The British world-class discus thrower who is giving the NFL a shot this year just might get drafted.
NFL teams are looking at Lawrence Okoye as a defensive end, and he was the standout at the NFL’s Super Regional Combine in Dallas on Sunday, according to a report on NFL.com. (For more on Okoye, go to http://tinyurl.com/d4cfpjv)
Okoye measured at 6-feet-5 3/8 and 304 pounds, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.88 and 4.78 seconds, had a 35-inch vertical jump, ran the short shuttle in 4.38 seconds, and had a 10-foot-5 broad jump.
For comparison’s sake, over the last five scouting combines the average size of a defensive end prospect is 6-3 3/8 and 266 pounds, the average 40 was 4.88 seconds, the vertical jump 32½ inches, the short shuttle 4.46 seconds, and broad jump 9-5. In other words, despite being significantly bigger (2 inches taller and 38 pounds heavier) than the average defensive end prospect, Okoye performed better in all those tests, by either a little or a lot.
Okoye, 21, never has played American football but grew up playing rugby and is considered a potential world champion in the discus.
Gil Brandt, the former Cowboys front-office executive who now works for NFL.com, predicted that Okoye went from an undrafted free agent to a late-round pick with his performance at the super combine.
“Okoye looked like he could be drafted,” Brandt wrote. “He was unbelievably active and incredibly explosive in drills. It was a real first-class show.”