Ranking the top local Bay Area prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images /
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2019 NFL Draft
PALO ALTO, CA – OCTOBER 06: Tyler Huntley #1 of the Utah Utes gets tackled by Bobby Okereke #20 of the Stanford Cardinal during the third quarter of their NCAA football game at Stanford Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Palo Alto, California. Utah won the game 40-21. 2019 NFL Draft Stanford football (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

We jump back into the Stanford football prospects with our No. 2 entry in linebacker Bobby Okereke. This year’s linebacker class is very top-heavy with the Devin’s — Devin White and Devin Bush — occupying the top-tier of linebacker prospects.

Okereke, however, could be one of the best in that second tier.

The Stanford product is undersized but offers one of the best athletics profiles out of any linebacker in this year’s class. He possesses excellent range and despite his smaller size is actually quite lengthy.

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All of this allows Okereke to excel in coverage, a trait that is very much desired in today’s pass-happy NFL. His instincts are still a work in progress as he is sometimes slow to react and could be caught flat-footed, but the athletic potential is certainly there for him to be a sideline-to-sideline coverage linebacker.

Perhaps his worst trait comes with his block shedding ability where he is often overpowered by larger offensive linemen in the middle of the defense. Okereke’s run defense still needs a lot of work before he could be considered a true three-down linebacker, but he has that potential.

His skill set is reminiscent of a player like Darron Lee of the New York Jets who entered the league as a raw, athletically gifted linebacker but struggled due to his lack of size and mental processing ability.

If he could improve upon his football intelligence, the game might be able to slow down for him by his second or third NFL season. If not, expect Okereke to be relegated to a stud special teamer role but remain off the field for defensive plays.