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, SI.com
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