Redskins: Orakpo’s contract year off to slow start
Redskins OLB Brian Orakpo, a 2009 first-round pick, is currently playing on the franchise tag. Orakpo has arguably performed at a well above-average level throughout his career, but he’s never been viewed as an ‘elite’ pass rusher like, say, DeMarcus Ware. With fellow first-rounder Ryan Kerrigan on the other side and Washington using a second-round pick on OLB Trent Murphy, it’s very likely this will be Orakpo’s final season as a Redskin. It certainly doesn’t help his chances to remain with the team that Washington made their 10-6 division winning 2012 run with him on the sideline less than halfway from week 2.
That being said, Orakpo did finish with the 9th best pass rushing grade and the 6th best Pass Rushing Productivity rating among his 3-4 OLB peers last season. This year the former Longhorn, despite currently owning a mildly positive pass rush grade, has not stood out consistently. In the week 1 loss in Houston he was blanked as a pass rusher and in last week’s Thursday night debacle against the Giants, he was blanked on 39 opportunities. In his favor, he did get in on the action in that blowout win over Jacksonville (he had a sack and four hurries) and managed to knock down Nick Foles three times and hurry him another in the close loss to the Eagles. He is dealing with a hand injury but that is yet another injury and in a contract year, more was expected.