NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock was asked on his conference call if he views Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham as a fit for the Patriots’ system at outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense. Graham has been a popular choice in several mock drafts.
Mayock went to his notes and explained that Graham doesn’t fit the Patriots’ prototype.
“Brandon Graham has one of the best motors in this draft. He reminds me a lot of LaMarr Woodley, who played before him at Michigan and has obviously played extremely well with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“From the Patriots’ perspective, they typically like the longer outside linebackers. Brandon Graham, at the Senior Bowl, was 6-1, 263 [pounds]. That’s really short for an outside linebacker in the Patriots’ scheme, and he had 30-and-a-half-inch arms, which is extremely short. Just from an initial cosmetic overview, he fits what they do from a rush linebacker perspective, but he doesn’t fit the prototype. It doesn’t mean they wouldn’t take him but he’s not as long as they like.”
This highlights an issue that was dissected on Monday: Would the Patriots alter their draft philosophy for a player like Graham?
Mayock then detailed some of the other possibilities at outside linebacker.
“Jerry Hughes, he’s undersized. Daryl Washington is a long guy that could develop but he doesn’t have a history of rushing the quarterback. Koa Misi, who I really like from Utah, he’s only a little bit above 6-2. You could get him in the second or third round, he’s a very explosive edge rusher. Thaddeus Gibson from Ohio State, [he’s] longer. A guy that’s kind of interesting is Jason Worilds from Virginia Tech, probably a third-round situational pass rusher, tremendously long limbed, gets to the quarterback, great first step.
“In the first three rounds, there are 15-18 of these conversion guys. You have to kind of go through who are some of the longer guys who can get to the quarterback.”