Eagles Move Up in First Round to Select Brandon Graham

Written By Bob Cunningham On Friday, April 23, 2010

Graham is the Eagles' 2010 first-round draft pick.

Well, the reports of the Eagles wanting to move up were true, but the player they were targeting seemed lost to everyone.

Most people thought Earl Thomas, or perhaps Derrick Morgan or Jason Pierre-Paul, so when the Eagles traded up to the 13th overall selection with the Denver Broncos, most thought it was a done deal that Thomas was an Eagle.

In fact, I didn't even bother to pay all that close attention because I figured the pick was obvious.

But then, imagine my surprise (which should be easy since I'm figuring you all felt the same thing) when I hear Roger Goodell announce that the Eagles have drafted Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham.

Not only that, but then to hear that the Birds gave up two third-round picks was even more shocking. I wrote a couple days ago that I thought the Eagles needed to focus on getting a few impact players rather than several decent players, but this was a bit steep.

Graham should turn out to be a good player, but I'm not sure that the Birds had to move up that far to get him. It almost seems like the Eagles caught wind that another team was thinking about drafting Graham and decided not to risk it.

I knew the Eagles had their eye set on one specific player and would not stay put at 24, but I figured they would move up for Jason Pierre-Paul, Derrick Morgan, Eric Berry, Rolando McClain, or Thomas, but never would have guessed they were so high on Graham.

Graham will compete with Juqua Parker and Darryl Tapp for the privilege of starting across from Trent Cole. Graham figures to be the guy in the lead right now because Andy Reid and the rest of the coaching staff would love to see him start, but he won't be handed the job simply because he was a high draft pick.

We saw the same thing with Jeremy Maclin who, until Kevin Curtis was injured, was a backup until he proved that he was too good to keep off the field.

Graham is big, fast, and athletic, but he will have to make a quick impact if he's going to live up to the slot in which he was taken.

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