Eyabi Okie NFL Draft 2023: Scouting Report for Michigan Edge
40-YARD DASH: TBD
– Impressive get-off with his quick reaction to the snap and good acceleration off the line of scrimmage; he can put pressure on offensive tackles vertically as a pass-rusher.
– Uses head/shoulder fakes during the stem phase of a rush to help set up his moves.
– He has the change of direction and quickness to develop an inside stick move if his use of his hands improves.
– Keeps his legs pumping through contact when bull-rushing or turning speed to power to collapse the pocket against weaker tackles.
– Has shown impressive strength as a tackler by bringing running backs and quarterbacks down with one arm.
– Lean frame, needs to add more size and functional strength when taking on blocks to hold his ground better versus one-on-one blocks from offensive linemen.
– Poor use of his hands as a run defender and pass-rusher; he'll get caught with his hands by his waist and exposes his chest, making getting off blocks and defeating the hands in pass rush extremely difficult.
– Needs a better pass-rushing plan throughout the game. For example, he'll try a ghost rush without setting it up by winning with a few one-arm stab moves, making the ghost rush less effective.
– Struggles to stay on balance and fight through chip blocks.
– Primarily a situational pass-rusher at Michigan and UT Martin.
– On his fourth team in five years, dismissed from Alabama and Houston.
– DOB: June 7, 1999
– A 5-star recruit in the 2018 class, No. 4 overall, No. 1 WDE, per 247Sports' composite rankings
– Dismissed from Alabama reportedly for tardiness, skipping class, clashing with teammates and insubordination and was dismissed from Houston for "some of the same issues," according to Matt Zenitz of On3 Sports; left UT Martin on good terms
– 10 career starts
– 2021 Honors: OVC All-Newcomer Team, All-OVC Third Team (Phil Steele)
– 2018 Honors: SEC All-Freshman Team
– Had 46 sacks in last two years of high school
– Averaged 11.6 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in basketball during the 2015-16 season
Before even talking about football or what he can do on the field, Eyabi Okie (formerly Anoma) will have to answer questions about what happened at Alabama and Houston. He's said his issues at those two stops had to do with maturity, and to his credit, he's stayed out of trouble since leaving the Cougars.
On the field, Okie has shown off a few of the traits that made him a top-five recruit, as he's clearly a good athlete, most notably with his impressive get-off/acceleration. He could be an effective pass-rusher in the NFL, but his lack of success as a run defender is concerning.
Both Michigan and UT Martin used him primarily as a situational pass-rusher, which is surprising for a player who was once considered one of the top recruits in the country. He's just not strong enough to hold up at the point of attack against the run, and that coupled with his poor use of his hands makes getting off blocks a challenge.
Also, while the Baltimore native did rack up six sacks for the Skyhawks, he didn't dominate at the FCS level as one might expect. And it's concerning that he didn't take over the starting role at Michigan when Mike Morris went down at the end of the regular season.
All of that being said, he has enough traits and a good enough resume to still be draftable for an odd-front team that is looking for a standup outside linebacker and/or a third-down pass-rusher toward the end of Day 3.
GRADE: 5.6 (Backup/Draftable, Rounds 6-7)
Written by B/R NFL Draft Scout Matt Holder