Amobi Okoye’s future with Texans in doubt

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Four years ago, Texans defensive tackle Amobi Okoye was the youngest player in the NFL.  Houston took him No. 10 overall in the draft, a selection lauded by just about everyone as a great value.

Like so many Texans choices on the defensive line (other than Mario Williams), the pick hasn’t worked.  Okoye has never consistently made a difference.   With the team changing to a 3-4 defense, he may no longer even have a role on the team.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle wrote in a chat Wednesday that he doubts Okoye makes the team’s roster this year.

“I’ll be surprised if he’s on the team. He’s a 4-3 DT who specializes in stopping the run but can’t rush the QB,” McClain wrote.

Okoye is a role player that is set to make a starter’s salary ($2.95 million.)   He could be a candidate for a trade.

He’s not the only well known Texans player that could be moving on this year.   McClain also believes that Steve Slaton could have a tough time finding a spot on the team.

14 responses to “Amobi Okoye’s future with Texans in doubt

  1. Seems a bit premature for speculating Okoye to not make the roster when he could very well fit right in as a 3-4 DE. His size and run stopping ability sound like an ideal fit, and it’s not like the Texans can afford to be picky…

  2. The kid played 4 NFL seasons and isn’t even 24 yet!! he is 6’2 315 lbs, that seems like a good size to put him opposite of Mario Williams at DE. It would be a bad move to trade him, but hey the Eagles could use a DT that size

  3. Wade’s a good defensive coach and he may not be 3-4 end, but could slide to nose tackle and anchor the middle. His height and weight is perfect for a 0 technique, over the center.

  4. Dawkinseffect has it right.

    The kid was simply in the wrong system. He’s 6’2″ 315lbs for god’s sake what was he doing in a 4-3?

    This kid is a prototypical 3-4 DE and shame on the Texans for not recognizing that either before drafting him or sooner and trading him.

  5. Hate to tell you guys but all these teams trying to find a def. end like the kid on the colts ain’t gonna happen. That guy and Warren Sapp are exceptions to the rule. These days 6′-2″ don’t workon the def. line when they try to beat 6′-6″ 350# tackels

  6. So, with the team moving to a 3-4 defense and the assumption that 6’2 315lbs is a good size for a DE, what happens to Mario Williams who is like 60 lbs underweight then?

  7. Man, would I love to see Steve Slaton in NY Giants blue… if he’s released, he’ll be a steal for whatever team gets him. He’s expendable with Foster and Ward there, but boy… get him involved in the short passing game and he’s absolutely lethal.

  8. 6 of the top 10 sackers last year list at 6-2 or 6-3 depending on where you check, so height is not an issue at all.

    Tamba Hali
    Cameron Wake
    Clay Matthews
    Jason Babin
    Osi Umenyiora
    Charles Johnson
    Terrell Suggs

    and that list doesn’t include Elvis Dummervil and Dwight Freeny who are both under 6-2 and had injuries last year. James Harrison is also under 6-3. As a 3-4 end, his height is not an issue at all. You want shorter DE to get up under taller tackles and out leverage them.

  9. Most 3-4 teams want someone a little bit taller at DE, arround 6’4 and a little bit heavier at NT, arround 330 lbs. It would seem that, like the article suggests, he would be a better fit as a run stopper in a 4-3 and is a candidate for a trade.

    Personally, I would have thought that Mario Williams was a candidate for a trade too since paying him big money to play 5-technique seems excesive but the Texans have denied that is the case.

  10. oldbyrd, there’s a use for tall tackles like Marcus Stroud, Ted Washington, John Henderson, etc., but a lot of great linemen are shorter. Along with guys buckeye mentioned, Casey Hampton has been a pro-bowl tackle for the Steelers, and he’s 6’1″.

  11. @buckeye4278

    Smaller guys usually can’t play as well with their hand down at 4-3 DE. Which is why many of the undersized top sackers are 3-4 OLBs and get to move in space before being engaged by blockers. They can take advantage of their athleticism. Not to mention weight is more important than height. But I agree that okoye could be fine at 3-4 DE.

  12. Okoye is a very smart kid and many say his real heart is not in football. If the Texans can find a team that has need for a 4-3 tackle and a 3rd down back ( Slaton).. and will be ready to trade a veteran cover and run support corner and a draft pick or value reserve player it would make for a good deal for all parties concerned. The Texan’s are really in a bind with the lock-out and will have to look to the draft to fill the needed spots in the Defense… (1) DT (2) coverage CB and a SS who can cover and assist in run support. It would be a great asset for the Texans to pick up a deep threat Wide Out and hopefully this can be accomplished in the draft also in rounds 5-7. Then they can look to the free agency when the lockout ends to shore up and suppliment. I look for the Texans to step it up and dominate the AFC South if the needs are remotely met.

  13. @canjura

    Mario Williams is listed at 295. That’s far from 60 lbs. underweight for a 3-4 DE. I think he could work well in a DeMarcus Ware rush OLB role, but he has the size to play 3-4 DE. Adding 5-10 lbs. wouldn’t be that terrible if they needed him to.

    Okoye is still young and has plenty of time. I think he may want to actually drop a few pounds if he wants to play 3-4 DE, and he’s got to learn some pass-rush moves. But if he can take on bodies against the run, he’ll be just fine.

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