Chicago Bears draft scout: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo was the co-Big 12 defensive player of the year. Is he a player the Chicago Bears should look at in the middle rounds?
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo had a very successful college career. He posted 71 tackles, 12 for loss and put up nine sacks as a junior. To continue off of that, Okoronkwo had 75 tackles, 17 for loss and eight sacks as a senior. There are questions about his size and length transferring to the NFL. Will his pass rush transfer and is he a mid-round shot for the Chicago Bears?
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo is a relentless pass rusher. He has a nose for the quarterback and features a variety of ways to get there. It starts with an ability to get off of the ball quick and bend to get a quick path to the quarterback. On the play below, Okoronkwo is able to get his arms out to clear a path and bursts into the backfield to take down the quarterback.
Swim moves, dips and hand fighting are ways in which Okoronkwo is able to shoot into the backfield. He is quick on his feet and is able to mix up pass rushing moves, giving his opponents a hard time. Watch the hard step outside to blow by the right tackle to the inside.
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo is savvy with his moves and also with his understanding of where the quarterback and the ball is. Seeing a pass rusher down the field near the ball at the end of plays is encouraging and Okoronkwo is rushing with a purpose. To find the quarterback and take the ball away.
Okoronkwo lacks the standard size to consistently live on the edge. It shows up at times when rushing the passer, but mainly in the running game. He can get swallowed by blocks, and sealed off on the edges. If offensive linemen can get their hands on him in the NFL, he will struggle to get free.
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In the play below, a lineman with much longer arms than him was able to strike first and push his route to the quarterback off-path. Even if he were considered just a pass rushing specialist, this is going to be a concern with his game.
He also lacks some of the balance and functional strength. A quick chip block on the play below knocks him down as he looks to get out in coverage.
Speaking of coverage, that is an issue that will have to be fixed for him to consistently get onto the field in the NFL. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo played off of the ball a lot, and that is great due to his size. He also looked stellar against the run in these regards as his quickness outlasted the size difference that lineman can control in closer proximities.However, just because he plays off of the ball in coverage, does not mean he is proficient yet.In zone, he can lose his responsibility and he has had little chances in man away from the line of scrimmage.