According to Pro Football Focus, Indianapolis Colts linebacker Bobby Okereke was their highest graded rookie linebacker this past season:
Highest-graded rookie LB in 2019— PFF (@PFF) May 26, 2020
Bobby Okereke, Colts - 77.3 pic.twitter.com/CPz2iRt5XV
The following linebackers were taken ahead of Okereke at 89th overall in 2019: Devin White, Devin Bush, Jahlani Tavai, Germaine Pratt, Sione Takitaki, and Cody Barton.
The Colts 2019 3rd round pick out of Stanford recorded 55 tackles (38 solo), a sack, and two passes defensed in 16 games (8 starts) this past season.
With a +77.3 grade overall, Okereke was PFF’s 16th best graded linebacker overall (not just rookies), which was highlighted by a +75.1 tackling and a +79.2 coverage grade respectively.
At 6’1”, 235 pounds, with long arms (34 1/2”), speed, athleticism, and instincts, Okereke already showed off what he is capable of during his debut campaign as both a spot starter and as a sub-package linebacker on passing downs:
WE'VE GOT A PICK-2!@BobbyOkereke takes the two-point conversion back to the house! #JAXvsIND #Colts— NFL (@NFL) November 17, 2019
: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app
Watch free on mobile: https://t.co/414bcK9I5b pic.twitter.com/cVlcFGVva8
Right now, the Colts have to find a way to consistently get him on the field more, which means the 2nd-year linebacker should be a strong candidate to start at the ‘Sam’—alongside Anthony Walker and Darius Leonard at the second level and as a staple in nickel sub-package work.
However, with his smaller size, but exceptional speed, athleticism, and range, the ‘Mike’ remains Okereke’s best natural position long-term.
He’s a very explosive and dynamic young linebacker—especially in coverage.
Okereke has the talent and opportunity in 2020 to be a true breakout player for the Colts defense this upcoming season—perhaps even becoming a ‘future Hall of Famer’ (Pat McAfee is smiling somewhere).