Scouting report by Kyle Rota
Name: Russell Okung
Position: Offensive Tackle
School: Oklahoma State University
Height: 6050 E
Weight: 302lbs E
The Big 3:
Athletic Ability: Okung possesses above average athleticism for an NFL tackle, but fits more into the “smooth” than “explosive” category. Okung is a natural knee bender who usually plays with great leverage. His short area quickness is very good, and he is an above-average athlete shooting off the snap and sliding his feet. Okung also has long arms that lock up defenders, which helps mask the lack of strength. 6.5
Run Blocking: Most teams will grade Okung critically on his run blocking. He does not have the lower body power to push even college defensive ends backwards, and too often his man is able to shed the block and make a tackle. However, Okung is an excellent cut blocker (run and pass) and is one of the best collegiate tackles I’ve seen at getting to the 2nd level and locating/blocking linebackers, and could be at least adequate in a zone blocking system. 6.0
Pass Blocking: This grade surprised me as much as it will surprise you. I actually have huge concerns about Okung’s ability to play left tackle in the NFL. He lacks the anchor to consistently hold up against stronger DEs (and I really worry about what a 3-4 DE could do to him), and often gets pushed backwards. He also really struggled to stay in front of the more athletic defenders I saw him against, allowing even mediocre NFL talent like Nick Reed to turn the corner against him a couple of times. To me, he’s good at sliding his feet and has long arms, but when facing a good athlete who is able to keep those arms off of him (like Brian Orakpo, Nick Reed, or Greg Hardy) Okung really struggles – he doesn’t have the athleticism to fall back on when his arms don’t land, and he doesn’t get his hands into his man’s pads regularly enough when he plays good competition. 6.0
Motor: 6.5 While Okung does not have the nastiness of Jake Long, he’s nowhere near as lazy as some prospects and generally plays to and sometimes through the whistle.
Feet Slide: 6.5 Great first step, but there are going to be NFL defenders capable of beating Okung around the corner. Good enough for most players, but the elite athletes will give him trouble.
Initial Quicks: 7.5 Very quick out of the snap, even when OkSU has Okung out of a three-point stance (not very often). One of his best traits is that he does force DEs to take steps outside, rather than just penetrating off the snap.
Playbook Understanding/Blitz Pickup: 6.5 Okung is generally a smart blocker who makes few mental errors. He usually picks up the right man on the blitz and locates the right man when going to the second level.
Pulling/Trapping: 6.0 For a player who is so good short-range, the longer Okung has to run the worse he looks. After about 5 yards Okung looks awkward running. He locates the linebacker well, though, and can usually land a block. Less effective when asked to trap defensive linesmen, as he lacks the strength to jolt then backwards.
Combo Blocking: 6.5 When Okung needs to get outside and find a LB, he does a very good job. When Okung is asked to hold the block on the DL, he usually does a good job but will struggle when asked to block defensive tackles 1v1. Lots of experience with zone blocking principles.
Hand Use: 6.0 Okung has no punch (sadly, not uncommon at the collegiate level) to speak of and does not recover quickly (if he misses his first attempt, will take too long to shoot his hands a 2nd time). The only reason this is not lower is that Okung’s long, surprisingly strong arms allow him to get his hands on defenders more often than not, and this projects as something Okung can fit.
Character: 6.5 Everything I’ve heard about Okung has been generally positive. He’s smart, demonstrated by his awareness locating linebackers and following his assignments. He has a reputation for being a hard worker and has no off-field issues. Demonstrated maturity coming back for his senior year when he would’ve been a first day pick.
Summary: I was really hesitant to put up this report, and have now seen more on Okung than any other offensive tackle I’ve scouted. I had a very difficult time reconciling what I saw on tape with what I’ve heard about Okung. While his run blocking is going to turn off a lot of teams, I think he would be pretty solid for a team that runs a lot of zone blocking. The area where I really disagree with just about everyone is in regards to athleticism and pass protection. I think Okung has benefitted greatly from playing in the weakest, defensively speaking, BCS conference. It worries me that Okung struggles against good competition – against Orakpo, Reed, and Hardy, Okung turned in bad games - when good-but-not-great would’ve been expected. In the end, I can only go by what I’ve seen in the games and that just was not very impressive.
Computed Grade (Weighted): 6.35
Final Grade: 6.4 - Late 1st round grade.