Tomorrow's News Today: Brandon Graham 'Unblockable' at Senior Bowl

If Seattle retains Jim Mora and company, it will also likely stick with a 4-3. And if Seattle sticks 4-3, it needs another top pass rusher on its defensive line. Seattle badly wants to create pressure from its front four. Colin Cole isn't cutting it, but Cole is certainly not responsible for all of Seattle's pass rush woes. A bloodless offense that can neither create a lead nor sustain a drive contributes. Creating pressure from the front four is quietly assisted by creating pressure on the scoreboard. As I found out not too long ago, even Jared Allen needs leads to generate sacks.

Allen himself fell to the fourth round of the 2004 NFL draft. His major sin was playing for a crappy team. The dubiously named Idaho State Bengals were 26-19 over Allen's four year career. They were not, say, shittier than a monkey house, but they were mediocre at best. Allen was able to grab 17.5 sacks and 28 total tackles for a loss as a senior. What looked like a senior explosion might have been nothing more than changing circumstances. The Potangals were 8-4 that season.

I've searched the ranks of college football and not found another prospect quite as good as Allen, but a few names stand out: Jairius Jarvis of Missouri Southern, Arthur Moats of James Madison, but let us start with our title talent: Brandon Graham.

Like Allen, Graham played for rotten teams that were rarely protecting the lead. He didn't become a full-time starter until his junior season and just in time, Michigan fell of a cliff. They were 20-6 in his first two seasons and 8-16 over his final two seasons. Graham didn't stop producing, but he traded sacks for tackles for a loss. In spot duty as a sophomore, he had 8.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for a loss. In his final two seasons, he had 20.5 sacks, still very good, and 46 tackles for a loss. The same number of TFLs as Allen had over his final two seasons.

Graham is 6'2" at best. It's unclear whether that actually matters but it matters to scouts. He's pegged as an outside linebacker. That might inflate his value a bit. Some think he'll go in the top fifteen, but an Everette Brown-like fall seems possible too.

That depends. Graham is heading to the Senior Bowl. A little over a week from now, I expect reports will stream in detailing Graham tearing faces off. That could lead to a B.J. Raji like ascent. A month later at the NFL Combine, scouts will state their disbelief that Graham is merely 6'1". Tongues will wag and Graham will toboggan into the second. And then when the actual draft comes, it will all be forgotten.

Anyway, that's Graham and this is his taller, Husky counterpart, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim:

Went all Rod Serling on you there. You didn't think this was about some Big Ten first-rounder, did you? Take what I wrote about Graham, substitute four-year starter for two-year starter, put him on an even crappier team, subtract about 100 spots in the draft, and make him a Husky. The Wolverines are bad. Washington built to a 5-7 season. Te'o had twice as many sacks, 29, as his Huskies had wins, 14. That's some suck. And that's some kind of special player that survives it. Survives and, like Allen, like Graham, contributes how he can. Nesheim had 46 tackles for a loss, 29 sacks and eight forced fumbles. He's not a physical spectacle, but that's kind of the point.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Field Gulls

You must be a member of Field Gulls to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Field Gulls. You should read them.

Join Field Gulls

You must be a member of Field Gulls to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Field Gulls. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker