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Is Brandon Graham too short to be a DE in a 3-4?

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by furley, Jan 31, 2010.

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  1. furley

    furley Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Would you select him in the first round?



    Brandon Graham shines at Senior Bowl - NFL - SI.com
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
  2. Brono

    Brono Guest

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    And is he too short to be a pass rusher in a sub package?
     
  3. The_Riddler

    The_Riddler 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Let's just say this, Brandon Graham has one inch on James Harrison, so make of that what you will.
     
  4. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    And just where is that one inch located? :D

    Seriously, there's no doubt that Brandon Graham's height should not be an issue with him playing in many 3-4 schemes. It may (especially when combined with his short arms) make him less desirable in ours. A bigger question is how loose his hips are and how well he can play in space.

    Is Brandon Graham too short to play in a 3-4? No. But does Brandon Graham's height potentially lessen his attractiveness to the Pats? Quite possibly.
     
  5. TriplecHamp

    TriplecHamp Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #24 Jersey

    Disgusting
     
  6. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Sorry, but that was leading with the chin. The jab was there for the taking.
     
  7. NePatriots

    NePatriots PatsFans.com Draftnik PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't see Graham ever playing 3-4 DE. That doesn't mean he won't suit up for the Patriots. Brandon Graham has a lot in common with Tully Banta-Cain - just a better first step and more speed. I can see him as as a 3-4 OLB / 3rd Down DE with the Patriots.
     
  8. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    But the cost for TBC was a 7th round pick, not a 1st or high/mid 2nd round pick that it would take for Graham. That's too much if he's just a glorified situational pass rusher.
     
  9. jays52

    jays52 In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think Graham is going to be a solid pro. While playing weakside end in a 43 defense. You can tell a lot about a players's hips even when they put their hand in the dirt, and I don't see it. He's a first step guy, which is normal, but he is overly relaint upon that upfield burst on every snap. He doesn't square well, he doesn't scrape, his technique is predicated upon shooting the outside shoulder of the tackle. I think he will be a good player for somone, just not NE.
     
  10. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree. I think he's more Dwight Freeney than James Harrison by a long shot.

    For all Graham's dominance in the Senior Bowl, we have yet to see him play OLB and see how he handles playing in space and dropping into coverage. It's a huge projection, especially given the demands our system makes of the OLBs to read and react to plays. He's a forward moving beast, and that would take away his greatest strength.
     
  11. The_Riddler

    The_Riddler 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I thought when they ran at him though that he set the edge pretty well. I know he wasn't facing Jake Long or Joe Thomas but give the kid credit he showed alot of strength on that edge, it wasn't all finesse.
     
  12. furley

    furley Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Okay, I was just wondering since I think a few of you are high on him. I think he can sneak into the late first round if he keeps on improving his stock. At worst, he has gotten himself into the second round.
     
  13. Brono

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2010
  14. jays52

    jays52 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Agreed. A note towards the lack of OLB data: I've been putting more thought and research this year into the transitive properties for the two positions. I studied some college games of current pros. It's not tape, but for front 7 play it works. I found some factors that correlate well even if the player never takes his hand out of the dirt. It's nothing mind blowing, makes sense if one has played, but it may help to educate others less knowledgable than yourself.

    Almost always was evidence of the guy checking a rush and getting laterally in a hurry. This is a standard linebacker move; in fact the basis of most linebacker drills. Drive up, plant, fluidly explode laterally with your hips square, transition into pursuit if needed. Indicative of COD.

    There was also evidence of small step squaring. In run defense , 34 OLB's will be reached just after they get their triangle read. They will have one step to get their hips down, grab breastplate, and lock that sumbeech out for their next read. It's a small little step you get before engagement, and most ends get to fight with their feet for outside leverage. Look for guys who can take a small step and get square.

    There's also the presence in the screen game. If the end can check the rush, get angular to the play upon recognition. This shows how they play in zone, as shooting a screen post read is very close to coming up in zone.

    Man is easy to coach if the player has the hips and explosiveness to run. Simply hand technique stuff and some dirty tricks. Not a difficult eval once you have the physical traits.
     
  15. alvinnf

    alvinnf In the Starting Line-Up

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    They play him at both weak and strong side ends. He plays with great leverage and attacks both shoulders of an offensive tackle. He is definately not a speed guy. He always has his hand down, so you have to wonder if he has the same explosion upright. I never liked Gholsten for that same reason. Every play he made was with his hand down. This guy understands leverage and uses his hands well. He might not be a good fit initially, But we are currently lacking one 5 tech. end. Maybe we play more 43. I feel like we had more success with it last year than in previous years.

    I think Hughes fits your description better.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQfcytu6ItI
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
  16. NePatriots

    NePatriots PatsFans.com Draftnik PatsFans.com Supporter

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    First off, if TBC had a better first step and more speed, he wouldn't have been a 7th rounder.

    Not saying we should spend a 1st-rounder on one, and I'm also not saying that Graham can only be a situational pass rusher, but isn't a situational pass-rusher EXACTLY what this team needs?
     
  17. alvinnf

    alvinnf In the Starting Line-Up

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    He reminds me of a certain Arizona Wildcat, with a little more sand in his pants!
     
  18. Charles Barwin

    Charles Barwin Practice Squad Player

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    TBC was widely regarded as a 3rd round talent who fell because of character concerns.

    How is Graham a situational pass rusher when he's so good at setting the edge and tackling ball carriers?

    Graham is better than TBC vs the run right now.
     
  19. jays52

    jays52 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Valid points, but I think that I disagree on a few things. Towards the strong vs weak end, of course. He was moved around because a superior athlete on any level will be moved around to create coaching problems for the opponent. In the NFL, he won't be a superior athlete.

    Towards technique and leverage: I would expect him to. He is a 4th year 1a football player. The question is how well that engrained college technique correlates to the professional game. Further, anyone is going to be more explosive out of the three point that a two point. You already have your explosion step taken in the three point, and your arm is already ****ed to fire into your opponent. The issue is weather or not the two point quickness is adequate at an NFL level.

    Towards shoulder technique, and this may be semantics, but a player never attacks both shoulders. They either attack the outside shoulder, post (aka square), or slant across the face of the tackle into the b gap. Not sure which you were going for, but Michigan never delegated posting to it's ends. Few college programs do. They coach ends to retain an outside shoulder to string out the play. They seldom try to force the play inside by posting a hard angle Like they do in a 2 gap 34.
     
  20. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Great footage. Thanks.

    Lane has fabulous lateral agility for a guy his length and size. He needs a lot of work on how to use his hands, though.
     
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