Michigan's Brandon Graham hopes for early call in NFL draft
Lon Horwedel | AnnArbor.com
Nothing against the friends and family he’s hosting for his NFL draft party tonight, but Brandon Graham doesn’t plan on entertaining until the wee hours of Friday morning.
“Hopefully,” Graham said Wednesday, “the party ends quick.”
The three-day draft begins at 7:30 p.m. tonight and Graham is projected to go somewhere in the middle of the first round. He led the nation in tackles-for-loss as Michigan’s only defensive playmaker last year, and spent the past month crisscrossing the country to meet with teams interested in acquiring his services.
There were visits to the Jets, Titans, Falcons, Patriots and Broncos, and workouts at his pro day for the Jaguars, Ravens and Steelers. Among the highlights: Meeting New England coach Bill Belichick and the one-on-one time he spent with Jets coach Rex Ryan.
“I killed it at everyone,” Graham said. “It was like, I could live in Denver, I could live in New York. I could live in so many different places. I could play for Tennessee. I like their scheme, I like the way they run their defense.”
With NFL teams setting their draft boards this week, Graham spent the last few days getting ready for tonight. He got his hair cut, picked up a new suit - a black and purple ensemble with a touch of pink ("It's going to look sweet," he said) - and put the finishing touches on a party ESPN will broadcast from this evening.
Just how early the party ends depends on when Graham gets drafted.
“I’m hoping top 10,” Graham said. “That’d be nice. I think 10 is the Jaguars, that’s what I believe.”
Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.