Inside The Bills

Is Orakpo criticism a smoke screen?

Posted by Chris Brown on March 26, 2009 – 2:02 pm

While NFL.com’s Gil Brandt described Brian Orakpo’s pro day workout with positives galore there are doubters out there about the Texas DE. That according to Pro Football Talk, which quoted one league source who described Orakpo’s workout as “brutal.”

The question is how much of the negative talk is a smokescreen and how much of it is real?

We all know that GMs and scouts play up a prospect prior to the draft hoping another team takes that guy and pushes the prospect they want down the board. They also go ‘negative Nancy’ on players hoping teams ahead of them pass on a guy that they want.

I have said however, that I have some doubts about Orakpo. He takes plays off plain and simple. You can argue how often he takes plays off, but he does. It’s on the tape. Even Brandt admitted that.

The quote PFT got from a league source that was the most controversial was that Orakpo has “great athletic abilities, but bad football skills.”

I’ve felt he’s limited with his pass rush moves. Most of the time he used a speed rush around the edge and not much else. Now he could develop those in time, but is he a top 10 pick if he has those parts of his game to work on?

Granted there are some Texas players that have gone on to have very good careers in the NFL, but there’s a healthy list the last few years of Texas prospects that don’t have the mental toughness to make it at the NFL level.

I’m no GM or Director of College Scouting, but Orakpo’s play though impressive at times, and the history at Texas would give me pause.


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