Photo of Brian Orakpo
  • 4.70 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 31 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 39.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 6'3" Height
  • 263LBS. Weight


Since earning Defensive Freshman of the Year honors in 2005, Orakpo flashed game-changing ability but saved his best for last. As a senior, he won the Lombardi, Hendricks and Nagurski awards and established himself as arguably the elite senior defensive lineman in the 2009 draft. An effective all-around defender capable of making plays against the run -- not to mention his most recognized skill, chasing quarterbacks -- he was even better than his impressive statistics (42 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, four forced fumbles) would indicate, despite the fact that he missed time due to a knee injury. Orakpo also missed time with a knee injury in 2007, his only other season as a full-time starter. Orakpo's senior production and NFL teams' hunger for pass rushers is certain to make the All-American a first-round selection. Durability questions and a lack of elite burst off the snap could make it a later pick than his big name and trophy case might seem to indicate he'd warrant.



Positives: Good height and upper-body build. ... Plays with his hand down, but stands up at times. ... Easily gets off blocks of offensive tackles to make a play in the hole. ... Can also hold his ground well against larger tackles. ... Has good backfield awareness, watching for misdirection, cutbacks and bootlegs. ... Closes on the quarterback well and secures the tackle. ... Shows adequate fluidity dropping on zone blitzes to handle short-area zone coverage as a 3-4 rush linebacker. Negatives: May need to play on the strong side in the pros because he lacks great explosion and pass rush off the edge. ... Can be easily pushed around the pocket if he tries to use an outside speed move. ... Gets sacks from hustle and effort. ... Does not always change direction quickly enough to make the play on the outside. ... Needs to use his punch more often to get tackles off balance on the pass rush. ... Durability concern. ... Missed multiple games due to knee injuries in both '07 and '08 -- his two seasons as a starter.
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.