Brian Orakpo played defensive end at Texas, but the 13th pick overall is starting his NFL career at strongside linebacker.
“It’s all up in the air seeing what can I do and how I can stay on the field at all times,” Orakpo said after spending the morning practice at linebacker. “The whole thing about this minicamp is to throw everything at me and see how I adjust. Later on — I already talked to [defensive line coach John Palermo] and I’m going to get with the D-line and get adjusted to the guys, but right now, we’re half and half. I feel real good. They brought me here to rush the passer and I’m not getting away from that.”
Phillip Daniels, 36, is the frontrunner to start at left end, where he lined up from 2004-07 when healthy, with Orakpo lining up behind him on run downs in place of the departed Marcus Washington. Orakpo would move to end on passing downs with Daniels vying for playing time with Cornelius Griffin at tackle.
“Brian will be a linebacker mostly on first and second downs and when he’s a defensive end, it will mostly be on third downs,” coach Jim Zorn said.
— David Elfin