Eagles’ Graham out to shed ­dreaded ‘bust’ label

It’s hard not to like Brandon Graham.

The third-year player out of Michigan always has a thousand-watt smile on his face, and he never refuses interview requests from reporters hovering around his locker stall. He’s as stand-up a guy as there is on the 2012 Eagles.

Still, looking at his numbers — three career sacks, with 17 total tackles — it’s hard not to label him a bust, or at the very least give him an incomplete grade. Graham knows it. He’s working on it.

“Right now, I’m a bust, so I’m going to deal with that,” Graham said. “I’m a bust and I’m going to keep being a bust, even when I make plays.”

When Graham has been healthy, he has showed promise. Problem is, the speed-end just hasn’t been able to stay on the field. A late-season ACL tear ended his rookie season, then lingered and caused problems for most of last season. He’s played in just 16 total games since being drafted 13th overall in the 2010 NFL draft. He finally appears to be 100 percent.

“Just keep working, keep getting better,” Graham said.

Andy Reid said he has looked good in early OTAs. The coach speculated that Graham might have something extra to prove.

“I don’t know if you’d call it a chip on your shoulder, but he wants to do well,” Reid said. “He wants to prove that he’s a quality NFL player and I think he’s on a mission to do that.”

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