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British discus thrower stands out at super combine

Apr. 8, 2013
 
Britain's Lawrence Okoye competes in the men's discus throw qualifications at the 2012 Olympic Games in London on Aug. 6, 2012.
Britain's Lawrence Okoye competes in the men's discus throw qualifications at the 2012 Olympic Games in London on Aug. 6, 2012. / File/AFP/Getty Images

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.”

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