Earlier this offseason, we mentioned an interesting conversation that had taken place on twitter pertaining to Colts defensive lineman Earl Okine. Brent Fatig, who first pointed this out, posed the question of whether Okine could move to outside linebacker, and the Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder seemed to vaguely confirm it.
On Tuesday, Okine himself confirmed that he is working on the move to The Herald Bulletin's George Bremer:
Earl Okine confirms he's in the mix at OLB. Nothing official yet, but he's been in Robert Mathis' ear learning the ropes. #Colts— George Bremer (@gmbremer) May 3, 2016
Okine stood up a little in the FXFL and had idea a shift might be in the works. Spent offseason working on agility, coverage skills. #Colts— George Bremer (@gmbremer) May 3, 2016
While it sounds like the Colts haven't formally or officially made the change, Okine (6-6, 290 pounds) has spent this offseason working to adjust to playing outside linebacker. That doesn't mean that the Colts will for sure make the move officially, but it sure sounds like that's the plan. Right now, we know that there was an indication earlier this year that Okine might be moving, and now he mentioned that he has been training to make that move. So while the Colts haven't made the move official, it does seem like it's expected.
It honestly makes a lot of sense for the Colts to consider doing this, as they are very thin at outside linebacker. Currently, it is just Robert Mathis, Trent Cole, Erik Walden, Trevor Bates (a seventh round draft pick), and some undrafted rookies. The Colts don't have much in the way of pass rush, and so adding someone to the spot to see if he could give them something there would be smart. Furthermore, it's not like the Colts really need Okine at defensive line, as they have Henry Anderson, Kendall Langford, David Parry, Arthur Jones, Zach Kerr, Hassan Ridgeway, and others. To be honest, moving to outside linebacker would not only give the Colts more bodies at the spot and more competition, it might also be Okine's best chance of earning a roster spot when considering the other talent along the defensive line.