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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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