Throughout the summer, National Scout Jon Ledyard, Assistant Director Joe Marino and Scouting Director Kyle Crabbs will be conducting summer assessments on 99 notable senior prospects. Of these 99 seniors, the 33 most prominent will be covered by all three analysts.
Of the remaining 66, each of the three analysts has “drafted” 22 of them to scout exclusively.
This serves as the foundation for our 2018 draft assessments.
Scout: Joe Marino
Name: Chukwuma Okorafor
Position: Offensive Tackle
Date of Birth: N/A
College: Western Michigan
High School: Southfield (Mich.)
Games Played: 39
Games Started: 27
Team Captain: No
Production: N/A (Offensive Lineman)
High School: Consensus 3-star offensive tackle prospect. Family moved to the United States from the Republic of Botswana. Began playing football as a sophomore in high school. 2013 All-American.
College: Spent 2014 and 2015 seasons at right tackle before moving to the left side in 2016. 2016 first-team All-MAC.
Strengths: Looks great on the hoof with an ideal frame. Long arms, thick in the lower half and doesn’t have much bad weight. Functional strength is excellent and he rarely gives ground. Has the power to create movement in the run game. Uproots defensive lineman when he uncoils. Absorbs and redirects contact well. Knows how to leverage his hips and stymie penetration attempts. Moves well for man of his size. Has good posture and bend – rarely folds at the waist. Works his hand fits to maintain inside placement throughout every rep.
Weaknesses: Needs to be efficient with his punch. Arms are often held too low in his stance and it elongates his strike. Has some issues bringing his feet with him when challenging rushers around the edge track, particularly when they soften the angle with hand usage. Needs to keep sliding his feet to consistently steer rushers wide. Bendy and flexible rushers are a challenge but easily handles tilt and power.
Summary: Western Michigan offensive tackle Chukwuma Okorafor transitioned to the left side after two seasons playing on the right side. The results were mostly positive and he should grow and become even more comfortable in his second season as a blind side protector.
The first thing that stands out when watching Okorafor is his prototypical frame. He is what NFL team’s are looking for in terms of length and build. For his size, he moves very well with good balance. His functional strength throughout his frame shows up in all aspects of his blocking. There is rarely a moment where he looses a battle because of a power disadvantage.
The strength of his game is how strong he is at the point of attack to uncoil and move bodies. He dominates in one-on-one drive blocks, especially against MAC competition. He couples his power components with good bend and hand placement to maximize his strength.
There are several positive aspects to his pass blocking skill set but the root of any issue that he has stems from reps where he is challenged around his outside hip. Okorafor must be more consistent to bring his feet with him when challenging rushers around the arc. To his credit, he doesn’t fold at the waist but it does equal some defeats.
Okorafor offers plenty of upside to improve in 2017 and has the traits of a future NFL starter.
Predicted Value Range: Late Day Two-Early Day Three