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Brandon Graham poised to build off strong finish to 2012

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Graham was one of the few bright spots on the 2012 Eagles, with his late season play finally giving fans hope that the former first round pick can turn into the player the team thought he'd be when they took him over the likes of Jason Pierre-Paul and Earl Thomas.

After the Eagles finally got rid of Jason Babin, Graham started 6 games and ended up tying rookie Fletcher Cox for the team lead in sacks. His performance led Pro Football Focus to place him at #76 on their list of the top 101 players.

Season 2012 was something of a glimpse at what Graham is capable of, as he got on the field for only 435 snaps. That, and that alone, was why he didn't finish any higher because he was outstanding when he was on the field. Finishing as the most productive pass rusher in the league, Graham was near unstoppable when he got on the field.

Best Performance: Week 15 versus Cincinnati, +6.2

Key Stat: Turned his 205 pass rushes into 45 combined sacks, hits and hurries. That gave him the best Pass Rushing Productivity rating of any defensive player.

The obvious thing to watch will be whether Graham can stretch his tremendous pass rushing productivity over the course of an entire season. Chances are he won't turn quite as many of his snaps into sacks/hits/hurries, but if he's anywhere close he'll still be considered among the more dangerous pass rushers in the league.

What's also encouraging is that Graham's skill set should translate relatively well to being an OLB in a 3-4. He's athletic enough to make the move and his lack of height and arm length won't be any more of a detriment than it would have been as a 4-3 DE.

With Graham only just turned 25 and Fletcher Cox only 22, those two could really form the foundation of a good front 7... which I suppose was the whole point of making them first round picks...

Now if Lane Johnson & Danny Watkins could only form the foundation of the offensive line, we'd be in business.