Bobby Okereke – Linebacker
Class: RS Senior
Weight: 235 lbs
Bobby Okereke NFL Draft Profile
Top 3 Player Traits
Okereke is reliable when it comes to pass coverage. He has above average capabilities for a linebacker to be able to lock onto running backs coming out of the backfield and can also cover tight ends. His zone coverage awareness below allows his defense to get to the quarterback for a coverage sack.
He puts himself in the position to make a play on the crossing slot receiver if needed and then as the second receiver drags across and enters his area, he peels off and picks up the new man in his zone. He creates a situation where the quarterback panics and bails until he eventually gets taken down.
This is a great play from Okereke. He puts his back to a wall and makes his first step downhill allowing him to read the play without staying stagnant. He meets the running back in the hole and stuffs him for zero gain on a big fourth down play. If he gets a free run he can make plays.
Bobby Okereke can be good but he can also be pretty bad. After film study, I would say he is good only 35-40% of the time. One great example of this 35-40% is below. Okereke gets some steam behind him and takes on the lead blocker like a true middle linebacker. There was most likely a blitz called for #20 as he inches toward the line and displays no hesitation at the snap of the ball.
It could possibly have been good film study and preparation as well as Okereke doesn’t “show blitz” until the H-Back goes in motion and throttles down behind the guard which could have tipped off the play call. Okereke’s impact forces the fullback into the ball carrier and the other Stanford Cardinal defenders clean up the play after Bobby’s dirty work.
3 Player Traits In Need Of Improvement
Yikes…to say the least. Okereke stands at 6’3 and weighs between 230 and 235 lbs. With his height, ideally, he would put on about ten pounds of muscle and play in the 240-245 lbs range. As you can see below, he doesn’t provide much of a challenge for the pulling guard.
This is simply not a good linebacker stance. His feet are way too wide, to begin with, and then there is almost a full second between the snap of the ball and his first movement. His lack of initial motion allows the offensive linemen to get the advantage before the play even develops. He is out of position before he even takes a step.
In The Box Run Defense Consistency
Okereke struggles with stopping and making stops in the box repeatedly. Earlier, he showed great instincts but it does not happen on a consistent basis at all. In the example below, he fails to dissect the play fast enough and the read option causes him to hesitate which allows the tight end to scrape off his down block and kick Okereke out. I want to see Okereke get skinny and fill the gap.
NFL Team Fits
The Bengals are going through a lot of changes. There is a new coaching regime in place and more than likely we will witness quite a bit of roster turnover, including Vontaze Burfict. Okereke can provide some nice depth as a late-round selection.
The Raiders need to add some athleticism to their defense. Okereke is a solid athlete and could step in and be a great special teams contributor for Gruden with some playing time sprinkled in.
Okereke won’t replace Anthony Barr if he doesn’t re-sign with the Vikings but depth is needed in Minnesota regardless. Okereke has some value to NFL teams but it has to be the right scheme. The Vikings’ 4-3 should have a spot for Okereke.