Photo of Alex Okafor
Drafted By: Cardinals
  • Round 4
  • Pick 6
  • Overall 103

Combine Results

Grade
85.2 ?
  • 21 REPS
    Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"It's interesting to hear him announced as an outside linebacker. Against a good Oregon State team, he shredded them one-on-one. I saw him more as a base defensive end." -- Charles Davis

  • 6'4" Height
  • 33 7/8" Arm Length
  • 264LBS. Weight
  • 9 5/8" Hands

Overview

Although Okafor’s father didn’t play in the NFL like teammate Jackson Jeffcoat (Jim won two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys in the early 1990s), he won’t be the first person in his family with NFL experience. Former LSU linebacker Eric Alexander was drafted in 2004, but won a Super Bowl ring with the Patriots while on injured reserve as a rookie and played in 54 career games with one start (2006 AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts).



Okafor was the typical all-Texas and high school All-American pick that litters head coach Mack Brown’s recruiting classes. He played as a reserve on defense and on special teams as a true freshman, posting 18 tackles, 1.5 for loss (per NCAA statistics). He played in every game at defensive tackle in Texas’ multiple-front scheme as a sophomore, earning eight starts and 3.5 sacks among his 28 total stops. The departure of seniors Eddie Jones and Sam Acho opened up a spot for Okafor at defensive end in 2011, and he took full advantage -– recording 12.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks to be a unanimous first-team All-Big 12 and AFCA All-American selection. As a senior in 2012, he racked up 54 total tackles, making 16.5 for loss, including 12.5 sacks. Even with the aforementioned Jeffcoat missing a large portion of the season dude to a major injury, Okafor continued to put on solid performances, including a 4.5 sack bowl game against Oregon State.

Analysis

Strengths

Already possesses NFL size and length, and has room on his frame for growth. Powerful punch and arm extension takes linemen into the backfield and allow him to hold up and split double-teams. Gets off the ball quite well, will challenge the upside shoulder of right tackles and can step inside to get into the B-gap as a counter move. Flashes quick hands to move past tackles on his way to the quarterback or disengage to chase plays to his side. Can get low to swallow running backs coming into his area and stop quickly to rein in quarterbacks before they step out of the pocket. Feels the cut block an defeats it with his hands. Good hustle to the sideline and downfield to chase ballcarriers.

Weaknesses

Best as a strong-side 4-3 end providing strength against the run and some pass rush, lacks short-area quickness to play standing up in the NFL. Runs high and stiff when dropping into coverage or trying to change directions quickly in the open field. Gets stuck on some man-up blocks, allowing running backs to run around him instead shedding to make a play.

NFL Comparison

Ray Edwards

Bottom Line

Okafor offers a different skill set than what many of his 2013 peers put forward, powerful hands and length to press and attack. He dealt with an ankle injury in 2012 and was forced to miss his first start in 33 consecutive games, but Okafor certainly finished the season on a high with 4.5 sacks in the school's bowl game against Oregon State. He projects as a true left defensive end in the NFL.
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Grade Title Draft (Round) Description
96-100 Future Hall of Famer Top Pick A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
85-95 Immediate Starter 1st An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
70-84 Eventual Starter 2nd-3rd A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
50-69 Draftable Player 4th-7th A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
20-49 Free Agent UDFA A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.

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