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Posted on Wed, Nov 11, 2009 : 5:28 p.m.

An NFL scout breaks down Brandon Graham's game

By Dave Birkett

An NFL scout analyzes Brandon Graham’s game:


Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham looks to block a throw by Purdue quarterback Joey Elliott in the first half of Saturday's 38-36 loss at Michigan Stadium.

Melanie Maxwell |

• NFL position: 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker

• Draft grade: First or second round

• Plays like: Colts DE Dwight Freeney. “He may not be as fast as Dwight, but he has the motor. And I say that effort is something that you can’t coach it. Guys either have it or they don’t.”

• Plusses: “He comes off the ball really, really well. Does a good job of keeping his pad level down and plays with a high motor. Dude is just non-stop. He’ll chase things down from the backside. They even have him drop a little bit in coverage, so he’s kind of versatile. … That’s his forte, frustrating the passer. I think he’s got a little bit more attributes about himself. … He really is a strong guy. And just a great kid. You go to Michigan and talk to people about him, this kid is one of the best character kids off the field. Nice kid. … If you would look at him on film, you would never think that he’s as nice as they say he is.”

• Minuses: “Maybe a little bit stronger at the point versus the run. He tends to have some issues with runs right at him because he’s not a big 6-4, 6-5 guy, 310-pound guy. … His height is the thing that may hold him back a little bit because he tends to get engulfed sometimes by those bigger offensive tackles, But his initial quickness is definitely a plus. Once he gets those tackles turned kind of sidewise or lunging and trying to overextend, then he can get around them.”

• Overall: “We just kept running the film back and looking at situations and looking at things that he did when it wasn’t even making a play, just seeing how he’s trying to get there when the play’s on the other side and he’s passing up other guys that are jogging and 55’s running past them. If they had (a few more) guys playing like he plays with the effort he plays, they’d be a good football team. They wouldn’t be trying to fight to get bowl eligible, they’d already be that.”



Thu, Nov 12, 2009 : 12:52 a.m.

The last statement is just another indictment from a professional source, on this pathetic coaching staff and their inability to reach the kids and get better effort from them.


Wed, Nov 11, 2009 : 3:49 p.m.

He is a very great player. Just one problem -- he will not be here next year!


Wed, Nov 11, 2009 : 2:08 p.m.

BG will be a top 20 pick. He will be a stud in the NFL. We can only hope that Roh, RVB, Lalota are learning from him so that they continue what BG was trying to get accomplished here


Wed, Nov 11, 2009 : 1:29 p.m.

I hope RR and GR read these comments. Apparently we have some slackers on our D not holding up their end. If this scout sees players jogging, why can't RR and GR?? I have and will continue to support the big blue, but my frustration level is rising with RR and the gang with every passing loss.


Wed, Nov 11, 2009 : 1:28 p.m.

Graham is a great player that will be sorely missed next year. Interesting comment by the scout about watching the films. It sounds like there's some players on our defense who either aren't in very good shape or aren't trying hard enough. Long term, the coaches need to weed these guys out and find players like Graham who don't quit on plays. Even if they're not as physically talented as Graham, we'll have a much better defense if guys just play smarter and don't quit until the whistle blows.