Saturday, April 10, 2010
Graham among Pats' pre-draft visitors
By Mike Reiss
The Patriots have hosted Michigan defensive end/outside linebacker Brandon Graham on a pre-draft visit at Gillette Stadium.
Over the last two months, Graham has arguably been the prospect most associated with the Patriots among draft analysts. With the Patriots looking to boost their pass rush, and Graham one of the top pass-rushers in the draft, it’s understandable why that connection has been made.
Oftentimes, pre-draft visits are utilized as a way to get a final medical check-up (NFL teams are limited to 30 pre-draft visits). Graham had pulled his hamstring running the 40-yard dash at the combine, so that could be part of the reason the Patriots hosted him. Some clubs also use the visits as smokescreens to throw other teams off.
One of the big questions the Patriots would be asking with Graham is how he fits in their scheme.
In the base 3-4 defense, Graham would project to outside linebacker, and at 6-foot-1 3/8, he doesn’t have the prototypical height the Patriots would be seeking. Arm length, which also doesn’t fit the New England prototype, would also be a consideration.
But while Graham might not have some of the desired physical qualities for the Patriots, one of his strengths is his motor. He is one of the most disruptive defenders in the draft, leading the country in tackles for loss last season from his defensive end spot. He also had a dominant performance at the Senior Bowl.
Some draft analysts are now questioning whether Graham will be available at No. 22.
On Friday, Chris Steuber of Scout.com reported on Graham’s visit to New England. That information has been confirmed by ESPNBoston.com.