Thursday, May 13, 2010
How I See It: NFC East Stock Watch
By Dan Graziano
Patrick Crayton, Cowboys wide receiver: He's always had excellent hands, and just when you count him out, he'll deliver with a punt return for a touchdown. Unfortunately for Crayton, though, he's getting caught in a numbers game.
With the addition of Dez Bryant and the eyesore that is Roy Williams, there might not be a place for Crayton on this roster. The Cowboys love second-year wideout Kevin Ogletree and he comes at a better rate than Crayton. The DeSoto, Texas, native has been skipping voluntary workouts in recent weeks while he hoped the Cowboys could find a trading partner. But teams probably will wait until Crayton is released before acting.
He'll head into training camp as a safety valve for the club. Tony Romo wants Crayton back, but there's a decent chance it won't happen. And if the Cowboys go ahead and release Crayton, I think they'll eventually regret the move.
Crayton's played in big games and he's willing to fight for balls across the middle. He would make some team an excellent third receiver or possibly a No. 2. I'm a little surprised the Dolphins haven't made a play for Crayton. Bill Parcells loves Crayton's toughness.
Brian Orakpo, Redskins outside linebacker: I spoke with Orakpo two weeks ago and he was thrilled to be working with new defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. He had 11 sacks while playing linebacker and defensive end in a 3-4 scheme.
Haslett told a local television station that Orakpo probably rushed the passer 200 times last season. He expects that number to be closer to 600 in 2010. I don't think there's a player on the team who will benefit more from the scheme change than Orakpo. The guy has no business dropping back in coverage. He needs to be hunting quarterbacks at all times.
Forget Albert Haynesworth's whine festival. Orakpo's the best player on this defense. And Haslett will build around him. I think 16 sacks would be a pretty reasonable goal. Doug Free better be watching film as we speak because Orakpo could be his worst nightmare.