Andy Reid Calls Eagles DE Brandon Graham a "Stretch" for Opening Day

Jason KarlAnalyst IIIMarch 22, 2011

CINCINNATI - AUGUST 20:  Brandon Graham #54 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after making a tackle during the NFL preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on August 20, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

At the owners meetings at New Orleans, Andy Reid told reporters that Brandon Graham, the team's first-round pick last year, would be a "real stretch" for Opening Day.

Graham tore his ACL in December against the Cowboys.

When asked about the defensive end position, Reid said he still had, "Te'o, Tapp and Sapp." Reid was referring to third-round pick Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Darryl Tapp, and Ricky Sapp.

My Take

That may not be encouraging news for Eagle fans. Te'o Nesheim disappointed and could not even make the field, even when Graham went down with injury. He was overpowered by opposing tackles.

Tapp was more of the situational pass-rusher and made a few plays, but not what the Eagles envisioned when they traded a fourth-round pick for him.

Sapp spent the year on injured reserve and actually worked out as a strongside linebacker in camps last offseason.

Graham said in an interview with a couple months ago, that he would definitely be able to come all the way back from the knee injury. This encouraged many fans and most felt that defensive end would not nearly be as big of a need with Graham.

Now with Graham potentially out until midseason, the Eagles have to address the defensive end position.

They cannot go into next season with Juqua Parker starting because he is aging and breaking down.

The Eagles may have to draft a defensive in the first round two years in a row to help improve the weak pass rush, especially evident late in the season.

Even if Graham does return midseason, the Eagles cannot count on any production given the state of the injury.