Posted by Josh Alper on May 23, 2012, 11:47 AM EDT
Things have not gone as planned for Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham.
When he was picked 13th overall in 2010, Graham looked like a productive edge pass rusher in a scheme that gives players like that a lot of opportunity. Because of injuries, he hasn’t gotten those opportunities. Graham played in just 16 games over his first two seasons thanks to a torn ACL and microfracture surgery in successive years. He’s picked up three sacks in those games and he knows that’s not enough for a player with such high expectations.
Graham’s motivational tool has led him to drop 20 pounds and improve his all-around conditioning. He’ll need every edge he can get in the fight for snaps at defensive end in Philly. Trent Cole and Jason Babin are the starters and second-round pick Vinny Curry will also push for playing time.
Babin isn’t taking part in the Eagles OTAs, which has given Graham some time with the first team. He’ll need to make the most of those chances to shake off the label Graham slapped on himself.