Introducing the No. 1 draft pick

Three possibilities to be selected at No. 9 overall met with reporters Saturday in Indy. Who are they, what did they say and what would they add to the Packers?

And with the ninth pick in the NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers select …

Brian Orakpo, defensive end, Texas

At 6-foot-3 and 263 pounds, Orakpo looks every bit of a dominant defensive player.

At the end of his press conference on Friday, he was asked if he feared teams would look at him and consider him a workout warrior rather than a football player. Are you kidding? Orakpo, the Lombardi Award winner as college football's best lineman, the Nagurski Award winner as college football's best defensive player and a first-team All-American, piled up 11.5 sacks, 19 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles as a senior for the Longhorns.

That's difference-making production. Just imagine Aaron Kampman at one outside linebacker and Orakpo on another in the new 3-4 defense. Hello, pass rush.

"The thrill is getting off the ball, beating that tackle and getting there," said Orakpo, who had a meeting scheduled with the Packers. "The quarterback barely gets hit, anyway. Affecting the guy. You have to put a lot of pressure on the guy."

Orakpo, who said his biggest influence is the Giants' Osi Umenyiora, played defensive end in college but would translate to outside linebacker in college. Orakpo repeatedly said he doesn't care whether he's a 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker. He's considered strong against the run, with the speed to make plays and the brute power to hold up against the run.

Not bad for a guy who arrived at Texas at a mere 210 pounds. Four years, 53 pounds and 21 sacks later, he's set to be a top-10 draft pick.

"A team needs a pass rusher and a guy that's not shy stopping the run, either," he said. "Normally, pass rushers get knocked for really not caring about the run, but I take a lot of pride in playing the run, as well."

And with the ninth pick in the NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers select …

B.J. Raji, nose tackle, Boston College

B.J. Raji/Getty Images

To anchor their 3-4 defense, the Packers need a big nose tackle. None are bigger and better than Raji, the 6-foot-1, 337-pounder from Boston College.

"I think they'll get an overall defensive tackle who can do both – get to the quarterback, stop the run," Raji said of what his new NFL team will get by drafting him. "A team leader by example, a good guy on and off the field."

Raji sat out the 2007 season for academic reasons – because of a mistake by an associate dean, not because Raji lacks intelligence -- but bounced back in 2008 to tally 99 tackles and seven sacks for the Eagles. After a stellar week of practice at the Senior Bowl, Raji has soared up draft charts into a likely top-10 pick.

Will that be with the Packers, who desperately need difference-making players for their three linemen?

"Hopefully I'm on the Packers' list of teams," Raji said when asked if he had a meeting schedule with Green Bay this week at the Scouting Combine. "It's all speculation, but I've heard they were looking at me at 9."

As Raji put it, he hasn't "accomplished anything yet," but he believes his body of work at Boston College and his high-intensity motor bodes well for his NFL future. He and his tag-team partner, Ron Brace, were so good that teams averaged just 2.8 yards per rush against the Eagles. A 3-4 nose tackle is an all-guts, no-glory position. Raji is ready to handle it.

"Anybody can take out three plays and say this guy's a great player," Raji, who lists the Titans' Albert Haynesworth as his biggest on-the-field influence, said. "Only scouts know how this guy plays on a consistent basis."

And with the ninth pick in the NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers select …

Aaron Maybin, defensive end, Penn State

Aaron Maybin/Getty Images

Two weeks into the 2008 season, Maybin a reserve defensive end for the Nittany Lions. Eleven games later, Maybin's redshirt sophomore season ended with 12 sacks, 20 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles.

Seven weeks later, Maybin has added 20 pounds to bulk up 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds. With his lightning-fast first step and plenty of room to improve, Maybin might be too good to pass up for general manager Ted Thompson, who never shies away from drafting potential. Like Orakpo, Maybin would move from defensive end to outside linebacker in the Packers' new scheme.

"I had some stand-up experience at Penn State," he said of playing outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. "There were a lot of coverages where they dropped me into the flats and into the seam routes and things like that and I've worked covering guys man to man before. Basically, I see it as I'm going into this thing as an athlete. My job is to prepare myself physically and mentally for what it is I'm going to face once I get drafted. Then once we know the scheme I'm moving into we'll move forward from there."

Maybin, who lists the Ravens' Ray Lewis and the Chargers' Shawne Merriman as his influences, has no concerns that the extra weight will take away the speed that made him so deadly in the Big Ten.

"I feel good the weight that I'm at. I feel fast, I feel explosive, I feel a whole lot stronger, so I really feel great," Maybin, who was set to meet with the Packers, said. "I haven't had any problems coming out of my stance differently. I feel more explosive now than I was before."

Maybin has just 11 collegiate starts under his belt, but he doesn't see that as a negative. Insiders agree that Maybin can be a quality pass-rusher from Day 1.

"I feel that my film," he said, "speaks for itself."

Editor's note: Check back tomorrow for another version of this story, with comments by Ohio State cornerback Malcolm Jenkins and Florida State defensive end Everette Brown, dependent on their media availability.

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at

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