Ed “Pi Double i” Henderson
Who is the 6-foot-1 242 pound Ogbonnia Okoronkwo?
Okoronkwo was destined to become a football player, as he weigh 12 pounds at birth, and the largest baby born at North Florida Regional Medical Center. A descent of Nigeria, the nurses at the medical center deemed him to be a future Florida Gator. Okoronkwo attended Alief Taylor High School in Houston, TX as he was able to play football secretly from his parents knowledge majority of his school days.The expectation of their son was to be academically inclined and receive high honors a fate he was able to accomplish. However, they discovered his football play his junior and senior year. His parents desired for him to become a pharmacist (such as his dad), a doctor, or perhaps an attorney. However when they saw him play football for the first time, those thoughts quickly vanished. Okoronkwo father saw the talent of his son, and explained to him that he was given a gift from above. “You have to use it to better mankind”, “You have to remember your purpose and always know that you are your family’s ambassador wherever you go.” The advice he would accept from his father as he ended his senior season with 50 tackles (11 for loss), and 11 sacks. Okoronkwo had dozen of offers from major schools such as the Colorado Buffaloes, Missouri Tigers, Oklahoma State Cowboys, West Virginia Mountaineers, Oklahoma Sooners and many more. Eventually, he signed his letter of intent to play for the Oklahoma Sooners. He would have a disappointing first two years, but picked up his junior and senior seasons. Making 67 tackles (12 for loss), nine sacks, three pass breakups, and two forced fumbles earned him second-team All Big-12 according to the Associated Press. His senior year he would be named as a Second Team All-American, ranked second in the Big 12 with 17.5 tackles for loss, and his eight sacks ranked him third in the Big-12.
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo Highlights
Doesn’t possess the size most NFL teams are looking for in an edge defender, is a bit undersized but displays the quickness and knowledge needed to play on the edge. Ability to play low, has great bend and leverage when turning the corner. Has the explosiveness to get into the backfield, as he quicker than fast. Can disrupt or even shut down stretch play, and able to hold the edge. Tremendous first and unbelievable spin moves. Has great natural instincts as a pass rusher, and the ability to shed blocks. Ability in setting up linemen, causing them to anticipate as he able to make the play on the ball carrier. Ability to play the edge or play inside linebacking position at the next level, because of coverage skill whether is short or medium coverage.
Tends to plays too tall at times, where a veteran or experience lineman will swallow him up when engaged in contact. Need to work on his run defense to learn how not to bite on draws, or on run optioned plays. May get lost in coverage as a linebacker. A bit small in height, and at times can be overaggressive.
Is he a fit for the Rams
His long arms and quickness could make him an effective linebacker, but his diminished height will keep him off the defensive line except for sub-packages. He plays aggressively, something that Wade Phillips loves in his defenses. He has the tools to become a major pass rusher in the NFL. It appears that the Los Angeles Rams are highly interested in Okoronkwo, as they have met with him several times including a top 30-visit. Rams are truly concerned with shoring up the edge and linebacking position as three starters from the defense last season at those positions are no longer on the roster.
3rd - 5th Round
Vic Beasley, Atlanta Falcons
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