Film Study: Chidi Okonya

Matt DeBary takes a look at Riverdale DL Chidi Okonya on film.

Chidi Okonya is a long 2016 defensive end who plays for Riverdale High School. Listed at 6’6, 235 lbs., Okonya can really rush the passer, and does a nice job to get off blocks in run support. He plays primarily defense end for the Raiders, but he has the frame to stand up and play outside linebacker if needed.

What stood out to me the most about Okonya was his ability to stop the run. He looks like a big time passer rusher from a physical standpoint with his long arms, but throughout his film I noticed how well he uses his hands to shed blocks. I wasn’t able to watch him rush the passer much, but when he did, he showed good quickness off the edge getting to the quarterback; occasionally forcing a turnover. He didn’t use a bull rush or any kind of finesse move when rushing, but he uses his long arms to grab the defender first, giving him the advantage.

Another strength in Okonya’s game is his pursuit of the football. When the ball came his way, Okonya found the football with ease; if the play was run the other way, Okonya showed no problem swatting away blocks and pursuing the ball carrier. He might not be fast enough to play linebacker in college, but he has enough quickness and mobility for a defensive end. He has a good motor, and plays with a ton of emotion and excitement.

What I would like to see more out of Okonya is a little more explosiveness. He was good at shedding the first block and making tackles at, or slightly behind the line of scrimmage, but he lacks the big game changing play. He did make a couple of big time plays far behind the line of scrimmage, but he lacks the explosiveness of other defensive ends in the state. He also needs to get stronger. While he has good speed, it’s not enough for him to be a dominant pass rusher. He needs to add strength, which will bring a whole new element to his game.

Overall, he’s a good player with good instincts, but he still needs to get a little stronger and faster in order to be an impact player. He has good hands, good ability to shed blocks, and good pursuit to the football, rarely getting out position. Okonya is a player who should only get better through his senior year.

Ability to get off blocks
Pursuit to the Ball

Weaknesses (Areas for Improvement)

Dawg Post Top Stories