There are rumblings in Indianapolis that yet another rookie linebacker is impressing the coaching staff and poised to make a challenge to be a starter. Last year, it was superstar Darius Leonard and boy he didn’t disappoint at all. Now not every player can be Leonard, but there is something to be said for a rookie winning the starting role on any team.
If you’re looking for a rookie linebacker to make an immediate impact in 2019, you could do much worse than betting on Indianapolis Colts rookie Bobby Okereke from Stanford. The Colts drafted Okereke in the third round, with the 89th overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. As a Cardinal, he led the team in tackles last season and was third the year before. Okereke was a consistent playmaker for Stanford the last two seasons and did a little bit of everything for them.
Even with a super talented defensive line playing in front of him, he was able to record 182 tackles, in 26 games over the last two seasons. That averages out to seven per game and over a 16 game NFL season equates to 112 for the year. The Colts have been wanting to get more out of the linebacker group as a whole and give Leonard some much-needed help. As I mentioned before he did a little of everything for Stanford. Besides racking up the tackles, he did very well as a blitzer up the middle, as he would record 10.5 sacks for his college career and make a good number of tackles for losses.
For Okereke to win the starting Mike job, he is going to have to beat out the incumbent, Anthony Walker, who holds that role currently. That shouldn’t be that big of a challenge for Okereke to be honest, as he is much more talented and mobile than Walker. While Walker wasn’t horrible manning the middle for the Colts, he wasn’t giving them much playmaking outside of his tackles. He provided very little pass rush and had issues in the passing game. Okereke is a much better blitzer and while he can have lapses in the passing game at times, he’s much better in coverage. Not all is lost for the Colts with Walker though, if Okereke continues to impress and win the starting job, then they could try Walker at SLB, where they need help as well.
For those of you that play fantasy IDP, Okereke is a great option to select in your rookie drafts. As of today, he is currently being drafted at an average of ADP55, which places him in the fifth round of most drafts. That’s pretty good value for a player that could possibly be a starter as a rookie. If you have already had your draft, then I would trade for him now while he still has a good buying value. Once training camp opens and he begins to push for a starting job, then his value is going to go up a lot. When making trades, don’t be afraid to ask for him as a throw-in, as I bet you may be likely to get him. Best of luck to everyone.
Thanks for reading my article and if enjoyed it, you can read more of my articles here at dynastyfootballfactory.com. You can also follow me on social media, on Twitter at Hollywood@DFF_DWin, on Facebook on my IDPNation page, on Reddit in the fantasy football IDP sub I’m user KingTitan1 and you can tune in each week and listen to the IDP EdgeCrushers podcast that I co-host, on a number of different platforms. Feel free to hit me up with any questions that you have, as I’m always glad to help fellow IDPers. #IDPNation