NFL Draft

Evaluating The Value: Western Michigan OT Chukwuma Okorafor

Alright, folks. What exactly are the Steelers doing here in the third round?

The Steelers picked another guy who will sit for awhile in Western Michigan offensive tackle Chukwuma Okorafor with the 92nd overall pick.

What?

His tape is super underwhelming for his size and strength. He’s a project, and has very moldable traits that offensive line coach Mike Munchak can certainly work with.

Okorafor is very raw, having just picked up the game of football in high school as a sophomore after moving to the United States from Nigeria. The game really hasn’t clicked for him yet, and he’s a bit soft, so it’s a confusing pick, to say the least.

As the roster currently stands, Okorafor projects to be the 10th or 11th offensive lineman on game day, meaning he’s likely a practice squad candidate. That’s a tough pill to swallow for a top 100 draft pick.

This pick is a reach to me, not only in projected area that Okorafor was expected to do, but also in team need for the Steelers.

The offensive line is a major strength to me, not only the starting five, but in depth, even after losing Chris Hubbard. This is a real head scratcher.

Selecting Rudolph and Okorafor tells me that the Steelers feel very content with their linebacker situation. They could certainly address the position on Day 3, but they’ll have to wait until the back end of the fifth round, which could lead to a depleted position group.

I understand believing in Munchak to develop Okorafor, but a selection of a project offensive lineman in two of the last three years is very curious. Do they not believe in Alejandro Villanueva long term? Is Marcus Gilbert falling out of the picture due to injuries and the suspension?

Only time will tell, but this is the first pick of the 2018 draft by the Steelers that I’m not on board with at all, in any way, shape, or form as of today, April 27.

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