The Eagles made some noise in the first round of the NFL Draft last night by trading up to the #13 spot to select defensive end out of Michigan, Brandon Graham. By moving up to the #13 spot, the Eagles gave up their own first round pick, and also their 2 third round picks. They still have 2 second round picks for tonight.
Brandon Graham is one of those guys who has played both outside linebacker and defensive end, but projects as a DE for the Eagles. He is undersized as a defensive end, listed a little bit over 6'1" and 270 pounds. Graham describes himself as fast, relentless, and a guy with a high motor. I'm not sure if Graham will start right away, but he does project as a left defensive end, to go opposite Trent Cole. This is a position that we needed, as Trent Cole has really been the only effective defensive end during his time in Philly. Juqua Parker is effective in small doses, but is older now. Victor Abiamiri is always injured, and even when he isn't, has not been very effective. If Graham can be a solid player, he will be the long term starter at the left defensive end position.
The Brandon Graham pick has been praised by some of the so-called experts in Jon Gruden, and Todd McShay. Graham appears to be a DE who can use his speed to beat offensive lineman to the outside, but also has a jab step and is able to fake like he is going outside, and cut back inside on an offensive tackle. Being as small as he is however, you have to imagine he will get pushed around at times by some of the bigger, dominant offensive tackles.
It is hard to say at this point whether the Eagles made the right move or not with Graham, but Reid and Roseman both wanted Graham, so at least they got the guy that they wanted.