Would Stanford linebacker Bobby Okereke fit with the Pittsburgh Steelers?
Bobby Okereke is a former four-star recruit who started at linebacker his final two seasons for the Stanford Cardinal. Last year he compiled 94 tackles, 7.5 going for loss to go with 3.5 sacks. With the Steelers obvious need at linebacker is Okereke a fit, and when should they pull the trigger?
Okereke has the size and frame needed to hang in the middle of a defense in the NFL. He also brings NFL range and the ability to roam sideline to sideline.
Bobby Okereke is best in coverage at this point. With his size and speed, he can carry tight ends upfield in man and has downhill quickness to chase running backs in the passing game and when shooting gaps behind the line of scrimmage. In zone, he is well disciplined to maintain his area and does well passing off receivers.
Okereke is a high effort player with adequate size who is well disciplined with plenty of starter experience.
Bobby Okereke struggles to get off of blocks. When he cannot beat his man to the spot he can get swallowed up. His overall understanding of run keys can also get him caught up in the wash.
He can be late for tackles and also can be shoved off of tackles. For his size his overall strength was underwhelming.
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In coverage, he has speed but not been tested too much with change of direction and is not the most fluid player out of his breaks.
It is not the best comparison considering he was a rookie just last season but as a prospect, Okereke would have graded similarly Oren Burks, a third-round pick for the Packers last season.
Burks was much better in coverage than against the run but had the discipline, size, and experience to get on the field as a rookie despite falling to round the three.
Fit for the Steelers
The Steelers need a linebacker who is strong in coverage, and that is what Okereke brings. He has pedigree being a four-star recruit and has been on a Stanford defense that has shown discipline. He meets a lot of the criteria of what the Steelers would look for.
Of course, there are questions as to how often he can stay on the field with his strength questions and how high his ceiling is in terms of draft equity due to overall fluidness.
Bobby Okereke could be a good fit in the third or fourth round to add depth, special teams ability and the potential to get on the field as a rookie in key passing situations.