Orlando Pace (born November 4, 1975 in Sandusky, Ohio) is an American football player who currently plays offensive tackle for the St. Louis Rams of the NFL. He was the first overall pick in the 1997 NFL Draft and has been selected to the Pro Bowl seven times.
He played collegiately at Ohio State as only the second true freshman ever to start on opening day for the prestigious football team and won the Outland Trophy in 1996 for the best college football interior lineman. He was also a two-time winner of the Lombardi Award for the best college lineman or linebacker in 1995 and 1996. Pace is considered to be one of the top offensive lineman in the history of college football. He was so dominant that the term "Pancake" - referring to when an offensive lineman knocks a defender on their back - was coined for him. Pace did not allow a sack in his last two years at Ohio State. In one game against Illinois, Pace shut down defensive end Simeon Rice and pancaked him ten times.
Pace is widely recognized as one of the best tackles in the NFL, especially in pass protection. Pace garnered attention in a 2005 game versus the Indianapolis Colts, where he impressively shut down the threat of Colts' defensive end Dwight Freeney, who until that point had beaten even the best left tackles in the league. He has been voted to seven consecutive Pro Bowls dating back to the 1999 season, his third season in the league. Pace's blocking assisted the Rams to a championship win in Super Bowl XXXIV and a championship appearance in Super Bowl XXXVI
At 6' 7" and 325 pounds, Pace is well-suited for the tackle position. His strength and armspan allow him to be effective in both run- and pass-blocking, but perhaps his greatest asset is his athleticism - Pace's quickness of reflexes and speed are unmatched among NFL offensive linemen. Memorably, in a 2002 game against the Washington Redskins, on an interception return, Pace managed to run down cornerback Champ Bailey, a player noted for his blazing speed.