LB Bobby Okereke, Stanford

6’1” – 239 lbs. – 4.58
Redshirted, then appeared in eleven games the following season. Took over a starting job the following year, posting 41-4.0-3.0, then followed that up with nearly identical seasons of 96-7.5-4.0 and 96-7.5-4.5. Team captain. A little bit smaller than you’d like in an inside linebacker, but has excellent length (34.5” arms) and big hands. Also able to line up on the outside. Good athlete who looks comfortable flowing horizontally toward ballcarriers on stretch plays and tosses. Plays with discipline when working in backside contain. Has the short-area quickness to slip past would-be blockers when pursuing. Willing to get physical and stick his nose in to maintain the integrity of the run fits. Potential is there for him to stack and shed, and offers a wide tackling radius because of his length. However, actual play is still a little bit of a work in progress. Commits to a course of action too soon and ends up taking himself out of too many plays with false steps; was victimized by misdirection and play fakes during the games reviewed. Angles to the ball are often inefficient. Has a tendency to get engulfed by blockers because he’s not using his length; goes body-first into too many linemen. Struggles to anchor against power and can be put on skates when opposing linemen frame him up. Stayed on the field on passing downs at the college level and has the type of athletic ability to potentially serve as a coverage linebacker. Can even line up in press looks and use his length and speed to carry opposing receivers into deeper zones. Good plant and drive to close in on targets in front of him when working in short zones, or when serving as a spy and closing on quarterbacks who flee the pocket. Had a little bit of production as a pass-rusher at the college level and has the type of movement skills teams look for when looking for linebackers to execute delay blitzes. An athletic long-limbed linebacker who played on all three downs and served as a team captain in college, but whose instincts, angles, and ability to take on blocks leave something to be desired. Consequently, might be more of a mid-to-late-round consideration who will need to begin his career on special teams and spend some time polishing his game before he’s able to appear on a pro defense.

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