Chuks Okorafor- OLT 

W. Michigan 6-5.6, 321, (S-1.88)

(U 5.31), 23.5" V, 102" Br, 7.87 3-C, 4.80 SS, 19 R, 34 1/2" Arm, 

Moving Backwards: Part VI.  

By TOM

First off he is a huge man. He looks the part of a dancing bear. Great long arms. He has a great burst off the line in the run game. He is as good an athlete as there is in this Draft. He doesn't have the heaviest or strongest hands. If he can learn to clamp on with his hands better, he could be a very good OLT in the NFL. But his biggest weakness is his hands. 

He has some technique issues, and doesn't always play through the whistle. "He got started in football a little late," a scout said. "But I still think he should have some of these issues cleaned up by now. He's big and he has talent so he's probably going to play early on." But he also has great long arms, a great initial burst, and great feet. 

He is a big guy who plays too high too often. Especially in the run game where defenders can take advantage of him getting leverage. He has to stay and play lower, and bend those knees like a jack rabbit. But moving back in pass pro he is like a twitchy ballerina. He showed more potential moving backwards than anyone in this Draft. 

He will played in a 2-point stance a lot. He is a guy the Pats could pick up to develop in the 2nd. They will have some time if they think Waddle can stand up at OLT for a while, or Garcia can come back. Which I do if he can stay healthy. When he has been on the field, he has been good enough at OLT. Garcia can also step in a little late in the season if Waddle gets hurt. Or does Garcia being healthy change everything in this Draft for the Patriots?

Okorafor is not good zone blocking or pulling to the right in the run game. He could do a better job extending his arms fully. He needs to sustain blocks for longer. That is his Achilles heel (his light hands). He has to play through the whistle every play, and grab shirt and not let go until his man is knocked down or the whistle blows. Blocking just long enough, is much less good enough in the NFL. 

He is in great shape. They run a very fast system, and run a ton of plays every game at Western Michigan. Great suddenness and burst back off the snap in pass pro. The best initial burst backwards of any of the top OLTs in this Draft. He can burst back too quickly, and has to stop and wait for the edge guy to catch up. Then he can slide back smoothly with his hands up. 

He will over set sometimes, and give up the inside lane do to his explosive burst off the snap moving backwards. Great length in pass pro. They ask him to do a lot of funky blocks in the run game that he will miss sometimes, but not when he is moving backwards. He gets into position as quick as anyone moving backwards.

He is still a developmental guy, because he had to play at a lower level. He has to bend his knees more, and especially not stand up on contact. He can look confused at the end of plays sometimes. He played on both sides of the line. He had 26 starts at OLT the last two years. He had 13 starts at ORT in 2015. 

He can really get to the second level and take out the LB with his size, strength, and grip. The big DLs give him trouble when he grabs shirt, but not the smaller quicker guys. Which is a good sign for an OLT. Great quick hands to shoot out and grab shirt fast. But he needs to get stronger. 

They put a tight end outside of him a lot. He is excellent pulling to either side. He has a lot of work to do on his kickslide. He looses control of his feet sometimes. He bails too quickly sometimes. He needs to be more patient in his slide. He gets too high in his slide sometimes.

He has top suddenness, and is as quick as anyone in this Draft. Which is even more impressive when you consider his size. Great job redirecting to a surprising blitzer coming up the middle. Great agility to stop turn and take out the guy he sees late. Elite reactions sometimes. 

Additional Notes:

Combine: Great feet moving laterally. He is a smooth mover moving laterally. He looked the part at the Combine. Great athlete on pull drill. Smooth and easy in mirror drill. I liked his kickslide moving back fast. Very nice feet in space. Light hands. Needs to extend his arms better. He doesn't seem to consistently extended his arms.  

Wisconsin 2016: He struggled a little against Watts. But he really stuffed all the other OLBs. Good job blocking down on 5-Techs, but stays a little too high. He has to bend his knees more. No trouble bursting back to get outside, and pick up the OLB. Needs stronger hands and arms. 

Watt slapped his hands off too easily. More of a shover than a grabber inside. He has not learned when or how to grab shirt yet. He uses his body well to absorb the inside spin move. When he holds shirt, pulls up, and moves his feet well, he can dance with the rusher on the edge for a long time.

Michigan: He has everything you want in an OLT, but hasn't found that consistency yet. Nice job getting to the second level and impacting the LB. He will over run him sometimes, but does a great job getting back and shoving him again, so the RB can sneak past him. Great pop on the 2nd level. He does have some dancers feet in space on the 2nd level.

Central Michigan: When he grabs shirt, he can hold on through all kinds of machinations by the DE sometimes. He looks like an NFL OLT on the edge in pass pro. He will move towards the quick LB cautiously, and lose on the 2nd level. He has some nice suddenness on the Seal block. 

He has a nice base and balance, but he has to learn to drop his weight and stay and play lower. He has good football intelligence, but will look confused on the field sometimes, especially moving to his right to run block. He is not always good moving to his right to run block. 

Okorafor  Vs Vs Michigan ST:

Terrific initial burst in run games, but he doesn't have the heaviest hands (:01). Elite reaction to the surprise blitzer. He is pulling to the right, and suddenly a blitzer shoots up the gut, almost behind him on the misdirection run. Watch the great reaction, balance and pivot to turn and cut him down (:08). He has some suddenness in his initial burst back (:21). He is top five in quicks and suddenness at OT in this Draft.

He had to block the inside guy, but tried to hit him with his shoulder rather than grab him, and the DT was too far inside (:33). It was not pretty, but it was effective (:43). He pulls into the blitzer again, and makes the quick reaction to knock him off stride (:51). Nice job getting inside the DE (1:00). Nice hand placement to grab and hold him outside long enough for the RB to get by.

His slide needs work (1:10). He grabs the DT with his long arms, but can't control him (1:29). Great job getting to the second level and popping and grabbing the LB (1:40). Great lateral burst to get inside the DT and grab him. Then he stops before the whistle (2:00). Good lord did you see that suddenness! (2:33). That was the quickest first step back by any OT I saw in this Draft! Wow!

Nice burst off the snap. Stays in form in his slide. Captures the rusher with his hands and ends the rush (2:41). Watch the burst back like he is on springs, as he knows the outside guy is blitzing. Wow! Then he got back inside, as the blitzer tried to go against his momentum (2:52). He seems to need to warm up in games, and plays better as the game goes on. 

Elite seal block out of the 2-point stance (3:14). When he clamps onto the edge guy he can really move his feet terrifically in pass pro (3:24). That is what you want to see after his elite initial burst. To attack the blocker, and drive and control him (3:35). Better job holding the DT, but didn't play through the whistle again (3:44). I like the jab on the outside guy to help his teammate (4:07). Then he overwhelms the LB on the 2nd level. Though he did let go a little and peek back. Then re-grabbed and held on. PLAY TO THE WHISTLE CHUKS!

Nice power seal on the backside (4:16). Nice shuffle and pick up on the outside move by the DT. He can make the quick adjustments inside (4:41). He has some power in his hands, and can knock the rusher down with a nice punch and shove (4:51). He is so quick outside that he does seem to give up the inside by over setting sometimes (5:01). But he usually does a good job recovering.

Great slide to meet the speed rusher. He kept his hand inside with great placement, and took him past the QB. Then the QB panicked, and ran into him (5:14). He lets the edge guy go past him, and burst smartly to the 2nd level to take out the LB (5:26). Nice run block to move to his left (6:14). He got into potion and blocked two defenders.

Great burst outside, and watch the punch and jam with the outside hand that sent the rusher even further outside (6:21). Great strong side seal block. Watch the great low burst, and then the impressive impact up that knocked the DE out of the play. Then a little nasty playing through the whistle (6:33). Easy pass pro with the TE doubling (6:52). With his initial burst and kickslide, it is very tough to beat him around the horn (7:14). He can be beat inside, but the edge guy has to do something great to beat him outside.

He gets the great burst and slide outside to pick up the blitzer, but gave up the inside a little again (7:21). Great block getting to the 2nd level (7:30). Nice focus on the outside rusher. Nice awareness when the DT breaks free inside (8:12). He got beat little outside and had to turn and bail. Then he shoved the edge guy to the ground (8:21). That was a nice block.

Nice initial hit. Then he slid back nicely and cut the big DL off (8:33). Great quick feet washing the OLB out of the play (8:44). Smooth slide outside. Then he absorbed the speed to power (9:07). Nice short set, and he used his long arms very effectively (9:17). He got beat by the up and spin back (9:45). He has to learn to grab better and not just punch and shove. And when it is better to tackle than set free.

He got beat bad there. The Michigan ST defenders know they have to pass every down now (9:57). He looses his form, and bails to the speed. But he washed him past the QB (10:19). Easy pass pro, but his hand placement was off, and he got his hands out wide (10:37). It is that great initial burst that will make him an NFL player (10:46). But he does have a lot of work to do. He is a developmental OLT. 

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Okorafor Vs Michigan ST:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWuy0LK_jwk

Okorafor's Official Bio:

2017 Senior:
• FWAA First Team All-American
• Phil Steele First Team All-American
• Walter Camp Second Team All-American
• Sports Illustrated Second Team All-American
• SB Nation Honorable Mention All-American
• CollegeFootballNews.com Honorable Mention All-American
• 1 of 6 semifinalists for Outland Trophy
• First Team All-Mid-American Conference selection; Phil Steele First Team All-MAC
• Started all 12 games at left tackle
• Registered 902 total plays - 835 offensive (team high), 67 special teams
• WMU ranked 21st in the nation rushing in 2017, averaging 224.8 yards per game - seven different players rushed for 26 touchdowns
• Earned fourth varsity letter
• Invited to play in Reese's Senior Bowl
• Named 2017 No. 4 Tackle to Watch headed into the season by Mel Kiper

2016 Junior:
• Started all 14 games at left tackle
• First-Team All-MAC
• Moved to left tackle after playing right tackle last year and again at right tackle in 2014
• Was part of a Bronco offensive line that was ranked No. 4 in the country by Pro Football Focus.
• The team finished 24th in the country this season in rushing offense and allowed just 16 sacks on the year, the 13th fewest total in the country
• Opened holes for team to run for over 300 yards three times
• Paved the way for Jarvion Franklin to rush for a WMU program-record 281 yards on the ground at Akron (10/15)

2015 Sophomore:
• Started all 13 games at right tackle
• Helped pave the way for 401 yards rushing against Ohio (10/17) in the second half
• Blocked for the MAC Freshman of the Year and Popeyes Bahamas Bowl MVP Jamauri Bogan who finished with 1,051 rushing yards and 16 TDs on the season
• As a team, the Broncos were second in the MAC and 29th in the country with 204.6 yards per game on the ground

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