When we saw the Eagles trade up to the 13th selection last night, I don’t think anyone was too surprised at the move. It seemed almost inevitable that with Earl Thomas on the board, he would be on his way to Philadelphia. However, the Eagles chose to pass on Thomas and selected Brandon Graham, a hybrid DE/OLB from Michigan. The pick surprised a lot of people, including myself.
Defensive end was definitely a need for this team but I thought there were many other priorities that needed to be addressed before this. Safety and cornerback are the first two that come to mind. Despite that, the Eagles packaged their first round selection along with both their third round picks to move up 11 spots to get Graham.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the guy is a great player; however, I’m not exactly pleased with the move. First of all, I don’t think he would have gone nearly as high as he did if the Eagles didn’t make a move for him. Many draft analysts have him listed up there as one of their top DE/OLB’s but I don’t know if any teams had him as high on their board as the Eagles did.
Next, there is a lot of depth at the defensive end position this year. With that not being one of their top needs, the Eagles could have easily gotten a talented defensive end in the second round. After yesterday, there are still players like Carlos Dunlap and Sergio Kindle on the board. Moving up to 13 just seemed way too high to take a guy who wasn’t leaps and bounds above the rest of the defensive ends out there.
I’m also not thrilled about giving up two third round picks to move up that high either. They could easily trade up into the third round again or even trade back with their later second round pick and get a third round pick and something else.
This really isn’t anything against the kid, as I do think he is a really good player. However, the Eagles gave up a lot to get him so he’s going to have to prove something to everyone. I hope that Graham has the impact on the team that the Eagles are hoping for.