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Outside Linebacker Trio In Upper Echlon

Posted by Stephen Czarda on June 27, 2013 – 3:31 pm

(AP Images)

(AP Images)

The following is a Public Service Announcement for Redskins Nation.

After missing the majority of the 2012 season outside linebacker Brian Orakpo is back, full healthy and ready to scare NFL quarterbacks once again.

Isn’t that music to the ears?

After suffering a season-ending pectoral injury in Week 2 against the St. Louis Rams last year, No. 98 is prepared to fight for a division crown on the field this go around (with this menacing facemask) instead of being the Burgundy and Gold’s number one sideline supporter.

While ‘Rak certainly still wishes that he could have added to his 29.5 career sacks during the team’s seven- game winning streak last year, he like the rest of us got to watch fellow bookend Ryan Kerrigan blossom into a Pro Bowler.

Now, the duo (known more affectionately Kerrakpo) along with free agent acquisition Darryl Tapp are consider a top-five outside linebacker unit.

But they aren’t number one.

That honor goes to San Francisco’s Aldon Smith, Ahmed Brooks, Parys Haralson and Corey Lemonier—at least according to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller.

Instead, the Redskins trio ranks fourth.

Before I continue I would like to point out one thing—where in the world is Rob Jackson?

Stepping in place of a two-time Pro Bowler is no easy task, but Jackson remained calm throughout the season and when the team needed a big play he always delivered.  (Just ask the Dallas Cowboys.)

Jackson, Kerrigan, Orakpo and Tapp have combined to accumulate 596 tackles, 75 sacks, eight interceptions, four touchdowns, 24 forced fumbles and 11 fumbles recovered.

Of course there is also fifth round pick Brandon Jenkins that needs to be factored into the equation too. After checking out these highlights from his days at Florida State, it’s fair to say that he could be dubbed as the biggest steal from the 2013 Draft in coming years.

With Orakpo back expect the number of sacks, and head coaches who wished they didn’t have to face the 13th overall pick from the 2009 NFL Draft, to be on the rise in 2013.

Watching the outside linebackers roam around in Jim Haslett’s 3-4 defense is about to get exciting once again.

Chime in: Do you think the Redskins outside linebacking unit deserve to be higher on the list? Let us know below.  

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