Philadelphia Eagles' Brandon Graham Must Be Signed Before Training Camp

Haran KnightCorrespondent IJune 23, 2010

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 21:  Brandon Graham #55 of the Michigan Wolverines moves to blocks during the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes on November 21, 2009 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ohio State won the game 21-10. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

One month left until the caravan heads to Lehigh University.

Soon we’ll find out what potential this "new" Philadelphia Eagles team truly possesses. 

It’s excellent to hear that the Eagles are getting their draft picks signed quickly. So far 10 of their 13 selections are under contract. Only one more person must be released in order for the required 80 man roster to be intact. I’m pretty sure rookies Riley Cooper and Nate Allen will be signed pretty soon.

There is one big concern I have regarding this organization: will first round pick Brandon Graham be signed before training camp begins?

Let’s forget the fact that the Eagles traded out of the first round in 2007 and 2008.

Look at the first round picks they did make in 2006 and 2009.

Both Broderick Bunkley and Jeremy Maclin missed valuable time in Lehigh their rookie seasons because of contractual issues.

Bunkley’s rookie season was pretty much ruined because of this. 

Maclin had a fairly decent rookie year, but he got off to a slow start and it’s only because of Kevin Curtis’ injury woes that allowed him to get on the field. 

This is a cause of concern as we approach the month of July.

You can blame a draftee’s agent but Banner & Co. have to do a better job of making sure their first round pick is in position to report to Lehigh from the beginning.

Their track record the past four years doesn’t speak highly of how they deal with first round selections.

Imagine if Graham misses just one week of camp.

He could possibly end up so far behind on the learning curve that Jaqua Parker, Darryl Tapp and maybe even Ricky Sapp could be ahead of him on the depth chart. 

This cannot happen.

Not this year.

Not when a perennial playoff contender is "only retooling" in order to keep contending.

The Eagles made a point to address their pass rush this off season and Brandon Graham is expected to be a huge part of it. 

If Graham is as good as Andy Reid thinks he is—if he truly is worth the two third round picks the Eagles used to move up and get him—he must be signed and in Bethlehem, PA by July 26. 

The bottom line is: Will he?