previously occupied by Lamarr Woodley, to my knowledge. He would line up just off the outside shoulder of the tackle on a three-man defensive line, or he would line up head on the tackle or even just inside his inside shoulder. As a one-gap 3-4 Defensive End, he was charged with penetrating and controlling the B gap between Guard and Tackle more often than the C gap between Tackle and Tight End. He very rarely was asked to drop back into coverage, because that just was not a requirement of the position. It happened at times, such as against Notre Dame in his senior season, but it was relatively rare. His was a role that required aggressive penetration that relied on first step quickness and strength, balance and quick thinking to keep your track and not get easily swept out of the play from the side. During his senior year, he had to deal with double teams in pass protection very often. Teams often kept their ground game away from him, hoping that he would not make the play from the back side. When the play was toward him, he was often doubled by drive blockers. He played return units on special teams. He would often line up over the long snapper, blowing by him at the snap and accelerating through to the wall of blockers, where he would crash into them as strongly as he could, get his arms up and try and block the punt. Against more classic pro looking punt formations, he'd rush from the wing where he might draw an tight end attempting to block him from off the line. Penn State paid the price for trying to block him this way in 2009.

He was generally a terror at this position. Starting with that breakout game against rival Notre Dame in his sophomore season, he accumulated 109 tackles, 55.5 for loss, which included 29.0 sacks, 7 forced fumbles and 2 blocked kicks in 35 games. His senior season he had 26.0 tackles for loss, including 10.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and both of his blocked kicks.

Though he may possess a great profile from a background and statistical perspective, he does not possess the greatest physical size profile. Most observers knew he would not measure quite up to 6'2" in height. At the Combine, he came in at about 6 feet, 1.5 inches. A large wave of concern followed after he measured in at the Senior Bowl with just over 30 inch arms. Having seen mis-measurements at the Senior Bowl before, I wanted to be patient for his Combine measurements before any panic about his arm length set in. Sure enough, his arms measured just over 32 inches at the Combine. Graham has a broad chest and shoulders, and his arms have never looked short to me on the tape. I think that people that are uncomfortable with his arms being 32 inches would probably not think twice if the tape measure said 33 inches, and so at that point I have to question whether we're splitting hairs too much when we're talking about a very good player. To me, this isn't the reason you don't draft a guy.

As for the height, the reality is that there are plenty of good players that play rush end positions at his size or even shorter. Lamarr Woodley, Robert Mathis, Parys Haralson and Darryl Tapp are nearly identical in height with Graham. Dwight Freeney, Elvis Dumervil and James Harrison are a good bit shorter. Tully Banta-Cain, Larry English and Chris Gocong are barely half an inch taller. Even guys like Joey Porter, Cameron Wake and Clint Sintim are barely an inch taller. These are some of the highest drafted and most productive, well paid players at the position. So, the height really does not make a difference to me.

Athletically, as I mentioned before he's always been an outstanding runner for his size. If that Nike Camp number is correct, then he was testing out at Patrick Willis type size/speed combinations when he was coming out of high school. I've seen conflicting reports about that Nike Camp number though so when you just stop and look at the Combine performance he put on before pulling a hamstring, I think at his height and at 268 lbs, running a 4.71 with a 1.61 at the 10 yard mark is pretty outstanding work and shows that this guy retains the same running ability that made him a five star recruiting prospect coming out of high school.

But, do you see that running ability on the tape? Yes and no. You see that marvelous acceleration on a stout 270 lbs frame on a near constant basis. He was so quick that he could step across a tackle's face and have his whole body into the gap before the tackle could barely even react. He could also show that acceleration in his outside speed rush.

But even though you see the acceleration all the time, you rarely see his ability to hit top gear. The reason is he played a 3-4 DE position where he had to bang around a lot on the inside, and those bangers have to conserve their energy a little. This is especially true of a guy that does not rotate out of the game much. You'll find that he might rotate out of the Michigan games about two or three series a game, but that he would always come back in on those drives on 3rd downs or important moments, or as soon as there was a break in the action be it a timeout, replay or change of quarter. This is a guy that Michigan wanted on the field at all times, even special teams, and if you're going to play a position that is a hybrid between a 3-Technique Defensive Tackle and a 5-Technique Defensive End, then you can't always afford to be motoring at full speed from across the formation to the ball. This left me, at times, with a sour taste in my mouth about Brandon Graham because I like my conversion players to be high motor. But then I do have to remind myself what Michigan was asking him to do.

At the Combine, he did 31 repetitions of the 225 lbs bench press. That's a fantastic number, but in a way I wouldn't be surprised if he could do more at hsi Pro Day. He was able to do 28 reps coming out of high school. But the main reason I think he could do more is on the tape, he is a hellishly strong player. I don't toss that term around lightly. Rolando McClain is to me hellishly strong for his position. But I don't think there's a player in the draft that shows stronger upper body and core strength relative to his projected position than Brandon Graham.

Rather than explain it, I'll just show you, using this fantastic video that Richard put together for Universal Draft.

YouTube- Universal Draft Presents Brandon Graham OLB - Michigan (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgUP6ylWmUE)

What I would like to focus on in that video is Richard's first section, dealing with his ability at the point of attack. I don't know if there's another player in this draft that knocked offensive tackles backward as far and as consistently as Brandon Graham. It's evident everywhere in that video. Just about every time he engages, he always gets that offensive line back further than he wanted to go. On a stretch play, such as the first clip in the video, Kyle Callaway has absolutely no intention of playing so deep on his side of the line of scrimmage, but he didn't have much choice because that's what Brandon Graham does to you. I wanted to come up with a video of my own that was just purely a mix tape of Brandon Graham knocking offensive linemen and tight ends to the ground. He does it more often than any defensive player I saw this year.

And we're not talking about terrible offensive linemen, here. Kyle Callaway, though slow, is a very powerful and polished tackle. Bryan Bulaga is naturally gifted and will be a first rounder. Gabe Carimi of Wisconsin has an excellent chance of becoming a first round tackle a year from now. Though every one is not necessarily featured in Richard's video, there is other tape out there of Graham having his way with the likes of Dennis Landolt, Sam Young, Justin Boren, Jon Asamoah, Jim Cordle, J.B. Shugarts, Ciron Black, Chris Scott and Selvish Capers. Some of those guys aren't world beaters but they're pretty respectable as far as college OLs go, and you have to keep in mind that almost no college DL faces the best of the best constantly. The key is that Brandon Graham flip flops from right to left very often during a game, and he also switches to the interior, and so before a game is through he will end up having faced four out of the five offensive line with regularity, not to mention tight ends. Most of the premium Defensive End prospects you watch at the college level rush over the Right Tackle, and so rarely match up with the more premium players a college team might have at Left Tackle or Guard. Brandon Graham had to face everybody.

The strength comes in two forms. A lot of positions in football work out to how well you use your hands, and Graham uses them the best I saw of any defensive end or rush end type of player this year. Though I think Jason Worilds might have more polished hands, Graham's are physically stronger. He can consistently shock and shed, all day long. He gets his hands up and out, pushing the offensive line's upper body with that strength you see in his bench press, but then he grabs hold of the pads and jersey and can rip the player to the side or even straight down to the ground. Remember, this guy knocks a lot of people to the ground.

He also has enormous core strength. This is a point of contention between Richard and I because he doesn't believe that Graham stands up to double teams in run blocking but I've watched his games against Wisconsin, Penn State, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Iowa, Illinois and Ohio State, as well as the Senior Bowl, and I just disagree. This is a 270 lbs man often going up against a combined 600 lbs of road grating football ugly, and when he gets those hands up, digs in and goes flat-backed, it's not easy to dig him out. And when you do, he's excellent at using those hands to shed and get behind the wall for a shot at the ball. There's a clip in the video above, it's at 1:10 into the video and it shows him being absolutely mauled to the ground by a Penn State Tight End. It's funny that particular clip is in there because I also had that one earmarked for any video I create for Brandon Graham. The reason? It's literally the only time I've seen anything even close to that happening in all of the games I've seen of Brandon Graham's this year.

But what does a defensive player NEED to be able to do if he wants to pull out to a space position like linebacker? Even before we're talking about being able to back pedal, cover, etc. Think more basic.

He needs to be able TACKLE.

That's what a linebacker is. Every position has primary and secondary jobs. But a linebacker is a guy that primarily brings people to the ground. A defensive lineman can do his job on a primary basis by disrupting the flow of the play in the backfield and absorbing blockers. A defensive back can do his job on a primary basis by covering really well. A linebacker does his job by on a primary basis by flowing to the ball carrier and bringing him down.

Brandon Graham finishes plays. That's one of the best attributes you can say about a player is that he finishes. His time as a linebacker for 11 years before moving to the defensive line in Michigan shows in the way he breaks down and brings down the ball carrier in the backfield and in the open field. He tackles with authority and strength. You may not see it in the video, but he did an excellent job on several occasions against Ohio State going into the open field against a guy as elusive and athletic as Terrelle Pryor, and bringing him down. He is urgent, he's got great form, and he has enough burst to recover. There's also a good play in the Senior Bowl where on an outside rush he beats Chris Scott soundly around the edge to pressure Zac Robinson. Zac did an excellent job sensing the pressure, and gives a subtle little move so that all Graham can get hold of is his shoulder. Robinson sees open landscape in front of him on 1st & 10, and takes off up the field. He's actually a fairly quick runner, but not quick enough for Graham, who after sweeping by with a fistful of air, was able to change directions and accelerate up the field and take Robinson down from behind before he could gain more than 6 yards. It doesn't seem like much but the uncanny pocket sense and subtle deke that Robinson displayed on that play with a wide open field in front of him should have earned him 10 yards at the very least, especially since he's a legitimate 4.68 runner.

Some of you might remember a video I did of Brian Price, the UCLA Defensive Tackle that has made a heck of a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage the last two years. I split that video into a section of him aggressively making a play on the football, and a section of him falling onto the ground. I called the phenomenon his "Price Tag" (see what I did there?). He plays with a lot of aggression and explosion but it isn't controlled or balanced and so he is prone to getting knocked to the turf. In the excellent video and analysis that Richard did for Derrick Morgan, you will notice a similar phenomenon.

I submit that Brandon Graham is the player that both of those players WISH they were. He plays aggressively with a lot of explosion, but he is controlled and balanced. He uses his hands expertly to weave through trash and stay alive. He can recover, he can change from forward to reverse on his feet. I once said that Ronnie Brown reminds me of a bowling ball because, how do you knock a bowling ball down? It just rolls. Well, Brandon Graham is the defensive equivalent. He's very difficult to put on the ground, even when he's playing as dangerously aggressive as he does in his position, and this makes him a difficult player to deal with.

As a matter of perspective, and because we are Dolphins fans and there are free agents that we care about aside from just draft prospects, I do take the time to fire up the NFL Rewind machine and watch NFL players around the league play football. It always strikes me how even the most mediocre of NFL players is more advanced than some of the best draft prospects. As a for instance, if I can trade a low round pick for Cliff Avril I certainly see no need to draft a Ricky Sapp. As another example, with all of this discussion about Dez Bryant and how good he is or will be, I look at Miles Austin and I see a superior football player as we sit here today, and I see no reason why I wouldn't send the #12 overall for that guy in lieu of spending it on Dez Bryant. And I'm a huge Dez fan, as you might have guessed.

But what strikes me about Brandon Graham is every time I watch him and I look at the nuances, I notice that he's one of the few players that already does certain things at an NFL level. His strength, his hands, his balance, his tackling, his ability to finish, those are all already NFL, just batteries included right out of the box.

As for mobility, that is the big wildcard, isn't it? How do you project a guy in coverage that hasn't covered in a while? Well for one thing you see how he moves in space. Unfortunately I haven't created these videos yet but I have isolated a number of instances where I can get a good look at his ability to go forward and backward, drop into a coverage, using his hips and his ankles. I have to say that from everything I have seen, while he is not quite as smooth as Thaddeus Gibson, and he doesn't quite have the ankles or toes of Everson Griffen, he is a good blend of the two and highly adequate in space. I believe more so than Derrick Morgan. His balance is the key and the ability to shift from forward to reverse and use his acceleration is a big key for him.

Unfortunately because of his hamstring pull, we did not get to see him run through Combine linebacker drills. It's not much, but I found this on YouTube that shows him running through some similar drills.

YouTube- Brandon Graham trains for the NFL combine (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-Aky4TdRuI)

If you fast forward to the 4 minute mark, that's when you start to see the good stuff. The best thing to point out is how foot conscious he is. He's a short stepper and he keeps his feet under him. He has speed, speed isn't an issue, but that foot consciousness is the source of his balance. (BONUS EDIT: Forgot to mention...look at the size of his freaking calves!)

Overall, last year in Denver, Mike Nolan coached a defense that took Robert Ayers in the first round of the draft. Ayers was really a poor man's Brandon Graham, but a good comparison nonetheless. The reason I say so is because Robert had not played linebacker in college but he was a linebacker out of the cradle, so to speak, just like Brandon Graham. The Broncos put him in space based on that past experience. I thought he played well, and I have watched a fair amount of Broncos football on NFL Rewind this off season. Others disagree. But what I will say is that while Ayers was a guy whose light only clicked on in time for his senior season, and still wasn't super productive, Graham is a guy that has been taking to whatever the coaches dish him since his sophomore year in college, becoming a super productive multiple year standout.

A long time ago I remember looking at Bob Sanders and thinking if this guy were three inches taller he'd go in the top 10. Talent overcame the lack of height. As I sit, I look at Brandon Graham and think if this guy were three inches taller he'd be a prospect for the #1 overall, in a draft that doesn't contain Ndamukong Suh or an elite quarterback. Will talent overcome similarly? I really, genuinely believe so.

And so, Eric Berry and Dez Bryant aside, this is my guy.

EDIT: BONUS VIDEO SECTION - BRANDON GRAHAM GOES TO THE SENIOR BOWL

I'm sticking this in well after the fact but seeing as how I put this post up at 11:30pm, I figure a bunch of folks will only be reading it for the first time tomorrow. Here is Brandon Graham at the Senior Bowl.

YouTube- Universal Draft Presents OLB Brandon Graham at the Senior Bowl (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0w-eGJ-YQU)

The Senior Bowl gave Graham the opportunity to answer back against the criticisms about his play making being tied to the system in Michigan. During Senior Bowl week he was dubbed "unblockable" in one-on-one drills by Mike Mayock. Well, he was nigh on "unblockable" during the game itself. Observations:

1. Higher motor. I thought his motor revved higher in this game than what I saw of him at Michigan. Was it because he knew everyone would be watching and grading him? Or was it because he knew he wouldn't be asked to play such an energy-exerting role for 90+ percent of the game's snaps? That is anyone's guess but even if it's the former rather than the latter, it's not a bad thing because it means he can be coached to hustle more with the proper motivation.

2. Double teams from zone. They never sent a Tight End or Back to chip or double team him, which I think was probably not allowed or would have at the very least been frowned upon, but due to the play calls and the defensive alignments he did face a fair amount of help from the Left Guard during the game.

3. More depth to his pass rush. With a week of practice under his belt playing a slightly different more traditional position, his pass rush had more variety to it. I dare say I even saw a spin move counter in there somewhere. I think there's a lot of upside to his 3rd down game at the pro level when coaches get him more used to outside pass rush and start to help him explore his counters.

4. He beat everyone like a swiss army drum. I don't care what reasons anyone may have for being a detractor and I do respect those opinons, but I don't think there was a single player he faced that game that he didn't beat at least once. Jimmy Graham couldn't even slow him down. Ciron Black is still flinching three months later. Selvish Capers was beaten, Chris Scott was beaten, I believe Anthony McCoy was beaten...is it even possible for the Miami staff to have coached this game and not said to themselves, "Wow, this guy is killing us"? The quarterbacks were feeling phantom pressure all game because they knew they couldn't trust their protection against him.

FinAtic8480
04-04-2010, 06:31 AM
Graham has been my guy at 12, since the senior bowl. I love the way the guy plays, he also played LB before going to college I believe. What a motor on that kid. I also think he would bring even more unity to the team with Jake and Henne already down here.

Guys like Spiller and Bryant are real nice picks, but one has to love the fire Graham plays with. Thomas would also be a smart pick at 12

hooshoops
04-04-2010, 06:44 AM
dang...those lb drills look pretty good...just needs to drop his hips a bit more...

i've been waiting to see something like that...

he didn't look jason worilds fluid to me in lb drills as far as the natural hips but he looked plenty good enough and i love how he went over the bags afterwards...

yeah i like that a lot...couple that with the tape and i really like it...

good feet on the drop drill also...no wasted steps exploded off his back foot when asked to come forward...

on the rip drill with the bags i thought he dropped his weight nicely...

kept his toes underneath of him in his drop also...something i think is key in fluid lbs...balanced...explosive

Dogbone34
04-04-2010, 06:57 AM
ck, that was a great write up on brandon graham. parcells loves michigan.

nice big board

TheBow305
04-04-2010, 06:59 AM
ck, that was a great write up on brandon graham. parcells loves michigan.

nice big board

This is true. He does have that going for him.

FinAtic8480
04-04-2010, 06:59 AM
CK & Boomer are a huge assets to this site and whatever they say should be taken as gold. I really wish CK or Boomer could give me their 2 cents on my unofficial Draft Guide. As they were both an inspiration.

FinAtic8480
04-04-2010, 07:01 AM
I have a question CK, you think Jake Long is sharing info on Graham with the Trifecta. One would think he use to face him in practices.

ckparrothead
04-04-2010, 07:06 AM
I find that many people bring up the possibility that Graham is "maxed out".

I have to disagree. I see specific ways for him to get better at the NFL level. I call them "low hanging fruit" because they are IMMEDIATE fixes that provide upside, even as a rookie. I don't consider serious technique shifts and adjusting to the speed of the game to be low hanging fruit. Those take time. But the following, they should be able to be done immediately:

Low Hanging Fruit #1: Lose weight. He's at 268 right now and might have even played heavier than that. He doesn't need to be that big. He'll need to keep that lower body muscle (a Parcells favorite) but his upper body girth can afford to come in a little I think. I think hard core weight trainers will tell you that losing weight and gaining weight are different. They're not 1-for-1 scales. Normally you lose a pound to gain speed and the cost is some strength or some mass that you get to throw around. You gain a pound and you lose speed and the cost is more strength and more mass to throw around. But the cost/benefit relationship for losing weight is more advantageous than that for gaining weight. Normally most college guys will need to gain some weight in order to do what they did in college. Graham is one of those that would be asked to lose a little weight I think. As such, he should gain a lot of speed and explosion, and not lose too much strength. It's something that can be done quickly that could potentially make him a more effective player.

Low Hanging Fruit #2: Get off the snap. For whatever reason one of the more maddening aspects of his game has been that he is very inconsistent reacting to the snap. This needs to change. The benefits of his getting off the snap more quickly with his first step quickness are just too great. When I see him really on the ball during games, either timing the snap or reacting to it with a hair trigger, he has been damn near unblockable. He can do it, this is what coaching is for, I tent to doubt it's some innate physical or mental limitation.

Low Hanging Fruit #3: Conditioning/Hustle. As I said another maddening aspect of his game is that as a hybrid DT/DE, he didn't really hustle as much as I would like. This may be confusing because he's known as a "high motor" guy. I think there's every-snap motor, and then there's snap-to-whistle motor. He has every-snap motor. Michigan can be out of a game, getting their butt handed to them, and you will RARELY be able to pick out a play where you can say...ok, Brandon Graham was dogging it on that one. He'll still make some pretty incredible plays, sacks...TFLs...punt blocks. But his snap-to-whistle motor does not run high. He's not hustling from across a formation to get to the ball. This is again where coaches make their money. He hustled at the Senior Bowl, saw it with my own two eyes. It can be done. Was it because he was rotating? He played 40 out of 67 snaps at the Senior Bowl. If it were a Michigan game that probably would have been more like 55 out of 67 snaps. It could be because he played a position that was just less energy intensive...rushing from the outside as opposed to banging around the interior. Then again it could be because he was properly motivated. Whether it's motivation, conditioning, position or rotation, doesn't matter. He showed that his snap-to-whistle motor CAN improve over what I saw at Michigan, the secret's out of the bag...and that means this is a low hanging fruit to make him an even better football player.

Low Hanging Fruit #4: Outside Spacing. He rarely got the opportunity at Michigan to genuinely line up as a 7-Technique (edge rusher) and go after the QB. He's got such tremendous power though, and such great explosion, that on those rare occasions he was often able to smash straight through to the QB making it look just plain easy. It was scary how easy he could make that look. Could it be that just lining this guy up wider will make him a better pass rusher before you even take to his technique with a blow torch and soldering iron? I would sure love to find out.

j-off-her-doll
04-04-2010, 07:07 AM
I think you're onto something with your first post. Graham seems to get better as he plays against better competition. Here's a bit from something I posted December 19th:


He played 4 times against ranked teams and 8 times against unranked teams. In those 4 games against ranked teams, he had 15 (!!!) tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. He comes up big against the best. I fear that he won't be there when we draft, but if he is, I think he might be our guy.

DKphin
04-04-2010, 07:08 AM
I like in the combine video when they ask if wants to play LB or DE, "It don't matter, I'm good at both of them.":D

ckparrothead
04-04-2010, 07:09 AM
I have a question CK, you think Jake Long is sharing info on Graham with the Trifecta. One would think he use to face him in practices.

I think absolutely that they'll be asking Henne and Long what they know of Brandon Graham but they won't place too much emphasis on it because the last time they played with Graham, he was just a sophomore. That was the year Lloyd Carr expressed some disappointment in him right at the beginning when he didn't play in the Appalachian State loss or much in the next game, and Lloyd said he needs to get focused in.

I bet Jake Long could tell them though how naturally gifted he is...I would just worry that if they ask about his sophomore year practice habits, they'll be missing out because his senior year practice habits were probably different.

j-off-her-doll
04-04-2010, 07:10 AM
That was in response to this:


1. Higher motor. I thought his motor revved higher in this game than what I saw of him at Michigan. Was it because he knew everyone would be watching and grading him? Or was it because he knew he wouldn't be asked to play such an energy-exerting role for 90+ percent of the game's snaps? That is anyone's guess but even if it's the former rather than the latter, it's not a bad thing because it means he can be coached to hustle more with the proper motivation.


Wasn't especially clear.

ckparrothead
04-04-2010, 07:11 AM
dang...those lb drills look pretty good...just needs to drop his hips a bit more...

i've been waiting to see something like that...

he didn't look jason worilds fluid to me in lb drills as far as the natural hips but he looked plenty good enough and i love how he went over the bags afterwards...

yeah i like that a lot...couple that with the tape and i really like it...

good feet on the drop drill also...no wasted steps exploded off his back foot when asked to come forward...

on the rip drill with the bags i thought he dropped his weight nicely...

kept his toes underneath of him in his drop also...something i think is key in fluid lbs...balanced...explosive

I was trying to figure out how to explain it and someone else used the term "symmetrically balanced football player". Loved it. That's what he is.

He's a short stepper, real thick calves, good center of gravity, keeps his feet under him...very, very balanced.

ckparrothead
04-04-2010, 07:14 AM
I think you're onto something with your first post. Graham seems to get better as he plays against better competition. Here's a bit from something I posted December 19th:

Yeah but even those big games...I didn't see the same snap-to-whistle motor as I did the Senior Bowl.

Let me again make something clear. He has an every-down motor. He plays every down the same. But we're talking snap-to-whistle...after the initial surge, if the play is going the other way and he doesn't look like he has a chance to catch it in the backfield from the back side, he's not hustling to the ball and there were definitely instances I counted where he could have affected the outcome of the play had he hustled, because other teammates didn't end up doing their job.

AZStryker
04-04-2010, 07:16 AM
This isn't true. This post strives for ignorance with the zeal of Bush supporters.

While we obviously differ on our stance on McClain vs Graham, I've got to hand it to you. Even thought it's not true (most definitely not a Bush supporter), that was the best put someone in their place analogy I've heard in quite a while!

p.s. I'd still like to see a list (outside of people on this site) that has Graham rated higher as I still doubt it exists.

Mr. Magoo
04-04-2010, 07:17 AM
I was trying to figure out how to explain it and someone else used the term "symmetrically balanced football player". Loved it. That's what he is.

He's a short stepper, real thick calves, good center of gravity, keeps his feet under him...very, very balanced.

Yeah, his ability/balance to break down in space and tackle Pryor one on one in the Ohio St. game was pretty special. Pryor might not be Vince Young but he is an incredibly fast and elusive quarterback. As an OLB he'd be playing a lot in space and that play in particular spoke volumes about what he might be capable of at the next level.

ckparrothead
04-04-2010, 07:40 AM
I think Pryor is faster that Vince Young. I would consider a criticism that said that Graham's being able to catch him in the open field multiple times in that game was just a fluke, but I've seen him do it in other games with other players. In fact, the one time I didn't see him do it was in the Senior Bowl when the South handed off that WR reverse to Jeremy Williams. I think he thought all the play calls were going to be vanilla, he was just caught not anticipating the reverse.

hooshoops
04-04-2010, 07:50 AM
i think that on tape grahams motor is plenty there...but i absolutely agree that at the senior bowl it was a whole different level...

i mean during the 1 on 1 drills and every drill after he beat the pants off the tackle etc he was straight sprinting back to the starting point...

i chalked it up to that week "all eyes are on me" and that he wanted to show the teams that he's a high motor high effort guy...basically doing what he could to help his what at the time seemed to be 2nd round range value...

but the effort in games i've never personally questioned...just like any guy that gives you high effort high motor the tendency is for people to say he's maxed out as a player...i don't think that's the case but i do think he doesn't possess the upside of some of the other top rated players on my board...ie eric berry and dez bryant

ckparrothead
04-04-2010, 08:18 AM
See I just can't call him a snap-to-whistle player based on what I saw in all those games. There were too many plays left on the field where he was jogging to the play and could have made a difference if he'd been hustling. Maybe he was tired, I don't know, but he was still jogging.

hooshoops
04-05-2010, 02:36 AM
ck i thought i saw where all three of you universal draft guys think dan williams is overrated...yet i see on your kiperesque big board you have him as the 16th rated player in the draft...

i have him in the top 20 but it seems to me like you have him kind of high if you view him as overrated...

showstopper
04-05-2010, 02:46 AM
CK, awesome write-up! In my opinion, it's between Graham and Bryant at #12, and I'm leaning for the Wolverine, based on leadership value. While both are worthy pick at 12, what with their abundant skill and potential, I just feel more comfortable for the Dolphins' future with Dansby and Graham together for the next several years, leading this franchise to an elite level.

SRM
04-05-2010, 02:49 AM
I definitely want Graham at #12 now. Or at least for the first round, since we might trade back and still get him.

He's 2 inches from being "the prototype".

Pinkboy
04-05-2010, 04:52 AM
I always project a prospect playing against an NFL player I know really well. And in this case, a prospect matching up against a 2 year Pro who has been elected to the Pro Bowl in his first 2 seasons in the league.

Case in point - which OLB in this draft would scare me most if the Jets or Pats got a hold of, to play against Big Jake ? And to me, there is no question who that player is... it's easily Brandon Graham.

As CK alluded to about Morgan.. Derrick Morgan can get thrown off balance, he doesn't have really good balance and doesn't understand the little nuances of setting up his feet in certain situations.. He ends up on the ground quite a bit... so if a technically sound OT like Jake studies him, knows when to give a shove at the exact moment, and how to use his hands (and angle well) against him, it can throw Morgan off his game.

Morgan didn't do all that well in college against the most technical of OT's who also had good strength. So I am fairly confident that Jake would handle him.

Everson Griffen plays quite high on the rush, and doesn't really have a burst off the snap... and both those things would give a big leg up for Jake... Both of those things play right into jake's hands. He would handle Griffen.

Kindle ? Puh-lease.. Jake would eat that paddy cake alive. Kindle brings absolutely NOTHING to the table that Jake wouldn't gobble up on every play.. By the way I REALLY hope Kindle goes to the Pats or Jets in the 20's. That would be fantastic.

Now Brandon Graham on the other hand, would give Jake some trouble.. Graham's great combination of being technically sound, great balance and good feet when going full bore, his immense strength, great understanding of leverage, strong hands, and all the rest of his talents, would disrupt Jake more than any OLB in this draft.

Jake wouldn't get toasted all game long by Graham, so don't get me wrong.. but it would be an epic battle and Graham would have his fair share of wins he could hang his hat on.. I can name others in the draft, but Graham would give Jake more fits than anyone else.

That says a lot to me. I want no part of watching Graham being drafted by the Pats or Jets.

zodiak
04-05-2010, 05:12 AM
Dolfans

while Im no CK and I dont study game film as much( I do) as others here I want to add my two cents into this conversation.

First In general terms regarding Graham I have nothing against him however I want to say BUT.... but Im not sold on Graham.
many will simply state he makes plays or you must over look his hght and so forth, when I watch a player I want to make a mental comparison to a current or past NFL player thus when I see Graham I see former dolphin Marco Coleman for some that may be a good thing for me its not.

Graham IMO will play but he wont be an all pro, he wont be Jason Taylor in his prime which brings me to why I feel the FO may not draft Graham if they feel as I do that what your getting in Graham is a 5-8 sack guy he's not worth 1st round money, however more directly they do have a positional blue print and I dont think they will make an "exception".

The only wild card is they totally made an exception with Pat White wild cat or not that was an EXCEPTION and they missed so that itself makes me feel more strongly they will stay away from any sorta exceptions.

Im not sure that the best player at 12 wont be an OL-man and honestly I feel they can find an OLB in later rounds that will have the same potential has a Graham, simply put I dont see an answer in round one for OLB.

ckparrothead
04-05-2010, 06:32 AM
ck i thought i saw where all three of you universal draft guys think dan williams is overrated...yet i see on your kiperesque big board you have him as the 16th rated player in the draft...

i have him in the top 20 but it seems to me like you have him kind of high if you view him as overrated...

I don't think he's overrated as a mid-1st. I've always liked his talent. I think and I've said that I would be disappointed if Miami took him. That's because I really like Paul Soliai's talent and I don't think Dan Williams as a rookie would be better than Soliai. That would mean that Williams just never plays, because the one-dimensional NT is only like a 50% position in this or any defense. And a first rounder that claims next to no snaps even in his rookie year...is generally deemed a bust. Miami would basically bench Soliai regardless of talent in order to justify Dan Williams' selection and to see what he has...and no matter how you slice it, I view as taking the best guy for the job off the field.

I think Soliai is a fine player. He was extremely raw when he came out of school and this position is one where you commonly don't see guys coming into their own until their 4th through 7th seasons. It takes a long time before you're reacting that quickly and using the proper leverage consistently. There are so many guys out there now that are well thought of that were not even where Soliai is at when they were in their 3rd seasons. Aside from that, we will have Jason Ferguson for 8 games and that's worth something.

But I do think Dan Williams is a talented player and even though Simon is really turned off on him, I like him.

hooshoops
04-05-2010, 06:51 AM
alright...i got ya...

he flows laterally down the los better than any nose prospect i've seen on tape...pretty quickly also

j-off-her-doll
04-05-2010, 07:42 AM
Still think Williams would do better as a 4-3 DT.

I'm surprised to see Williams and Alualu rated higher than Odrick on CK's board, and I'm also surprised to see Matthews in the top 10. Alualu and Matthews are rated higher there than I've seen them rated on any other board. But, then, Graham, Hughes, and Washington are rated higher on your board than just about any other I've come across, and I agree with the value you've accessed to those prospect.

XxfeensterxX
04-05-2010, 08:28 AM
Dolfans

while Im no CK and I dont study game film as much( I do) as others here I want to add my two cents into this conversation.

First In general terms regarding Graham I have nothing against him however I want to say BUT.... but Im not sold on Graham.
many will simply state he makes plays or you must over look his hght and so forth, when I watch a player I want to make a mental comparison to a current or past NFL player thus when I see Graham I see former dolphin Marco Coleman for some that may be a good thing for me its not.

Graham IMO will play but he wont be an all pro, he wont be Jason Taylor in his prime which brings me to why I feel the FO may not draft Graham if they feel as I do that what your getting in Graham is a 5-8 sack guy he's not worth 1st round money, however more directly they do have a positional blue print and I dont think they will make an "exception".

The only wild card is they totally made an exception with Pat White wild cat or not that was an EXCEPTION and they missed so that itself makes me feel more strongly they will stay away from any sorta exceptions.

Im not sure that the best player at 12 wont be an OL-man and honestly I feel they can find an OLB in later rounds that will have the same potential has a Graham, simply put I dont see an answer in round one for OLB.

Most people say he is almost a clone of Lamarr Woodley. If Graham puts up his production, he is would be WELL worth #12.

Dolphin Dave
04-05-2010, 05:03 PM
I love this kids motor and play but he is just to small to play in a 3-4 scheme. He is only 6'1" and has short arms. I think we will be stuck trying to sort out what to do with him.

Graham's arms measured 321/4" at the combine which is not that short. Yes, he is about 2 inches short of ideal height for the prototype. However, as you pointed out he has a big motor and the one thing you can't measure is drive & heart. If they could a guy like Zach Thomas would have jumped off the chart. Point is that if they took Graham, I would not be upset one bit.

Chubby
04-05-2010, 06:12 PM
See, I agree that the chances are pretty good they won't take him. A look into Nolan's history should be fairly conclusive as to the "prototype" player they're looking for, whatever anyone says.

But I disagree that Graham isn't worth a top 15 pick. He's a fantastically productive player with strong, quick hands, great motor, good awareness, and good quickness in space.

If I were the GM, and guys like Eric Berry and Dez Bryant were gone, I'd take him and be very happy about it.

But this isn't about me, or what I think. The question is whether this regime would take him, given their preferences and their history.

And I simply don't know how anyone can look at the record and be confident predicting it will be Graham. He's enough of an outlier from their preferences it makes it very hard for me to project him to them @ #12.

I think if Keith Butler had been hired away from Pittsburgh it'd be a different story. That team has proven over and over again they don't care so much about the height of their linebackers. But Nolan has proven it, and people shouldn't let their personal feelings about what a prospect should or shouldn't be physically interfere with their ability to predict what these guys will do.
I like your confidence but think your basing these decisions on past drafts is a fail plan. Where did Pat White fit into your drafting system?

One thing you need to realize is neither Parcells nor Nolan is drafting, its Irelands show on draft day with the help of the other cohorts, The only thing you can gaurantee yourself is we like to draft in twos, anything after that is thrown out the window.

Does size matter sure..... but we are not talking about a 5'11 OLb here we are talking a 6'1 OLB big enough for his position.
Chubbs

Mr. Magoo
04-05-2010, 09:00 PM
I like your confidence but think your basing these decisions on past drafts is a fail plan. Where did Pat White fit into your drafting system?

One thing you need to realize is neither Parcells nor Nolan is drafting, its Irelands show on draft day with the help of the other cohorts, The only thing you can gaurantee yourself is we like to draft in twos, anything after that is thrown out the window.

Does size matter sure..... but we are not talking about a 5'11 OLb here we are talking a 6'1 OLB big enough for his position.
Chubbs

I know Ireland does the drafting, not Parcells. I never even mentioned Parcells in the post you quoted. But the fact is that it's not Ireland's job to just pick players that he likes. It's his job to pick players that fit his coaches' systems. And I think it's significant that in the 17 years Mike Nolan has been a defensive coordinator or a head coach, he's only had a hand in drafting one OLB shorter than 6'3, and that was a later round pick.

Maybe you think that history doesn't say anything about Brandon Graham's chances of becoming a Dolphin, but I do.

As for Pat White, it must be said that these size requirements don't stretch to every position. Mike Nolan has had a hand in drafting plenty of relatively undersized secondary guys, for example. What they look for in quarterbacks is wins, starts, those kinds of things. Pat White fit those requirements.

Chubby
04-05-2010, 09:15 PM
I know Ireland does the drafting, not Parcells. I never even mentioned Parcells in the post you quoted. But the fact is that it's not Ireland's job to just pick players that he likes. It's his job to pick players that fit his coaches' systems. And I think it's significant that in the 17 years Mike Nolan has been a defensive coordinator or a head coach, he's only had a hand in drafting one OLB shorter than 6'3, and that was a later round pick.

Maybe you think that history doesn't say anything about Brandon Graham's chances of becoming a Dolphin, but I do.

As for Pat White, it must be said that these size requirements don't stretch to every position. Mike Nolan has had a hand in drafting plenty of relatively undersized secondary guys, for example. What they look for in quarterbacks is wins, starts, those kinds of things. Pat White fit those requirements.

I disagree totally, I think Ireland takes as much consideration from Parcells 1st and then his Coaches including Sprano, but its his show. I do beleive you are seeing his style of drafting. This is his show more now then at any other team.

Now it goes to say that Ireland imo is a Parcells clone but I do think he has learned to adapt to todays NFL.

So basically you have the last 2 drafts to look at for comparison purposes.
Yes size matters, you saw that the entire last draft. Every player for the most part was tallish etc... but the difference is I do beleive Ireland philosophy to drafting
1. Must be able to contribute immediately
2.Good Character
3. Ability
4.Now comes the size but here is where I think he is flexible. If their are two similar players in Ability and one is 6'4 and the other is 5'11 then yes they will go with size. But at 6'4 and and 6'1 or 6,2 your splitting hairs. I think weight is important as well.
5.Draft in pairs.

Graham is closer in their mold then you think with his big frame, his chest, legs & arms are huge.

So no going back to 15years of drafts to gauge how we will pick is useless, just look at the last 2 drafts.
Chubbs

Mr. Magoo
04-05-2010, 09:37 PM
I disagree totally, I think Ireland takes as much consideration from Parcells 1st and then his Coaches including Sprano, but its his show. I do beleive you are seeing his style of drafting. This is his show more now then at any other team.

Now it goes to say that Ireland imo is a Parcells clone but I do think he has learned to adapt to todays NFL.

So basically you have the last 2 drafts to look at for comparison purposes.
Yes size matters, you saw that the entire last draft. Every player for the most part was tallish etc... but the difference is I do beleive Ireland philosophy to drafting
1. Must be able to contribute immediately
2.Good Character
3. Ability
4.Now comes the size but here is where I think he is flexible. If their are two similar players in Ability and one is 6'4 and the other is 5'11 then yes they will go with size. But at 6'4 and and 6'1 or 6,2 your splitting hairs. I think weight is important as well.
5.Draft in pairs.

Graham is closer in their mold then you think with his big frame, his chest, legs & arms are huge.

So no going back to 15years of drafts to gauge how we will pick is useless, just look at the last 2 drafts.
Chubbs

Wow. Just wow.

If you think that a GM doesn't have to change his priorities based on his coaches' system, then you are simply and very sadly mistaken.

Ireland calls the shots, I agree. He pulls the information from everyone and makes the final decision. But it's his job to pick the players who fit Nolan's system. He knows that. Every GM knows that and says it repeatedly.

In Baltimore, to use a recent example, they've switched back and forth over the years from a 4-3 (under Marvin Lewis) to a 3-4 (under Nolan and Rex Ryan). Their drafts reflected those changes. Ozzie Newsome is one of the best GMs around. He knows what his job is. He got the players his coaches need to be successful. You're not going to take some 6', 225 pound linebacker in the first round when Mike Nolan or Rex Ryan is your DC. You'd be fired immediately, and rightfully so.

So yes. While looking 17 years into the past is no kind of end-all, be-all, and priorities can change as the game changes, I think this kind of look says very strong things about the prototype of player these guys will be looking for.

And even if I were to take your wrong view about Ireland looking to Parcells before Sparano, Nolan and Henning, one things Parcells has said repeatedly over the years is the one thing he won't sacrifice in his linebackers is height.

Chubby
04-05-2010, 09:50 PM
I definately beleive A GM has to take the system into consideration when drafting, that would be very absurd to think otherwise.Who the heck is aruging that? They must always choose a player that will fit into the system. And Graham fits our system, never thought that was an argument.

The argument is you say that Graham doesnt fit Parcells "measuring stick" for LB's. And I argue that Parcells "measuring Stick" does not hold as much weight anymore. Again Parcells is not drafting our players Ireland is.

Personally I see our pick at 12 either being Graham or E. Thomas guessing of course that Berry doesnt fall to 12.These players fit our system and are game changers.
Chubbs

Mr. Magoo
04-05-2010, 09:55 PM
I definately beleive A GM has to take the system into consideration when drafting, that would be very absurd to think otherwise. They must always choose a player that will fit into the system. And Graham fits our system, never thought that was an argument.

The argument is you say that Graham doesnt fit Parcells "measuring stick" for LB's. And I argue that Parcells "measuring Stick" does not hold as much weight anymore. Again Parcells is not drafting our players Ireland is.
Chubbs

He doesn't fit Nolan's or Parcells' measuring stick. The measuring stick is part of the system. Therefore he doesn't fit the system.

And from where do you draw the conclusion that that measuring stick doesn't hold as much weight anymore?

Where?

Oh, that's right.

Nowhere.

Chubby
04-05-2010, 09:58 PM
He doesn't fit Nolan's or Parcells' measuring stick. The measuring stick is part of the system. Therefore he doesn't fit the system.

And from where do you draw the conclusion that that measuring stick doesn't hold as much weight anymore?

Where?

Oh, that's right.

Nowhere.
Someone is a bit angry? Lol man chill, its a conversation treat it as such. Again you can beleive it if you like or you can continue to sleep with your measuring stick makes no difference to me. Enjoy your draft :)
Chubbs

Mr. Magoo
04-05-2010, 10:14 PM
I'm not so much mad as annoyed that facts and research are being cheerfully refuted by totally made up bull**** and innuendo like long held player prototypes "do not hold as much weight anymore."

You made that up, and you know it.

But yes, enjoy your draft also. I'm sure our selections will come as a great surprise to you.

ckparrothead
04-05-2010, 10:29 PM
I know Ireland does the drafting, not Parcells. I never even mentioned Parcells in the post you quoted. But the fact is that it's not Ireland's job to just pick players that he likes. It's his job to pick players that fit his coaches' systems. And I think it's significant that in the 17 years Mike Nolan has been a defensive coordinator or a head coach, he's only had a hand in drafting one OLB shorter than 6'3, and that was a later round pick.

Maybe you think that history doesn't say anything about Brandon Graham's chances of becoming a Dolphin, but I do.

As for Pat White, it must be said that these size requirements don't stretch to every position. Mike Nolan has had a hand in drafting plenty of relatively undersized secondary guys, for example. What they look for in quarterbacks is wins, starts, those kinds of things. Pat White fit those requirements.

I think you're overstating Mike Nolan's role in choosing those past draft picks. Recent history matters. He had no problems starting Parys Haralson in San Francisco, and he had no problems starting Elvis Dumervil in Denver. He enjoyed some success with Dumervil as well.

This isn't Nolan's call, just as those previous draft picks you go on about weren't his call. This is Ireland's call.

finner
04-05-2010, 10:45 PM
I know a number of the “anointed ones” and/or “mavens” in these parts think Graham is a sure fire ALL Pro, but he really was NOT that dominate at the college level. Yea, the kid is a player and he shined at the Senior Bowl, but the OL of the South was definitely soft. Let’s put it this way – he won’t be playing against ANYONE in the NFL with those marginal skills and/or athletic chops.

Anyway, unlike the mavens and anointed ones I don’t spend 8 hours a day watching tape and “vacationing” at Pro Days etc. but I’m 100% certain Graham is NOT the second coming of LT, and I seriously doubt he’s a future ALL Pro.

Regardless of what’s being reported otherwise, the kid is “short” by current NFL spec for 3-4 OLB and does have truncated arms – albeit not midget arms. Bottom line, no one is going to confuse his athletic frame with DeMarcus Ware (who IS the prototype 3-4 OLB under this regime).

No way -- I don’t see Graham being worth the 12th pick. If we trade down, maybe be take him later.

Chubby
04-05-2010, 11:04 PM
I know a number of the “anointed ones” and/or “mavens” in these parts think Graham is a sure fire ALL Pro, but he really was NOT that dominate at the college level. Yea, the kid is a player and he shined at the Senior Bowl, but the OL of the South was definitely soft. Let’s put it this way – he won’t be playing against ANYONE in the NFL with those marginal skills and/or athletic chops.

Anyway, unlike the mavens and anointed ones I don’t spend 8 hours a day watching tape and “vacationing” at Pro Days etc. but I’m 100% certain Graham is NOT the second coming of LT, and I seriously doubt he’s a future ALL Pro.

Regardless of what’s being reported otherwise, the kid is “short” by current NFL spec for 3-4 OLB and does have truncated arms – albeit not midget arms. Bottom line, no one is going to confuse his athletic frame with DeMarcus Ware (who IS the prototype 3-4 OLB under this regime).

No way -- I don’t see Graham being worth the 12th pick. If we trade down, maybe be take him later.
I do not annoint him the 2nd comming of anyone, I just think we have a huge whole at SOLB and he is the Best SOLB in this draft. Player fits the need. Same reason why I think E. THomas could be the pick at 12 as well.

The rest of your statement i kinda have to disagree bro, he showed up big in some very big games and against some really good talent which imo is more important then the combine or the senior vanilla senior bowl. The guy took over alot of games at Michigan.
Chubbs

Mr. Magoo
04-05-2010, 11:38 PM
I think you're overstating Mike Nolan's role in choosing those past draft picks. Recent history matters. He had no problems starting Parys Haralson in San Francisco, and he had no problems starting Elvis Dumervil in Denver. He enjoyed some success with Dumervil as well.

This isn't Nolan's call, just as those previous draft picks you go on about weren't his call. This is Ireland's call.

But you know Mike Nolan had nothing to do with drafting Dumervil. He simply used an available resource, which of course you're sometimes forced to do, and Dumervil came through. Ray Lewis wasn't an ideal fit for Nolan in Baltimore, either from a size or mentality standpoint. But Ray Lewis was already on the roster and is a great player, so he made it happen.

Did Ray Lewis being 6'1, 250 influence San Fransisco's decision to take 6'1, 240 Patrick Willis that high? Maybe. It's certainly something to think about vis a vis this discussion.

The two players you mention are more than anything exceptions that prove the rule. Nolan's recent history also has him helping draft or starting 6'3 Robert Ayers, 6'3 Mario Haggan and 6'5 Manny Lawson, all of them, incidentally, on the strong side, where Graham would presumably also be playing.

I'm not saying Graham wouldn't be on their draft board or anything. Or that I don't really like him as a player. Just that his height deficiency seems to be important enough to this regime to push him down farther than being value @ #12.

I haven't done an extensive review of the Ireland/Parcells years in Dallas, but I'd wager you'd find the same thing. Ware, Spencer and Ellis, at least, all stand taller than 6'3.

Mr. Magoo
04-05-2010, 11:42 PM
I know a number of the “anointed ones” and/or “mavens” in these parts think Graham is a sure fire ALL Pro, but he really was NOT that dominate at the college level. Yea, the kid is a player and he shined at the Senior Bowl, but the OL of the South was definitely soft. Let’s put it this way – he won’t be playing against ANYONE in the NFL with those marginal skills and/or athletic chops.

Anyway, unlike the mavens and anointed ones I don’t spend 8 hours a day watching tape and “vacationing” at Pro Days etc. but I’m 100% certain Graham is NOT the second coming of LT, and I seriously doubt he’s a future ALL Pro.

Regardless of what’s being reported otherwise, the kid is “short” by current NFL spec for 3-4 OLB and does have truncated arms – albeit not midget arms. Bottom line, no one is going to confuse his athletic frame with DeMarcus Ware (who IS the prototype 3-4 OLB under this regime).

No way -- I don’t see Graham being worth the 12th pick. If we trade down, maybe be take him later.

This is remarkably snotty logic for someone who admits he doesn't know what he's talking about...

hooshoops
04-06-2010, 12:05 AM
that's just what some posters on here do...they snark at people who do watch tape and spend a lot of time looking at the prospects and call them "wannabe draft gurus" etc and act like they have so much better things to do with their time and then they throw out absolutes about what will and will not happen...


i think i laugh the hardest at all the absolutes presented..."we will not draft dez bryant" etc that get thrown around here as if these guys really know what this regime is gonna do...if it's your opinion that's fine and we're all entitled to them but just don't continuously try to sell me on exactly what this regime is gonna do...

as if anyone not in those draft meetings really knows...

j-off-her-doll
04-06-2010, 12:29 AM
He was that dominate at the college level. He led the nations in tackles for loss, and he put up his best stats against ranked teams.

Fail.

finner
04-06-2010, 12:54 AM
This is remarkably snotty logic for someone who admits he doesn't know what he's talking about...

Perhaps you should work on your comprehension a bit my friend? I did NOT say I didn't know what I was talking about -- I'm just not a pretend wannabe draft maven OK. LOL.

You would think some around here get paid for their posts -- you know, like their OPINIONS are "professional grade" and my god if someone disagrees with them its the end of the galaxy...

A few short (Graham's arms ago) a number of "mavens" were absolutely certain Glenn Dorsey was the absolute BEST DT in college and a GUARANTEED can't miss ALL Pro et cetera and blow me...

Really, some of these same "experts" still take their opinion like it's [capable of walking on water or inflating footballs with a kiss].

:lol:

Mr. Magoo
04-06-2010, 01:04 AM
Perhaps you should work on your comprehension a bit my friend? I did NOT say I didn't know what I was talking about -- I'm just not a pretend wannabe draft maven OK. LOL.

You would think some around here get paid for their posts -- you know, like their OPINIONS are "professional grade" and my god if someone disagrees with them its the end of the galaxy...

A few short (Graham's arms ago) a number of "mavens" were absolutely certain Glenn Dorsey was the absolute BEST DT in college and a GUARANTEED can't miss ALL Pro et cetera and blow me...

Really, some of these same "experts" still take their opinion like it's [capable of walking on water or inflating footballs with a kiss].

:lol:

It wasn't just "draft mavens" saying Dorsey was a great player. The guy was the 5th overall pick. Apparently a few "teams" agreed.

And he's actually turned into a pretty good 3-4 DE, from all reports.

The draft is very much an inexact science. Even top notch personnel departments like the Chargers and Ravens **** up as much as they succeed.

And frankly, the argument that "getting paid" makes you good at something is a laughable one. Look at the drafts before Parcells, Ireland and co. showed up and tell me you don't know four or five people who could have done better. Look at all those professional restaurants that can't make a steak better than your buddy down the block can make one.

Sure, a lot of people overinflate their qualifications and how much they know. But if you do the diligence and are honest with your opinions, you have as much right as to state your opinion as anyone "getting paid" does.

ckparrothead
04-06-2010, 02:47 AM
Perhaps you should work on your comprehension a bit my friend? I did NOT say I didn't know what I was talking about -- I'm just not a pretend wannabe draft maven OK. LOL.

You would think some around here get paid for their posts -- you know, like their OPINIONS are "professional grade" and my god if someone disagrees with them its the end of the galaxy...

A few short (Graham's arms ago) a number of "mavens" were absolutely certain Glenn Dorsey was the absolute BEST DT in college and a GUARANTEED can't miss ALL Pro et cetera and blow me...

Really, some of these same "experts" still take their opinion like it's [capable of walking on water or inflating footballs with a kiss].

:lol:

Some players are always going to be small. No matter what they do, they'll be small players.

Just like some posters.

Playmaker76
04-06-2010, 03:41 AM
Dorsey would be a stud in the 4-3. He is not playing in the right system. He does show flashes of greatness though.

SRM
04-06-2010, 03:42 AM
Perhaps you should work on your comprehension a bit my friend? I did NOT say I didn't know what I was talking about -- I'm just not a pretend wannabe draft maven OK. LOL.

You would think some around here get paid for their posts -- you know, like their OPINIONS are "professional grade" and my god if someone disagrees with them its the end of the galaxy...

A few short (Graham's arms ago) a number of "mavens" were absolutely certain Glenn Dorsey was the absolute BEST DT in college and a GUARANTEED can't miss ALL Pro et cetera and blow me...

Really, some of these same "experts" still take their opinion like it's [capable of walking on water or inflating footballs with a kiss].

:lol:

How come you're filling your own post with corrections in brackets/parentheses?

MiamiDolfan85
04-06-2010, 04:03 AM
you know what....the more I think about it...no one really even had an indication of who Miami was gonna take until draft day.I mean,except when Jake Long was signed like a week before the draft,but even before that,everyone though either Chris Long(eww...) or Vernon Gholston(vommit).And even last year,who honetly though Vontae was going to be the pick a 25?

Dont even claim it,cause you didnt.See,like everyones says Dez bryant,or Derrick Morgan,or maybe even Earl Thomas....Theres an itch on the back of my neck,telling me its going to be an OLB that formerly attend Michigan....

SRM
04-06-2010, 04:16 AM
you know what....the more I think about it...no one really even had an indication of who Miami was gonna take until draft day.I mean,except when Jake Long was signed like a week before the draft,but even before that,everyone though either Chris Long(eww...) or Vernon Gholston(vommit).And even last year,who honetly though Vontae was going to be the pick a 25?

Dont even claim it,cause you didnt.See,like everyones says Dez bryant,or Derrick Morgan,or maybe even Earl Thomas....Theres an itch on the back of my neck,telling me its going to be an OLB that formerly attend Michigan....

I'm not gonna say I knew for sure Vontae was a guy, but I had a hunch he would be. But I had the same hunch for Rey.

But I see what you're getting at, and I could see Graham happening the most.

utahphinsfan
04-06-2010, 07:25 AM
Graham, Kindle, or JPP would be okay w/ me.

Rational or not, I have nightmares about Graham going to the Pats. Truthfully, I think NE selects Odrick and fills the role Seymour had.

ckparrothead
04-06-2010, 05:25 PM
Dorsey would be a stud in the 4-3. He is not playing in the right system. He does show flashes of greatness though.

Yeah actually he did come on as a 3-4 DE this year. Love when people conclude a guy's career after one year. That Steve Smith over in Carolina? Total flop.

ckparrothead
04-06-2010, 05:30 PM
you know what....the more I think about it...no one really even had an indication of who Miami was gonna take until draft day.I mean,except when Jake Long was signed like a week before the draft,but even before that,everyone though either Chris Long(eww...) or Vernon Gholston(vommit).And even last year,who honetly though Vontae was going to be the pick a 25?

Dont even claim it,cause you didnt.See,like everyones says Dez bryant,or Derrick Morgan,or maybe even Earl Thomas....Theres an itch on the back of my neck,telling me its going to be an OLB that formerly attend Michigan....

By the end of this thing someone out there will always be able to claim that they predicted the pick. Someone has to win the lottery, lol.

But I agree with your point. I ran that top 20 contest two years ago and I think maybe one person out of 100 put Phil Merling on their list of 20 players they think has the highest likelihood of ending up a Dolphin. On the other hand, if I'm not mistaken Kendall Langford was on a lot of lists. I think Shawn Murphy was as well, as was Chad Henne.