Brian Orakpo hasn't truly flourished like expected since the Washington Redskins made him a 3-4 outside linebacker in 2010. He certainly has the attributes to be one of the most dangerous pass-rushers in the league, but his production remains sporadic.
He can be a streaky player, who often collects sacks in bunches, rather than putting together a consistent record of getting to quarterbacks. For example, of his nine sacks last season, five-and-a-half came in the first nine weeks.
As a rookie in 2009, Orakpo notched four of his 11 sacks during a Week 14 road win over the Oakland Raiders. His numbers are often spread to either side of several games without a sack.
Part of the problem is that Orakpo is a little one-dimensional. He tends to rely on power and when this doesn't work he is quickly lost in the shuffle up front and taken out of a play.
Yes, he gets held a lot, but this partly due to him not developing an adequate enough speed-rush to combat this problem. His run force and coverage skills are also behind the level of young counterpart Ryan Kerrigan.
Orakpo also took until Week 15 of last season to register his first sack against a quarterback in his own division. A very poor record indeed.
He has the potential to be elite, but at the moment Orakpo belongs firmly in the category of players who could and should be much better than they actually are.