With the signing of veteran defensive end Aaron Kampman, the Jaguars no longer have to feel the need to force themselves to pick a defensive end early in the draft to start opposite Derrick Harvey. They now have the luxury to select the best available player regardless of position although I'm inclined to think they would've draft the BAP regardless.
That does not, however, mean that the Jaguars are done with their goal of improving the position and I still expect them to address in the draft. Whether that be with an early pick or two like they did with the OT position in last year's draft or with a barrage of middle or late round picks like they did with the WR position. Finding pass rushers to help contribute in improving the league's worst pass rush is at the top of Gene Smith's priority list and arguably the best pass rusher in the draft is Michigan defensive end, Brandon Graham.
Among Jaguar fans, safety Eric Berry of Tennessee seems to be the only player that everyone can agree upon. In the event that he is off the board, the list of best available players for the Jaguars is very different from person to person. Several different candidates have been named as possible picks at the 10th spot in the draft, although one player that hasn't been named is Brandon Graham.
Graham had a fine four years as a Wolverine posting a career 138 tackles and 29.5 sacks. He also became the first player in the prestigious University's history to be named the Bo Schembechler MVP in two years, earning the honor in both his junior and senior seasons.
The number one question mark among fans and draft personnel is whether Graham is a better fit in a 4-3 system as a DE or in a 3-4 as an OLB. The common thought has been that he fits better in a 3-4 system, but at 6'2 and 263 pounds he has nearly the exact same size as Dwight Freeney and similar quickness off the line. If you think his strength might be a question, keep in mind he did 31 reps on the bench press at the combine. After a productive career at Michigan with his hand on the ground and a dominating performance at the Senior Bowl and the practices preceding, is it possible that the Jaguars would consider drafting Graham with the tenth overall pick?
Video Killed the Scouting Report:
Brandon Graham: By The Numbers
Position 1: Defensive End
Position 2: Outside Linebacker
|Class: Senior||Age: 21|
Projected Round: 1st
2009 Second Team AP All-American
2009 First Team All-Big 10
2008 Second Team All-Big 10
According to the Experts
Explosiveness and quick first step, pass rush, rush defense, motor
Not prototypical size for an NFL defensive end
Can really turn the corner and close to the QB. One of the draft's elite pure pass rushers. Young with lots of upside. Agile, quick, and moves well laterally. Can convert to OLB...but there may be no reason to do that for any team that plays a 4-3. Holds the point OK for his size. Stays low while turning the corner and is very tough for the OT to lock onto. Has been productive at the top level of NCAA competition.
Sometimes goes to wide on the pass rush and becomes a non-factor on plays that are going the other way. Can be a little lackadaisical when plays aren't apparently coming to him. Not always off the snap on time, and sometimes times things poorly. Not real big, and lacks growth potential. May be a little too heavy for teams that want to look at him as an OLB conversion.
Good bulk --- Aggressive with a non-stop motor --- Very strong and powerful --- Tough and physical --- Does a great job in pursuit --- Good tackler --- Plays with excellent leverage --- Holds his own versus the run --- Uses his hands well --- Has a lot of range --- Smart with great instincts --- Hard worker --- Offers some versatility --- Super productive.
Doesn't have the ideal height you look for --- Short arms --- Frame may be maxed out --- Not a great athlete --- Average speed, quickness and agility --- Not real explosive --- Lacks a burst --- Struggles in space --- A tad inconsistent --- Might have to change positions --- Upside is limited.