New Colts Linebacker Bobby Okereke Has Similar Physical Traits To Darius Leonard
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INDIANAPOLIS – From a size, length and speed standpoint, the Colts have a very similar comp to Bobby Okereke already on their roster.
His name is Darius Leonard.
Now, projecting Okereke to have anyone near the impact that Leonard had as a rookie would be beyond premature. Let’s not forget this. Leonard’s incredible instincts cannot be measured in Combine testing.
But there are obvious reasons to why the Colts wanted to draft Okereke.
Look at the draft profile of Leonard:
Wingspan: 82 1/8
Arm length: 34 3/8
40-yard dash: 4.7 (Leonard was banged up during the Combine)
And then Okereke:
Wingspan: 82 5/8
Arm length: 34 1/2
40-yard dash: 4.6
The Colts love their linebackers with length and Okereke has that, measuring in with the longest wingspan of any LB at the 2019 Combine.
“I would be hard-pressed to find two other inside backers in the league that has as long arms as Leonard and Okereke,” Chris Ballard said after taking the Stanford captain at No. 89 overall in Round Three.
At Stanford, Okereke finished his career with 40 straight starts. In 2018, he led the Cardinal with 96 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and 5 passes defensed.
The early look for Okereke in the NFL should come at the MIKE position.
Anthony Walker was very solid for the Colts in that starting MIKE role last year and it would still be a surprise if a rookie supplanted him in 2019.
But Okereke getting some action on passing downs, along with being a core special teamer, could be what the Colts ask of him early on.
“He’s got the length,” Colts western area scout Chris McGaha says of Okereke. “He ran fast (4.58 seconds in the 40-yard dash). Plays with effort, kind of like Darius. Instincts, tackling, sideline to sideline guy, he’s good in coverage, too. We kind of saw him in the same light. We could put those two guys next to each other.”
Inside the Indy locker room, Okereke sounds like a guy who Andrew Luck will enjoy talking to.
Okereke has a decorated resume, with a major in “management science and engineering with a track in finance and decision analysis.”
The California native interned with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during his time at Stanford. He also performed at Carnegie Hall in high school.
“He’s got this solid presence to him…” McGaha says of Okereke. “He’s Stanford through and through. He’s awesome.”