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A quickie chat with Brandon Graham

Maybe the Dolphins draft Rolando McClain because everyone loves the guy and everyone says he's going to be a star. Maybe they take Eric Berry (if he's there) because they need a playmaking free safety. Maybe they reach for a nose tackle or a wide receiver.

I still love Michigan's Brandon Graham.

Have I made that point to you guys enough this week? Even as the adoption papers are being drawn up, I wanted to share with you yet more reasons I think this star DE-OLB from Michigan is the real deal and should be considered at No. 12 overall -- contrary opinions from Mel Kiper and Todd McShay and all the other draft pundits notwithstanding.

I direct you to this interview Graham did with Scout.com during Senior Bowl week -- before he went off and won the game MVP award with five tackles and two sacks.

In the interview Graham says a couple of things that caught my attention:

He expects to run in the 4.5s at the Indianapolis Combine next week. And he loves the idea of playing 3-4 outside linebacker.

"Oh yeah, I feel real good," Graham says about dropping in coverage. "I've been working on my hips, working on my drops every day in practice for Michigan ... With a little coaching from the NFL guys, I believe I can get it done."

Graham has no shortage of confidence. And he couples that with something of a chip that dares naysayers to disbelieve he can do whatever he sets out to do. That's why he says he wants to run in the 4.5s at the Combine.

"I'm excited because I like it when people doubt me," he says. "That's just a challenge and I like challenges and I'm going to try to fulfill it. And if I don't, then I gave it my all and that's all I can say."

One thing Graham has shown in all his games and all the practices at the Senior Bowl was a seemingly infinite desire. He wants to be good. He wants to improve. He wants to get to the quarterback. He wants to be an NFL star.

"[I'm] just trying to show that my motor's always going," he says, "I love football and I want to make plays and sack the quarterback."

You combine want-to and talent and you know what you have?

A very good NFL player.

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FYI who gives a crap about the wonderlic anyway? I don't care if a guy can't read as long as he has football intelligence. I know that sounds stupid, but that is the reality. I have yet to see anything in interviews with McClain where I saw him as dumb, though he may well be. Even if he is, his playbook smarts and diagnosing plays is what's important. And from everything I understand, that is one of his strengths.


I also agree that it takes some players time to develop. Yet, there are those that do impress as soon as they hit the field, which I think is a mix of pure talent and confidence.

Indiana, opinions are great when they are not based on outright lies such as the FYI post on McClain, everyone has a right to post but let's try not to just make things up

How long will it take the teabags to understand cheney read the shoe bomber his miranda five times in 24 hours now he doesnt want underwear bomber to get same treatment. Must have had really nice shoes or really dirty underwear ;)

Mike Nolan is probaly gonna have alot of input in this draft considering he was brought in to fix this defense...He was a head coach before, anyone know anything about his drafting record??? Again, Parcells makes the final choice buy I'm sure Nolan will have his say

Mike Nolan is 100% going to have a lot to say about the draft or at least the defensive players picked. I think he will want a pass rusher more than a safety with the 1st rounder (if we do go defense). With that said, I believe it will be who he wants moreso than who Parcells, Ireland or Sparano. I think if we do go defense with first round Nolan will have probably 75/25 say on who we draft... Just my opinion though...

Armando, OK, so you like this kid Graham, but what you don't say is why or whether he will be a better player than McClain.

And as far as need goes, the Fins have an equal need at both positions, OLB and ILB.

mrmikejohnson f'kin republican piece of filth

Ignorance is seeing science made up by global warmists and still believing in it. Ignorance is seeing people change the name of global warming to climate change because it suits their agenda and not questioning why it was done.

Posted by: Armando | February 19, 2010 at 01:31 AM

Mando,... you're the man!

@ FYI Wow! never knew one needed to be so intellectually inclined to play football.

McClain can get more than his name right on that DUMB wonderlick test. Put some football questions on that test to actually test ones FOOTBALL IQ.

MJZ - Read the post! He gave plenty of quotes plus a link to an interview. What "reasons" do you want? Does he really have to compare McClain and Graham? It is not a comparison and contrast article, it is a why he likes Graham. How many more things did you want Armando to say about Graham in why he likes him. Every paragraph after the line: "In the interview Graham says a couple of things that caught my attention" proves why he likes him!

Every civilization that EVER existed has Ultimately Collapsed.
(...and most have done so from forces other than the climate -- eg: Like a gradual decline into IGNORANCE AND ILLITERACY.)

Some think that we (the U.S.) have got between 60 to 100 years.

So make good use of the time and


That why we're here.:)


The only way I can see the Dolphins selecting B. Graham is if they trade back in the first round. There's no way the Dolphins will select him at 12 when you consider he never played as a OLB in College. Do you use the 12th pick in the first round on a player that needs to learn a new position...do the Dolphins risk that much when they are so close...I don't think so. Now if they trade picks with Dallas and acquire Austin and use the 27th pick for Graham...I can see that and would agree with you. Right now there's a few players regardless of position that fit the 12th pick, McClain, Haden, Bryant and Spiller. After the combine that could change of course, but I don't believe Graham will be one of them to jump up that far. Now thats how I feel, of course I don't make the decisions for the Dolphins...and knowing that Parcells loves guy's from big college's that have produced...who knows....anything is possible.

The problem with TeaBaggers is that when W and Darth Vader where running up the deficit and pork spending nobody blinked. No one was outrage! But now after 12 months of Obama it's all about spending. Don't be fooled teabaggers are just neo-cons and conservatives that would never vote dem. in a million years.

fishypete - now this is where opinions are not as smart. Trade picks with Dallas to acquire Austin CANNOT even happen. Austin will cost us a 1st and a 3rd, not TRADING 2st round picks you DUMBAS$

Why is Graham not worth the 12th pick overall but Ted Ginn worth a top 10 pick? Do you think he is not worth that high of a pick, because of Mel Kiper or others say he isn't. Where is the validity. You say "jump up" that muich, but jump up from what? He is the rated the 5th best DE in the draft by nfldraftscout.com and if our need is getting a DE/LB and all the other draft prospects are taken, he is worth the 12th pick.


I disagree that ILB and OLB are equal need positions for the fins. OLB is by far a greater need. Today's NFL is about stopping the pass, and you do that by putting pressure on the QB. In a 3-4 that means OLBs. ILB is a position of need for sure, but OLB is a must have. Porter is gone and JT may be as well. All we have right now is Wake, who is still unproven as a starter. If the fins can't put pressure on the QB then it won't matter who's playing ILB. Someone will always be open and we'll be picked apart like we were last year.

Indiana, U really can't compare that Ginn pick because a totally different regime made that horrible pick...Ginn was certainly not a top 10 or top first three rounds when u evaluate that

Datajack, when didn't Wake put pressure on the QB when he was in there??? The question with Wake was his run defense, not pass

which are the probabilities to grab Graham in the 2nd round?

Some observations:

1) Unlike Tiger Woods, I have never cheated on my wife. Like Tiger Woods, I am married to a beautiful blonde woman.

2) Unlike Europeans, I believe in American exceptionalism. Like Europeans, I believe that bidets should be commonplace.

3) Unlike Soiled Bottom, my behind is so clean you could eat off of it (though none have tried). Like Soiled Bottom, I have a self-deprecating wit, insouciance and joie de vivre.

4) Until the Dolphins actually play another game, there really isn't anything of consequence to talk about. Yeah, they'll draft some players and there will be much talk, but until they ACTUALLY put on a uniform in a meaningful game - c'mon - this is all just mental masturb_tion. (I'll defer to ALoco on that topic.)


Completely agree with your last post!



Two players the Fins should "target" in FA should be ILB and SOLB

ILB -- Dansby -- this would allow us to to pick up an SOLB via draft: Graham (perhaps with a small trade back), Morgan, Pierre Paul

SOLB -- Peppers -- we could hope to have ILB McClain "fall" to us or again trade back and pick up Spikes

bobbyd12 - I guess you can't compare Ted Ginn, but what we can compare is some players the "experts" had rated high. Ryan Leaf was rated the 2nd best if not the best QB in the draft and did not expect to get drafted outside the top 5. Well it turns out he should of been undrafted. I don't see any reason why Graham is not worth the 12th pick IMO...


I've seen Graham projected as high as 14th overall in some mock drafts, I don't think it's crazy to project him 12th. It all depends on who falls to 12 (or who's available). As I've said before my position is that OLB is the #1 need position and I hope they use that first pick to fill that need. In fact, I would love to see them pick OLBs #1 and #2. Look how well that stategy paid off last year with the two CBs. Imagine if they could get Graham #1 and Weatherspoon with the #2. What do you think?

We have NO idea what the Tuna is thinking right now. But we do know that it takes a great pass rush to compete with the high-flying offenses of the NFL.

The great thing about the NFL is that you are able to conduct free agency before the draft unlike the other pro leagues. Our needs will change after March 5th. Do we sign Dansby? Maybe. Do we trade for Boldin? Maybe. Do we sign a NT (Pickett, Hampton)? Maybe. A lot can change between now and the end of April.

If you asked me right now based on the needs of the team - these would be my choices:

1. R. McClain - ILB
2. B. Graham - OLB
3. E. Thomas - FS
4. D. Williams - NT
5. D. Bryant - WR

Things change....

adrian solorza - NO WAY Graham does not get drafted in 1st round. If he is around with the Patriots pick, they will take him as they need PASS RUCH help bad. Hell, I don't even see the Cotls passing on him.

Graham in the 2nd round is not going to happen


Two damm good posts (12:52, 12:54...)

Rock on!

I'm back from lunch ... two slices of pizza!

Let's see ...

fishypete, you make an excellent point. I can see your logic.

Thunderbolt: You are totally wrong. The shoe bomber was tried in federal court and not in a military tribunal because when he tried his attack in Dec. of 2001, the tribunals were not up and running yet.


Because democrats in congress blocked them. When Bush went around the congress and set up the tribunals anyway, the dems sued. And they won in the Supreme court.

It wasn't until later that a different congress enacted a law setting up the military tribunals and that law passed muster in the supreme court. Then the military tribunals got rolling. It was 2007 by that time.

So when you hear that the Bush administration -- no favorite of mine, by the way -- preferred to try the shoe bomber in federal courts and tried 350 other terrorists in federal courts, that leaves out the facts that they had no other choice. And they had no other choice because the military tribunals were being blocked at every step of the way by liberals that want terrorists treated as criminals and not enemies of the USA.

Those are the facts. Look them.


That actually makes lots of sense.

Shawne Merriman was a DE who was perceived to go somwhere in the late teens. He ended up 12th by the Chargers and is a MLB

just a thought...

DefFinFan peppers will never play in Miami thats not a smart thought to have out loud.... Dansby would be nice but only at a decent price......

By the way, if you guys have differing viewpoints feel free to express them.

It is still a free country!

And if you wish to debate me, go right ahead. I think I can hold my own.

Armando - fishypete excellent point? are you serious?

Trading down with Dallas to get Austin is a excellent point when that is not even possible with Austin being a RFA?

Mr Dodsworth rocks!

What is the best position for me next year?

I would prefer them to sign Dansby. This would take the focus off McClain and put it where it needs to be, OLB. Be it Graham or someone else. This would put the starting LBs at Wake, Dansby, Crowder and (insert drafted OLB here). I can live with that. :)

Sergio Kindle is better


Please see my posts at 11:05 and 11:08 i.e. rebuttal to your debate/question... let me know what you think

Thks Joe

Crazy trade talk and ridiculous free agent signings thats all we ever hear on this blog.... Other than like three or four people does anyone on here every think before they type and maybe do a little research or anything other than thigns liek this.... Lets sign a ninja turtle to lock down the FS spot.................

NO MORE DRAFT TALK UNTIL FA starts. This is what we should be talking about. What ifs about Draft without knowing what happens in FA are like guessing when is Tiger Woods coming back

WVFins, why would Peppers not be welcomed in Miami? I would think any NFL player would be enticed by the income tax/weather attributes.

Let me take you back to 1988. The Dolphins had the 16th overall pick and Shula selected a DE/OLB by the name of Eric Kumerow who played three seasons for the Miami Dolphins and one season with the Chicago Bears. He was a "BUST" and retired after only three seasons without ever starting an NFL game, and registering only five quarterback sacks. Shula didn't listen to the draft experts who stated that Kumerow was not a 1st round selection. Hopefully the Dolphins' top brass will listen to the draft experts this time around when considering to select another DE/OLB by the name of Brandon Graham. These hybrid guys just don't work out.

I dont want Peppers or Graham here because they have never played in the position (OLB)
Dansby on the other hand is a no brainer

Lets see correct me if im wrong but he is the highest paid DL in the league. He plays 4-3 DE.... UHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Armando, I am interesting in ordering Mel Kipers Draft book preview. Is it worth the doe? Will you buy it?


When did I say Wake didn't put pressure??? I said he was unproven as a starter, which I would think obviously refers to his coverage skills. His pass rushing abilities are obvious.

Thank you NJ. It has been wild wild west on here the past week or so!

Wake is the reason CLAM CHOWDER finally got his first INT, and then he goes on radio and has JP's "Back"


I compared Gholston directly McClain for a reference point. Trying to show yet another example of why there really is no such thing as can't miss. You, bobbyd, NJ PHIN and many others talks about McClain in such glowing terms like he is a "can't miss" prospect just because he played the position already? Anything like always playing the same position like all these can't miss studs LB Brian Bosworth(less), QB Ryan Leaf, RB Blair Thomas, OL Tony Mandarich? All these guys were Top guys in their positions by the concensus ratings. All were tabbed as "can't miss". There is no such thing is what I say. McClain AND Graham INCLUDED!

Anyone that wants a guarantee...you will die someday...that's a gaurantee, most throw in taxes but many don't pay those so that's also NOT gauranteed.

I would/will/do compare Gholston to EVERY player that has even been drafted or will be drafted. I try to compare ALL data to see if I can get a leg up on guessing correctly.

I think it is the only thing one can do...gather as much data as you can and then project as best you can. Yes this includes watching and going to games but also rewatching and review of game footage through clips.



You certainly remember Chris Cordero, who brought us scouting reports from the Senior Bowl. I got him credentialed for the Indy Combine and he will be posting his reports here next week!

As to Brandon Graham, this is what Chris has to say about him:


Loving the Brandon Graham post on the blog - guy is a beast (seeing in
him person only makes it that much obvious) I think he can make the 3-4
transition because he has that desire to be great; and realistically his
main function will be rushing the passer and we know that he can do that
- no doubt; besides the Trifecta loves their big-college guys and I am
sure Jake Long and Chad Henne will give him ringing endorsements. I had
a chance to speak with him after one of the practices briefly - he
guaranteed he will bench 225lbs 40 times next week at the combine; that would be ridiculous


I think with the last two drafts we can get passed the issue of whether or not the current regime will pick a good player. Besides Pat White, they've done a pretty good job selecting players. The question now becomes of the good players available at 12, which one do they pick? Whoever they pick will certainly be a good, impact player.

Rob, You could have made that post in 2 sentences. Please take note. Thank you.

Datajack why is the Pat White pick not a good pick?????? Did you get to see him a lot this past year???? No, so you dont know sooo you just sound foolish commenting on a player that you didnt get to see play but about 20 snaps.... FOOLISH!!!!!!!!!!

I repeat, just because he has the desire to play 3-4 OLB doesn't mean he is able.

Armando, with the logic that "he wants to be great" = smooth transition,


Hey Mando. Here's a mock draft that would agree with you:


Carlito, I read your comments. You make excellent points. But I remind you just because one guy fails, does not guarantee another will.

Likewise, if I say Graham will be a stud because LaMarr Woodley is a star, that doesn't make it true.

Smooth Hips... just figured it was time of year to say that.

Anyone has an insight on where Cris Clemons is? Will he be out of the league in a couple of years? Can he compete for a starting job? Is he developing but most probably will eventually start? Is he a star in the making? Just want to have an informed opinion of where we are at FS.

Armando, do you have something on this?

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