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Monday Redskins Links – 2/23

Posted by Matt Terl on February 23, 2009 – 4:19 pm

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Monday, February 23: A Potential Downside To Brian Orakpo

Posted by Matt Terl on February 23, 2009 – 1:10 pm

Brian Orakpo — DE/LB out of Texas — has been rumored as a potential Redskins draft pick pretty much since the projections started coming out this season. Yesterday, those rumors stepped up to the level of “reports,” according to the Washington Times.

Hours after they released former Pro Bowl linebacker Marcus Washington, the Redskins’ search for his replacement began when they told Texas standout Brian Orakpo they envision him as the strongside linebacker in their 4-3 defense.

The top pass rusher in the draft, Orakpo is out to prove he’s versatile enough to play defensive end and linebacker regardless of the scheme.

“The Redskins said I could be a ‘Sam’ backer in their 4-3 and, when it’s time to rush the passer, get down to it,” he said Saturday at the NFL scouting combine.

The move to linebacker would make sense, especially given the Yahoo Sports report that Jason Taylor is indeed expecting (and expected) to return to the Redskins to finish out his contract. And, in fact, the more I’ve researched Orakpo, the more I’ve found to like about the guy — and the less I’ve found to criticize him for.

But if I had to find a negative side to Orakpo (aside from the fact that he could very well be off the board by the time the team picks at 13), it would be Vernon Gholston.

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