Sunday, January 13, 2013

Prospect Profile: DE Alex Okafor - Texas

Name:  Alex Okafor
Weight:  6' - 4"
Weight:  265 lbs.
Class:  Senior
Hometown:  Pflugerville, TX
Date of Birth: 2/8/91 (nearly 22 years old)
High School:  Pflugerville

Stats (Regular Season):

Year G/GS TT(Solo) TFL Sacks INT PBU FF FR QBP High
2009 14/0 22(10) 2.0-5 0.0-0 0 0 1 0 6 4/2x
2010 12/8 30(14) 4.0-34 2.5-34 0 0 1 0 13 7/KSU
2011 13/13 58(26) 14.0-49 7.0-36 0 3 2 1 17 8/3x
2012 12/11 60(37) 12.0-58 8.0-51 0 1 3 0 18 13/KU
Total 51/32 170(87) 32.0-146 17.5-121 0 4 7 1 54 13/KU

High Games:

Tackles:  13 vs. Kansas (Sr.)

Tackles For Loss:  3 vs. Kansas State (Jr.)
Sacks: 4.5 vs. Oregon State in the 2012 Alamo Bowl (Sr.)
QB Pressures:  4, two times, last at Oklahoma State (Sr.)
Fumbles forced:  2, two times, last vs. West Virginia (Sr.)

2012  Senior Highlights:

2011 Junior Highlights:

Positives (+):

+ Long arms and good frame
Relentless motor
Good at keeping his eyes in the backfield/locating the ball
Able to drop in coverage
Quick first step in 2-point stance
Pretty fast/quick for his size
Intelligent (seems to understand his role(s) and the offense he's playing)
Capable of using speed and power moves to beat his man
Shows ability to attack outside and inside

Negatives (-):
- Struggles against the run (especially in 4-3)
- Limited backside pursuit
- Tends to take bad angles in the run game
- No "elite" athleticism or speed
- Lacks the elite closing burst of other pass rushers
- Struggles getting off his blocks against bigger OL


Okafor needs to play in a 3-4 as a stand up pass rushing OLB to play at his highest potential. While standing up, his pad levels are better and he plays with more leverage, overall power and aggressiveness.  His quickness seems doubled in the 2-point stance compared to a 3 or 4 point stance.  Seems to struggle sometimes with technique as far as using his hands (more so when his hand is in the dirt) and is almost always taken out of the play if a O-lineman gets his hands on him.  If he can't get to the QB he'll get his hands up or try to strip the ball.  Another important thing that Okafor shows he is capable of is playing hard the whole game - constantly close enough to make the QB uncomfortable even when he's not getting home.

Honestly, when watching him line up with his hand(s) in the dirt and then standing up it's almost feel like I'm watching a different player.  When standing his first step is so much quicker and his ability to get to the QB is all around better.  Okafor's strengths are definitely rushing the passer but he looks fluid dropping into coverage the few times he was asked to.  His struggles in the run game usually occur because of two of his negatives listed above:  1) His struggles against bigger Offensive Linemen and 2) His bad angles when approaching the RB.  Unless he can fix these problems, which, one feels, are both things that could be fixed by working on his overall strength, technique, and probably watching more film.

While Okafor would have the most success in a 3-4, it's not meant to say that he would be useless in a 4-man front.  Instead, that scheme would just not put him in the position to play at his best.  Though regardless of the scheme he will need to work on run stopping ability to be the best DE or OLB he can be.

Raiders Outlook:

Okafor's likely draft position seems to be on the rise and could very well be a mid-first round selection following a great year and Bowl performance.  Much like the other DEs that have been profiled so far, Okafor seems like the type of pass rusher Raider DC Tarver would love to have in his arsenal of weapons to get after the QB with, as he can line up in different fronts and still make the QB uncomfortable.  With the Raiders lacking a 2nd round pick and the possible lack of a trade down far enough to select Okafor it seems unlikely that Reggie McKenzie will be in a good position to bring Okafor and his talents to Oakland.

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