Monday, 23 March 2009

Brian Orakpo for Seattle?

Peter King from Sports Illustrated reported some interesting thought's this week in his latest 'Monday Morning QB' article. He spent Sunday speaking to scouts and NFL representatives at the owners meeting in Dana Point, California. His predictions on how the top five of the draft could pan out?

"I think there's no consensus on the first round in the draft, with the draft 33 days away. But the lobby guesswork after a long Sunday of pigeonholing NFL people and agents leaves this top five: Detroit, Georgia quarterback Stafford; St. Louis, Baylor tackle Jason Smith; Kansas City, Virginia tackle Eugene Monroe; Seattle, Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo; Cleveland, Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry."
- Peter King,

It's interesting, because Orakpo's isn't a name we've seen linked with Seattle very often. Tim Ruskell clearly values defensive lineman and he's made efforts to improve Seattle's front by adding Colin Cole and Cory Redding recently. The team could still use a better outside rush with Patrick Kerney in his thirties and spending most of 2008 on injured reserve. Having said that, the team invested a first round pick in Lawrence Jackson recently and haven't given up on Darryl Tapp or Baraka Atkins.

Orakpo is the four year starter, high motor prospect that Tim Ruskell likes. However, I am sceptical about his ability to play as an elite 4-3 defensive end. He hasn't got the elite speed of a Gaines Adams (4th overall 2007, Tampa Bay) and might struggle to beat his man round the edge. A lot of his 11 sacks as a senior came ploughing through the middle. Personally I think he has more value playing as an OLB in a 3-4. His size ( 260lbs, 6'3") is almost identical to Terrell Suggs and he could have a similar impact in the NFL.

King's report gives food for thought though and throws another name into the mix with just over a month to go until the 2009 draft. There were also some other interesting opinions...

King on the Lions' 'decision' to take Jason Smith 1st overall (as reported, perhaps prematurely here):

"I think the Lions won't really know what they want to do with the first pick in the draft until March 31, or later. That's the date the Lions will go, en masse, to Athens, Ga., to work out Matthew Stafford. In Stafford's carefully orchestrated 19-minute throwing session for coaches Thursday ("This wasn't real football,'' Stafford said of the session, conducted in shorts, T-shirts, no pads and no defense), he displayed a strong deep arm and good touch on intermediate throws. But when the Lions work him out, they'll have him throw their routes, with their coaches calling the shots."
- Peter King

On Aaron Curry's place in the draft and why he might not go as high as expected:

"I think you look at that and say, "Aaron Curry fifth? I thought he might go to Detroit first.'' Well, he might. But here's the question you ask yourself with Curry: Do you want to take a linebacker who doesn't sack the quarterback first overall and hand him $34 million? Can you justify that financial outlay for a three-down linebacker, but a linebacker who doesn't rush well, a linebacker who averaged one sack for every 17 quarters of college football he played?"
- Peter King


Big Joe said...

Interesting read Rob. There is alot of opinions on who the Lions will take first overall. Of course the Lions will talk with the reps of every possible pick to see what the price tag and contract may look like and at the same time play one off the others. This is normal and smart but some see it as a tell who they will pick....dumb. Does King really think the key staff are going to tell him exactly what the teams intend to do? It is in thier best interest to lie. The only thing I would bet on at this point is that each team picking in the top five would prefer to trade down if they could find anyone to trade with them.

You are right that TR will have some surprise for us on draft day, however, he is in the last year of his contract and this 4th pick could make or break him so I expect we will see a more typical Ruskell pick at 4. Big school, proven talent over several years, etc.

Anonymous said...

do you think mora is serrious about senca playing in a wildcat offence, if so then seattle will need a third qb that can play.
frye coming back or draft a qb?

Anonymous said...

orkapo makes a lot of sense, has been my pick, all along. I see jackson moving to DT he has to put on some weight but has the size and stength to be soild.
what do you think rob, of LJ moving to DT?

Rob Staton said...

Not keen to be honest annonymous. I don't think he has the power or quickness to collapse the pocket or the size and bulk to carry blockers. He's a good run stopping defensive end who has room to improve as a pass rusher. It's a difficult position for a rookie to play and hopefully we'll see more of Jackson in 2009.

If we have to move him inside to justify drafting Orakpo I think it's a bad move all round. Aside from the fact you're pushing a second year first round pick out of position just to make room, Orakpo isn't an elite speed pass rusher. He's a high motor type, but without the elite quickness you see from someone like Gaines Adams. If Seattle want to add another DE to the roster, they need to get an Adams/Long/Peppers type who can actually be a playmaker. I'm not sure Orakpo is that guy. Putting him at 3-4 OLB in space will help his limitations and I think it's a better position for him.

Bruce M. said...

I would be shocked if we picked Orakpo over Curry if both were available.

And I'm willing to bet that Curry could be a much better pass rusher than his stats indicate if a team tried to use him that way.

Rob Staton said...

Maybe so, Bruce. When you watch Wake Forest Curry played a lot of snaps quite deep from the LOS, allowing him to make reads and drift to the ball. Not the greatest area in which to rush the passer. In a system where he's playing closer to the play, a team might get better sack stats from him.

germpod said...

Without giving up on Tapp, Atkins, or Jackson there is still room for Orakpo. Kerney is getting up there in years and this is likely his last year as a Hawk.

You can not give up on the superior talent at a key position due to not having a big hole to currently fill at the position.

I am not saying he is the superior talent, just saying that I do not think the other three being on the roster would block him.

Rob Staton said...

That's a fair point germpod. I certainly think had a Gaines Adams been there, or a Chris Long they'd be all over that pick.