Friday, 5 February 2010

Concerns with Russell Okung

By Rob Staton
Regular visitors to the blog will know I'm not totally convinced with Russell Okung (OT, Oklahoma State). Visit most mock drafts and they'll tell you he's a top five pick. I don't agree. At best, I would give him a late first round grade. Resident scout Kyle Rota echoed those sentiments when he scouted Okung. It surprised me to an extent that the big left tackle was receiving such universal approval elsewhere. However, some concerns on a national stage have been expressed. The Scouts Inc group published these thoughts on ESPN's Draft Blog:

"Okung gets good hand placement and shows sound footwork once he's engaged with defenders, so he rarely gets beaten once he gets his hands on the defender in either the running game or the passing game. There's also a lot to like about his tenacity, and he can be seen on film pancaking defensive ends and linebackers.

"However, there is reason to believe Okung won't be as effective in pass protection in the NFL. First, he is not as strong at the top of his pass set as teams would like, because at 6-foot-8 he struggles to sink his hips. More importantly, Okung does not appear to have elite foot speed, so his footwork will always have to be sound. He also lacks the agility and flexibility Anthony Davis has shown. A potential fall from the top 10 to the later portion of the first round could cost Okung a whole lot of money."
- Scouts Inc

I also think it's interesting they've referenced a potential rise by Charles Brown (OT, USC). I'm a big fan of the SoCal tackle and believe he'd be a great fit in Seattle's zone blocking scheme. He's under sized (not something that will put off Alex Gibbs) at around 290lbs, but he's had ample time since the end of 2009 to get above the 300lbs mark. His frame allows for some bulk, so it shouldn't affect his athleticism. Nice hand punch - something you don't often see from college prospects. He's aggressive and athletic, whilst showing good form getting to the second level.

Last year we saw another converted tight end shoot up draft boards after a good combine showing (Jason Smith). I'm not suggesting Brown will make a similar move, especially not as high as second overall. But if the Seahawks are thinking they need to take a left tackle early, even if Gibbs teams haven't in the past, Brown seems like the most obvious candidate to me. A good combine could push him into contention as a top fifteen pick.


Anonymous said...

Another great review. This may not be the best place to put this but I think I've hit the motherload in regards to what to expect from Coach Carroll. This link is to a speach he made for Nike at a coaching clinic. It explains his philosophy's both for Defense and Offense. Quite enlightening.

Rob Staton said...

Thanks for the link annonymous, much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Your Welcome Rob. I love this site, you guys are the best. I expect you already knew most of what he is talking about, and I hope that with your understanding of both the players that we have and what is available in this draft, coupled with what PC historically is trying to accomplish, you will be able to give us all a very "short list" of who we will be drafting! Good Luck with that! LOL!

Rob Staton said...

Thanks for the kind words, annnymous.

As a heads up to everyone - there's a new poll on the right hand side bar asking who's the best D-line prospect not named Suh or McCoy. Please feel free to cast your vote.

Anonymous said...

No way Okung wears Seahawk Blue! Are you going to analyze Bryan Bulaga in depth? He also is rising on most draft mocks and from a layman’s point of view, appears to fit the size/agility requirements. I know you looked at him in Oct but I think he was just coming off his thyroid issue and 3 weeks off. I believe he handled a guy we are talking about being the Hawks #6 draft pick in D Morgan very well. I know you have said he is expected to be a RT in the NFL but I can’t figure out why. I am not sold on USC’s Brown and it looks like you are zeroing in on him as our best LT option. Bulaga has a Hutch type nasty attitude. I would have loved to see what he would have done when Dockett had his elbow in Hass’s neck back in Nov.
Keep up the great work

Anonymous said...

Deduced from Pete Carroll,Nike speech link, that he'd select CB Haden #6 & Berry/Thomas/Mays #14. Vince Wilfork brought in for NT. All other draft picks would be offense.

Anonymous said...

Don't mean to distract from the Okung review but I neglected to include these "Motherload" speeches from Coach Carroll in that first link. I think these are must reads for all Seahawk fans. It's what we are going to be all about for the foreseeable future.
Happy reading!

Anonymous said...

Arrrh! I forgot this one! Must be the Jameson’s!

Anonymous said...

Yep, definitely the Jameson’s!


Jon said...

Unrelated to Okung, but I just watched a couple highlight/lowlight clips of JPP. I definitely see what Rob's talking about, he has crazy upside with his speed and athletic ability.
Have you guys seen him backflip:

The other thing in that clip is you can see(with his shirt off) that he's nowhere near NFL size physically. In a couple years with NFL coaching and time in the weight room this kid could be Julius Peppers.