Option 1B: Brian Orakpo, AKA The Torture Rak

Torture Rack – The rack is commonly considered the most painful form of medieval torture.

This method was mostly used to extract confessions, as not confessing meant that the torturer could stretch more. Sometimes, torturers forced their victim to watch other people be tortured with this device to implant psychological fear.

Sometimes this method was limited to dislocating a few bones, but the torturer often went too far and rendered the legs or arms (sometimes both) useless. – Medievality.com

Now that the Chiefs have imported both Matt Cassel and Todd Haley, they’re married to their passing game. The Chiefs’ success now hinges on the success of their aerial attack. The good news is the NFL is increasingly becoming more and more of a passing league. Which is precisely why I think the Chiefs could go “all in” and select wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who’s the best prospect in this draft class if you ask me.

Crabtree is my option 1A when it comes to the Chiefs’ No. 3 pick in April’s draft.

My option 1B? DE/OLB Brian Orakpo.

In today’s pass-happy NFL, you have to get after the quarterback. Why do you think guys like Dwight Freeney, Jared Allen and Julius Peppers get shloads of money? Because they get shloads of sacks. Albert Haynesworth became the $100 million man because he’s the best pass-rushing defensive tackle since Warren Sapp was in his prime. The Chargers damn near missed the playoffs without Shawne Merriman. Without DeMarcus Ware, who knows how embarrassing the Cowboys’ season would have been. Without James Harrison, all those “Sixburgh” shirts would have been trashed.

When quarterbacks are airing it out 600 times every year, you need somebody who can get after them. Somebody who can make even the toughest of QBs piss their pants.

Last year, the Chiefs did not have that. In fact, last season opposing QBs had enough time to call their Internet service provider’s troubleshooting hotline and wait on standby. That’s not much of an exaggeration either. The Chiefs recorded 13 sacks last year, the all-time low for an NFL team since sacks started being tracked.

Now, it looks almost for certain that we are moving to the 3-4. We have Demorrio Williams, Derrick Johnson, Mike Vrabel and Monty Biesel. I’m pretty confident that in that group we have two inside backers and one outside backer. What I don’t think we have is a Harrison, Merriman or Ware that will make the lives of JaMarcus Russell, Jay Cutler (maybe — lmao!) and Phillip Rivers a living nightmare for the next 5-10 years.

We don’t need to draft a souped-up Derrick Johnson (Aaron Curry), because D.J. himself will be just fine.  What we need is a fire-breathing, QB-swallowing demon. I’m pretty confident The Torture Rak could become that player for us. I think he can fill Jared Allen’s vacated cleats as an outside pass rusher as an OLB in our 3-4 defense. I really do.

Look at the senior years of some of the players I ‘m comparing him to:

Ware – 7 sacks and 55 total tackles

Merriman – 8.5 sacks and 85 total tackles

Orakpo – 11 sacks and 40 tackles

Keep in mind that Orakpo’s tackles could be down a bit because he played on such a stout defense. Both Merriman and Ware recorded less sacks as seniors than Orakpo, yet both have gone on to the lead the NFL in sacks early on in their careers. Orakpo could be next in line.

Everyone raves about Curry’s combine. That’s fine — he had a great combine. But other than their 40 times, Orakpo was better. His 39.5-inch vertical topped Curry’s (37), and he outbenched Curry by six reps. Hell, B.J. Raji and Jason Smith only had two more reps despite outweighing Rak by about 70 and 45 pounds, respectively. As for his 40, he pulled a hammy at the NFL combine. I’ve read he can get it into 4.63 territory when healthy. Even if Curry gets his down to a 4.5 flat, that’s not a huge difference. Especially when you consider that Orakpo is quite a bit bigger and stronger than Curry.

It’s been written that I assume Curry cannot rush the passer. That’s not so. What I assume is he isn’t going to be a dominant pass rusher in the NFL. Looking at his stats and the track records of similar players (LaVar Arrington, etc…), I think that’s a safe assumption. Look, I know he was great against the run and in coverage, but if he was really Derrick Thomas reincarnate then his coaches would have blitzed him more. Period. Even in the 4-3. According to ESPN, he had all of 9 sacks in college. That’s less than D.J. had in college, and D.J. has averaged 3 sacks per year as a pro. I’m just saying.

(By the way, I wasn’t high on Vince Young coming out of college. We all know how big of a fan of the Wonderlic I am for QBs. Now, as for Reggie Bush, I was a little bit higher on him and I believe he has shown his worth. Still, I had no problem with the Texans taking Mario Williams first overall. The move didn’t pay instant dividends, but he has been a monster in his second and third years.)

Everyone wants to compare Orakpo to Vernon Gholsten, too, but I don’t think the comparisons are all that valid. Gholsten was a freak of nature; Orakpo is a self-made freak. As former college and high school teammate Drew Kelson wrote he transformed himself from a “frail, stiff”kid into “one of the best and most physically gifted pass-rushers in Texas football history.” I don’t think we have to worry about this kid’s motor or work ethic. His combine paired with the stories about this kid are what has impressed me. I’m quickly becoming a believer.

So, there you have it. Either way, I want us to address the passing game with our first-round pick. If we go offense, the pick should be Crabtree. If we go defense, the pick should be Orakpo. We are set at inside linebacker and coverage outside backer, and taking one at No. 3, as I’ve repeated seemingly thousands of times, is reaching. We also should bypass taking a tackle. Branden Albert is going to be a fine left tackle. Besides, there are still good offensive lineman on the free agent market. And who’s to say William Beatty isn’t just as good as Jason Smith? To me, there is no clear-cut No. 1 OT in this draft. There is definitely both a clear-cut No. 1 pass rusher and WR.

If we don’t draft either Crabtree or Orakpo, I’m going to be very disappointed. The Torture Rak has his Pro Day on March 25, so we’ll keep an eye on that date.

Addicts, sound of on the man-child we’ve dubbed The Torture Rak…

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Tags: Aaron Curry Brian Orakpo Demarcus Ware Derrick Johnson Derrick Thomas Kansas City Chiefs Michael Crabtree Shawn Merriman

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