NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Texas DE Alex Okafor
|03.08.13 at 11:03 am ET|
WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that might be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2013 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.
Position: Defensive end
Weight: 264 pounds
Achievements: 2012 All-Big 12 first team (coaches, AP), 2012 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year (CBS Sports), 2012 Alamo Bowl Defensive MVP, 2011 All-Big 12 first team (coaches), 2009 All-Big 12 honorable mention
What he brings: Okafor is a big, strong presence who’s drawn praise for his quick hands and his powerful tackles. CBS Sports’ Rob Rang calls him “arguably the most well-rounded senior defensive end in the country” because of his proven ability to make plays against both the run and the pass. ESPN expresses some concerns about his effort and consistency, while others have mentioned that his upper body and hips are slightly stiff and sometimes make it hard for him to change directions fluidly.
Where the Patriots could get him: Round 2
Notes: Okafor had 12.5 sacks last season along with four forced fumbles, a product of his hard-hitting play. He’s one of the most highly-regarded pass-rushers available in the draft, and NFL.com says he projects as “a true left defensive end in the NFL.” … He was named Defensive MVP of the 2012 Alamo Bowl after recording a record 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble in a 31-27 victory over Oregon State. … He started 32 consecutive games before playing a few snaps as a backup in the 2012 regular-season finale due to an injury. … Okafor missed the Senior Bowl and was limited at the NFL combine due to a bruised hip flexor.
Related articles: Austin Statesman: Longhorns Q&A: Alex Okafor
Video: Here’s a look at Okafor in action vs. Oregon State in 2012.