What does Brandon Graham’s presence mean for an improved Philadelphia Eagles defense?
Adding Brandon Graham into a defensive end mixture alongside Josh Sweat and Derek Barnett is significant. Ryan Kerrigan was not a productive rotational piece, and it will be a benefit to both Sweat and Barnett to have Graham back in the fold.
Consider the pieces that are already featured along the interior of the defensive line. Add Haason Reddick at the SAM (strongside linebacker position), and this pass rush should be nasty. Gannon could opt for some NASCAR packages that feature Graham playing on the inside of Philly’s defensive line as a pass rusher in third-and-long situations. Rookie Jordan Davis could also create some lanes for Graham to stunt inside.
As a pass rusher, Graham has always presented active hands and pure strength while driving his feet. Even if his name isn’t called for some time on the broadcast, he’s more than likely setting up the opposing offensive tackle and trying to win the mental battle with the right moves.
Graham’s IQ combined with his ability to bull rush and win with power has led to success throughout his career. Check out a few fun stats/pass rush numbers:
B.G. has averaged seven sacks and fifteen quarterback hits over the past six seasons. That includes a pass rush win rate hovering around 16-18 percent each season. According to PFF, he actually led the league in pass rush win rate in 2016 at 25 percent.
Since 2014, Graham ranks 16th in total forced fumbles with 15. Before the injury last season, he was 12th on that list. Graham might not be in the elite class of pass rushers but he is far above average and provides consistent results.