Brian Orakpo knows a thing or two about being a highly-touted pass rushing prospect in Washington.
The former 13th overall pick had a strong career in the nation's capital over the course of six seasons and 71 games. He had 40.0 sacks in that time, averaging 9.5 sacks per season in the four years in which he played at least 10 games.
Orakpo retired after the 2018 season, but he still pays attention to the NFL. And like most fans and players this past year, he was blown away by what he saw out of Defensive Rookie of the Year Chase Young. In fact, he sees a lot of comparisons between Young and himself.
"Man, Chase balled out...I admire everything he’s been doing," Orakpo told Julie Donaldson on Washington Football Today. "The guy is a straight up beast and I’m excited by him leading that team in the future. He reminds me of myself. He plays with an attitude, plays with a lot of tenacity, and he gets to be himself. I think that’s the most important thing. He gets to play his game, be himself, and kind of lead by example. So he definitely has a bright future ahead of him. Double digit sacks, Pro Bowls, All-Pros, you name it. He’s that type of caliber player for sure."
It's high praise coming from Orakpo, who helped form a strong pass rushing duo in his own right during his later years in Washington. And he thinks Young, alongside the other stars currently on the Washington defensive line, has a chance to reach greatness.
As a rookie, Young recorded 7.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss and 12 QB hits in addition to forcing four fumbles. He did all this while facing added attention from the opposition, though they had to account for multiple pass rushers coming off the Washington line.
If Young and his teammates are able to take another step forward, then the rest of the division is going to have to look out.
"That tandem right there is special," Orakpo said. "Haven’t had a tandem like that since myself and [Ryan] Kerrigan rolling back there a while back. So it’s definitely fun to watch. Those guys are huge, I mean the stature of those guys is huge and they move with great speed, great power. I feel sorry for those quarterbacks in the NFC East, I really do. So as soon as they keep building that team, they know that defensive line is going to be leading the charge for sure."
The current group of players on Washington's line is so talented and dominant that Orakpo thinks even he could bring something to the table.
"Tell Dan to let me come in on third down some plays," Orakpo said. "I think we could make it happen."