Posted April 22nd, 2009 by BT
Filed under: Draft, Feature, Football

Name: [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag]
Position: Defensive End
Height: 6-3
Weight: 263 pounds
Hometown: Houston, TX

Strengths: Chiseled athlete with explosive first step, he is the best pure pass rusher in the draft. Uses his hands to fight off blocks and tries to stripe the ball on every sack. Not great versus the run, but not a liability either. Tireless worker in the weight room. Absolutely destroyed OU’s Phil Loadholt when they played, who at the time was considered a first day pick.

Weaknesses: Can get swallowed by bigger tackles, maybe he is too reliant on his speed rush? Has had knee injuries for the past two years, and he tends to play high which leaves him susceptible to re-injury. Originally weighed 215, Orakpo is now up to 263; so his frame may be maxed out. Will give up several inches to NFL tackles, which really hampers his leverage. Despite all his impressive measurables, could stand to gain some lower body strength so he can drive through blockers that engage him.

Overall: Elite pass rushing talent, teams would be better served letting him be a speed rusher than trying to make him an OLB. The knee is troubling, but none of his injuries were really serious. Might get swallowed by tackles at the next level in the run game, but his burst will give him a chance to get to the QB. May not be Mario Williams, but could be Dwight Freeney.

Projection: 1st round, pick 8-15

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