Monday, April 18, 2011

Amobi Okoye DL Houston Texans

Houston Texans DL Amobi Okoye (left) exploded up draft boards prior to the 2007 draft, where he was ultimately drafted #10 overall. He entered college at just 15 years old (choosing Louisville over Harvard because of a strong football program), and at age 16 he became the youngest player in NCAA history playing in all 13 games for Louisville. After a phenomenal Senior Bowl, he became the youngest player ever drafted into the NFL at just 19 years old.

He followed that up with being the youngest player to start a game since 1967, and recorded 5.5 sacks his rookie year, winning Rookie of the Month once for September 2007 after recording 4 sacks. Of course, he was the youngest player to ever win the award.

The problem with Okoye is that since his rookie season, he has only matched his sack total with 5.5 sacks over the next 3 years despite starting 44 games over that period. He is known for being a run stopping defensive lineman, however, but his future with the Texans is in doubt with the move to the 3/4 defense under former Cowboys HC Wade Phillips. Many speculate that Okoye will be used as trade bait this offseason, and with 4 years under his belt and still under 24 years old, it shouldn't be that hard to find a suitor. The only thing holding it up is the rest of the league knows he doesn't fit in Phillips scheme, and he has starters salary at $2.95 million.

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