Naysayers of the explosive Wolverine player will love to pin him with the 'tweener tag. Well to them I recall the names of other players pegged with the same title—notably Demarcus Ware and Dwight Freeney.
Graham is deserving of the number one spot for a variety of reasons.
There’s not another player in this class with the initial burst or explosion with their first step. With that anticipatory quickness he’s not just a sack-artist but a disruptive force against the run. Against in-state rival Michigan State this season, Graham was literally mask-to-mask with the running back as Spartans quarterback Kirk Cousins was handing off.
He combines productivity with a few inherent traits Coaches absolutely cherish. His Junior and Senior seasons were textbook examples of consistency. Two years ago Graham piled up 10 sacks and 20 TFL followed by 10.5 sacks, two blocked punts and an astonishing 26 TFL. Graham has a relentless motor and is a high-character presence in the locker-room from every report I’ve read.
I’m not certain where he will ultimately line up in the NFL but he will produce at a high level whether as an end or linebacker. In fact, I’m confident we’re quite possibly looking at the 2010 NFL Defensive rookie of the Year.
Disclosure: There’s no reason to believe I’m guilty of gushing or overvaluing Brandon Graham. Let it be known, I’m never one to sing the praises of any Michigan Wolverine, as a bleed-green Michigan State fan and alum. But Graham is a rare talent and will often be compared to Freeney during his soon-to-be illustrious career.
Prediction—Mid first round.