While it is still very early in the Philadelphia Eagles training camp, some players have already begun to stand out; some for positive reasons and others for negative reasons. Third year defensive end Brandon Graham is one of the players who has impressed thus far. Graham, whom the coaching staff has said needs to pick up his game, has done just that. During the first few days of live one on one drills, Graham has definitely shown signs of significant improvement. He looks quicker and stronger than he has in the past. There have been few instances where he has been beaten while participating in head to head drills. In fact, on Saturday Graham did so well that his performance garnered a hug from defensive line coach Jim Washburn.
The Eagles selected Graham 13th overall in the 2010 NFL draft for a reason; they thought he could contribute extensively to their defensive unit. Unfortunately, his rookie campaign was cut short due to a torn ACL suffered near the end of the 2010 season, which subsequently gave him a late start in 2011, as well. Even though he does not have a very large sample size (at least in live game action) from which to draw conclusions, the coaching staff has repeatedly indicated that Graham must show marked improvement this off season if he wants to be given the chance to contribute. It seems as if he has gotten the message.
Adding Graham to the mix on the Eagles defensive line adds even more depth to an already talented group. The Birds have a few different types of defensive ends, as well, which could potentially wreak havoc on the opposition. If a smaller, quicker end like Graham can get offensive linemen moving on their heels, he could put up impressive numbers in 2012.