DROY: Does Orakpo Have Legit Shot?

Some people have already penciled in the Texans' rookie linebacker Brian Cushing as the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year. Orakpo to these people: Not so fast. Well, he didn't really say that to our knowledge, but we do think he has a legit shot.

This is not to take anything away from the Texans' Cushing, but Brian Orakpo should have a legit shot at winning the DROY award at the end of the season. But, it will take some great play from Orakpo in the Redskins' last three games to get the job done.

As it stands right now, here is a look at their stats:

Brian Orakpo: 46 Tackles (7 for Loss), 11 Sacks, 2 Pass Defenses

Brian Cushing: 112 Tackles (10 for Loss), 2.5 Sacks, 9 Pass Defenses, 2 Forced Fumbles, 3 Interceptions

The problem I see with these stats for Orakpo is that while he leads all rookies with 11 sacks, that is really all he has going for him stat wise. Some might even feel that his tackle numbers are a tad low for a player that has played a lot of linebacker this season. Brian Cushing's numbers are more well rounded at this point in the season with the forced fumbles, interceptions and more pass defenses.

About Orakpo playing linebacker, some might even be wondering why he does or ever did at this point. It also should be taken in to account that he has been learning how to play outside linebacker on the job having just started to learn it this season.

However, it should also be noted that today, against the Oakland Raiders today, the Redskins lined Orakpo up almost exclusively at Defensive End. We see how this worked out to the tune of Orakpo tying one Redskin's record while breaking another one soundly. He tied the single game Redskins' sack record with four while breaking the previous season record of seven by getting his eight, ninth, tenth and eleventh sacks in this game.

Both players are truly worthy of this award. Orakpo leads all rookies in sacks while Cushing has put up great overall stats for a linebacker. If a choice had to be made right now, it would be very hard, however, the edge would probably be given to Cushing.

However, should Orakpo break the rookie sack record (14.5, Javaon Kearse, 1999) then it would make the choice that much closer. With three more games left in the season and Orakpo needing just four sacks to break that record, it is not out of the realm of possibility.

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