Chukwuma Okorafor: 2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 02: Zach Terrell
ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 02: Zach Terrell /

Last year Taylor Moton was selected with the 64th pick in the NFL draft, after spending his season stuck at right tackle. Why wasn’t he at left tackle? It was because of Chukwuma Okorafor. 

Chukwuma Okorafor is returning to Western Michigan for his senior season. Last year Okorafor played left tackle, and played right tackle his sophomore year. Okorafor is an under the radar prospect, due to the fact that Connor Williams and Mike McGlichney are the focus of most of the draft spot light. However, Okorafor could rocket up draft rankings as the season carries on, just like Taylor Moton did.

Run Blocking

When watching Okorafor the first thing that stands out is his run blocking. When he makes contact on run blocks, double teams especially, Okorafor turns into a road grader. Okorafor weighs in at 330 pounds, so the fact that he can move defenders off the line is not surprising.

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However, the fact that he can move defenders is good for his NFL future, because versatility along offensive lines is huge, just ask Justin Pugh and Kyle Long. Offensive linemen get beat up every year, so the ability to play both guard and tackle will greatly increase draft stock.

Okorafor has massive hands and when he gets his hands locked onto a defender there is no escaping his grasp. One thing that does scare me about Okorafor is his hands getting outside of defenders frames, which can draw a lot of attention from refs. Keeping hands inside might be one of the easiest fixes, but habits can be hard to fix. If he can fix his hand placement this coming season then he will be a much better prospect next year.

Okorafor has a trait that a lot of scouts look for in offensive linemen, he is mean. When a normal fan thinks of a “mean” player they think dirty, but scouts think of players who play through the whistle. Offensive linemen that will bury defenders as the whistle blows are my favorite players to watch. Chukwuma Okorafor is the kind of guy to just toss defenders onto a pile, or body-slam them over the pile. That might be my favorite thing to see in an offensive line prospects.

Pass Protection

At 6’5″ Chukwuma Okorafor has no lack of length, but I am interested in seeing his arm length. Arm length is not a tell all stat in the NFL, but it can be the difference between being a good tackle or being a good guard. Zack Martin was a great prospect, but questions about length pushed him inside, no one is saying he isn’t a great player.

One more question I have about Okorafor is his pass sets, which are a bit inconsistent. He struggles with late game situations, due to fatigue. During the game against TJ Watt, Okorafor had a few plays where he didn’t set quite deep enough and struggled with Watt’s speed. However, when Okorafor had good sets Watt struggled to get the edge on him.

Okorafor is massive, and it shows in pass protection. Defenders cannot move Okorafor off his spot. The ability to withstand the bull rush is under rated, because quarterbacks are not nearly as good when offensive linemen are in their lap. Okorafor always knows where his quarterback is at, which doesn’t sound very important, but it prevents a lot of holding penalties when defensive linemen change direction.

Bottom Line is that Okorafor probably won’t be a first round prospect next year, but he should be around a third round pick. I am not sold on him as my top tackle, and probably won’t be, just because of Connor Williams. Okorafor just shouldn’t be overlooked when examining this years offensive line class.