Lawrence Okoye starts making the rounds


British discus thrower Lawrence Okoye burst onto the pre-draft radar with an outstanding performance at a Regional Combine in Dallas over the weekend and his work has landed him a pair of visits with teams this week.

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that Okoye, who is eligible to be drafted this month, visited with the 49ers on Wednesday and that he will visit with the Saints on Friday. After that, Okoye has to head back to England to work out his visa. It’s a safe bet he’ll have more visits to do once the paperwork gets taken care of in the U.K.

Okoye’s mix of size (6-foot-5 3/8, 304 pounds) and speed (4.88 and 4.78 in the 40-yard dash) would raise the eyebrows of any NFL scout. He’s the very definition of raw, though, and a team using a pick on him would have to be able to devote time and effort to make his physical gifts translate onto the field.

With 13 picks and a roster pretty well stocked at the moment, the 49ers fit the profile of just such a team. From the looks of things, they might have some competition if they want to go that route.

24 responses to “Lawrence Okoye starts making the rounds

  1. he doesn’t have a position as he’s never played organized football however he projects as a 4-3 DE at the moment.

  2. chad504boy says: Apr 11, 2013 3:07 PM

    it’d be nice if the article gave Okoye’s position played.


    Except he doesn’t have one as he has never played football. He represented Great Britain in Track and Field.

  3. One of my top hobbies is analyzing college players to the NFL. Well this prospect is different of course, but his accomplishments and physical attributes both have the wow-factor you look for. I’d say 5th round pick, could be the next Margus Hunt or Ziggy Ansah of this draft.

  4. Okoye has run the 40 in the 4.5 range in practice, apparently, and his best broad jump was 11’7″. He’s a freak among Freaks. Benched 38 times, and I bet his Wonderlic score is in the top two or three per cent. Oxford U offered him a law scholarship.

  5. What positional group was he with at the combine? Quarterbacks since he’s a thrower?

  6. While his physical skills are amazing, NEVER having played American football might just be a bit of a detriment. Any team drafting him before the 7th round is wasting a pick (IMO, of course)

  7. Pump the brakes, boys.
    I had a friend who was 7’4″. Wow! What a great basketball prospect!….
    Problem: he simply couldn’t play, defend, or shoot.
    This guy Okoye sounds great, BUT….maybe best to look at him as unsigned free agent. Work him out at practice before we possibly waste a precious pick.

  8. THIS GUY WILL BE A BEAST AFTER HE GETS COACHED UP! It might be a year or two but the guy has size and ability to play almost any position on either side of the line!

  9. is there anyone else in recent history who went from never playing football at any level to playing in the NFL? if anyone can do it, it’s this guy. his freakish size and athleticism would not be enough to get him there, but he seems to have the smarts and will-power to pull it off as well. definitely rooting for him.

  10. I wonder if he has NCAA eligibility. He’s about the same age as Menelik Watson, Ziggy Ansah, and Margus Hunt were when they began playing football. Maybe if he went to college for a year and refined his technique, He could work his way into a much higher draft pick next year than he would have been this year. With those measurables AND a year playing at a major university, It’s not out of the question that he could make his way into the first round of the 2014 draft. Menelik Watson has only played for 2 years, and he’s made his way into consideration for a 1st rd pick.

  11. Saints will do their due diligence. See with guys like this I believe that’s why the NFL has so many assistant coaches and will need them! If he’s serious about football he might be an UFA signing Unless the the 49ers will burn 1 of 14 later picks on him which might happen!

  12. We had a track star come out for my college football team. He was going to be a receiver. Man, was he fast. Nobody could stay with this guy. Unfortunately, he couldn’t play football. Not a lick. Couldn’t run and catch at the same time. Couldn’t run routes. Couldn’t block.

    I love the idea of Okoye trying football. Great story. But if you’ve never played football, your untrained physical gifts won’t help much.

  13. If he is projected to be a defensive end, then he doesn’t have to have great hands like a super fast wide receiver. Speed and power are already there the rest can be taught, especially if he’s as smart as previously stated…

  14. Just give him the ball as a RB. Could you imagine?

    Plus, a huge foreign born RB with the last name Okoye did pretty damn well about 20 years ago…

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