Jags Should Pass on Brian Orakpo


Brian Orakpo is drawing interest during the 2015 NFL Free Agency period, particularly from the Jacksonville Jaguars. Per NBC’s Dianna Marie Russini, the Jaguars are expected to be “very interested” in the outside linebacker entering his seventh year.

Outside linebacker needs to be addressed by the Jaguars, though it seems more likely to be something they would like to build up during the 2015 NFL Draft rather than the free agency period this season. Orakpo – as good as he is! – is approaching 30 years of age and would end up being more of a transition player for the Jaguars in my mind.

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That said, he’s certainly not done producing. While last year was a down year for the linebacker, Orakpo did produce as many as 10 sacks just one year ago in 2014. Yet there is definitely concern that he can’t stay on the field for a full year. Even in 2013 he missed a game and he only played in two in 2012 and just seven last season. There’s a big question mark hanging over his head at this point.

Orakpo can be a bit sack producer for a team, but he isn’t necessarily a great outside linebacker. He’d be transitioning over to the Jaguars from a 3-4 system and frankly I’d be concerned about him taking on a new role for the Jags, even if it still involved heavy pass rushing from him. Pro Football Focus’s pass rushing efficiency rating puts Orakpo at 34th among 3-4 outside linebackers for last season (subscription required). To me, that isn’t worth heavy pursuit in free agency, especially with quality pass rushers available at the top of the draft.

The Jags may not have the chance to pursue Orakpo, though, as the linebacker could be working on a long-term contract to stay with the Washington Redskins still.