Don’t underestimate the Obo in this band
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo may not be someone that not everyone is familiar with, but that could change dramatically this season. Somewhere in the untracked records of NFL landmarks, the third year for a player seems to be where the true potential for that player takes shape. Whether it is a step forward to solid and dependable production, or receding further into the depth chart, year three seems to be the harbinger of things to come.
Los Angeles Rams
For Okoronkwo, hereafter referred to as Obo, he will need to get on the field. He showed the flash of real potential in 2020, as he was the first quarterback sack to occur off the edge not by the hand of veteran Leonard Floyd. But he injured his elbow immediately after that occured, and he never truly played the same afterwards. While he didn’t earn a starting role, he was pushing Samson Ebukam hard for the starting role and likely would have gotten it if not for an ill-timed injury.
All healed and blessed with a full offseason training program, Obo should be able to pick up where he left on in 2020 (the good segment). After the past two seasons with 100+ defensive snaps, he has been getting pretty good mileage out of light work. He has 2.5 quarterback sacks and 19 tackles in two years. But keep in mind, he has been stuck at just over 10 percent of the defensive snaps available, and that a larger role on defense would give him a better chance of synching up to the flow of the game. So what does he think about his chances in 2021?
Hey, if you want a good follow on Twitter, give Obo a follow. He is full of positive messaging, and he is full of hard work. No, not the stuff where he wraps a towel around his neck, lifts some deadweights, and quits when he starts to sweat. This Dawg is picking up the harness for the real deal soul-testing workouts that build strength, endurance, and willpower.
While he has not been a major factor so far, things change for good reason. Right now, Obo is working out like a warrior, girding for battle in the upcoming season. He had a promising draft profile, where he was graded as a potential NFL starter, in the 2018 NFL Draft. That immediate rush to the roster was derailed due to foot surgery that waylaid him until November 2018.
He’s been mainly involved in special teams so, but has had his share of rotating in for some defensive snaps. So what gives me any belief that he is ripe for a starting role? Well, the LA Rams clearly believe that the roster did not need immediate plug-n-play talent on the edge, as the team directed early draft picks elsewhere. You see, linebackers coach Chris Shula has worked extensively with Obo and knows who he is and what he is capable of this year. He is not an unknown, rather he is a closely guarded secret that is about to be unveiled in 2021.