Let me begin by saying, I have nothing against Brandon Graham. He didn't have a great year, but that's to be expected from a rookie. Unfortunately, his season came to an abrupt end after he tore his ACL in week 14 against the Cowboys. His first season wasn't what anyone thought it would be. Not holding that against him though. I'm not one who likes drafting DEs in the first round because its way to much of a flip of a coin. For the most part, you either get a awesome one or a bad one (with most results turning out to be the former).
The biggest problems are for one, he tore his ACL. We've seen how that effects players and what comes out in of the other end for the most part. Granted he is still very young, but still, its a scary notion that we have all come to realize that for the most part, when a player tears their ACL (even when young) their ceiling's drop. Graham could still be productive, but the he's going to take a lot of time to even get over trusting the knee again (let alone the physical part).
Second problem, is that he tore it late in the year meaning that its very possible (and likely) he won't be ready for the start of the year. That leaves Trent Cole on an island for right now (unless Washburn starts working magic immediately).
I've heard many names tossed around for the most part with the most being Babin coming back to Philly. If it were up to me though, I would suggest Ray Edwards over Babin with Babin being the back up plan.
Ray Edwards doesn't appear to want to come back to the Vikings since they aren't going to give him the money he wants (understandably so). While Ray Edwards may not be a top 10 pass rusher in the league, he is still will be a hot topic this off-season. He just turned 26 and still has his best years ahead of him. Edwards has already had the pleasure of working with one of the better DL coaches in the NFL in Mike Dunbar. Its unlikely that Ray will be hit with the franchise tag since the price tag for it is vastly unreasonable for how much he has only done.
There's very little doubt in my mind that Washburn would be able to bring out the best of Edwards. As mentioned he may not be a premium pass rusher...yet. The only problem with Edwards would be his price tag. His asking price may be way too high especially for the fact that he has yet to record double digits in sacks and had the pleasure of having Allen and the Williams Wall take pressure off of him. Yet, there is no doubt that the talent is there.
The feeling around the league is that Edwards is all but gone:
From Jeremy Fowler from St. Paul Pioneer Press:
Free agent Ray Edwards wants a big pay day and is all but gone
Comment from dailynorseman.com
Let him wallk
He has become more solid but I’ve always liked what I saw from Robison. He was even able to get a couple sacks out of the DT position if I remember correctly. We have players who can step into Edward’s spot and produce.
From Tim Yotter of Fox Sports North:
Edwards didn't sound too optimistic about returning to the Vikings when asked about it after the season.
"It will come down to contract. I just have to take care of my family so we'll see where it goes," he said.
As you can see, we have as good a chance as anyone at possibly landing him and it probably wouldn't be a bad investment. Like I said, I have nothing against Graham, but the ACL tear and the low production in his rookie year do speak volumes and could only speak that his ceiling has dropped a good amount. Plus add in the fact that Victor Abiamiri has very likely played his last snap as an Eagle, Juqua Parker is in the last year of his contract (and not getting any younger), Darryl Tapp best used as a situational pass rusher, DTN looks like a waste of a pick at this point, and then there is Bobby McCray (who?).
So yeah, I think it is something that the Eagles should look into along with the Nnamdi idea. I'm not saying reach for the guy. Only get him if the price is right. If he is looking for a $10 million/year contract, move on. But if not, maybe some words could be exchanged between him and the Eagles FO.