Top Pick Possibility: DT Amobi Okoye

As we count down to Saturday's 2007 NFL draft, we examine the prospects who have been mentioned as strong possibilities for the Dolphins with the ninth overall selection. We'll look at the prospects, how they would fit in and the likelihood of Miami actually picking them. In this installment, we look at Louisville defensive tackle Amobi Okoye.


By now, everybody knows the incredible story of Okoye, a native of Nigeria who entered college at the age of 16 and will enter the NFL draft at only 19. Because of his young age, Okoye might still have some physical growth to go through, but he packed on 15 pounds after showing up at the Senior Bowl at 285. Even at that weight, though, Okoye was a star at the Senior Bowl. He's an impressive prospect with good athletic ability and he's obviously a bright guy. Okoye, however, didn't really blossom at Louisville until his senior season when he had eight sacks and 15 tackles for loss.


There has been no indication that the Dolphins are going to get away from the 3-4/4-3 hybrid defense they played the last two seasons, and it's a defense that requires one big run-stopping nose tackle and another defensive tackle who is good against the run and as a pass rusher. The Dolphins already have one of those guys in Vonnie Holliday, who has thrived in Miami and might have been the team's second-best defensive player last year behind Jason Taylor.


The Dolphins had a visit with Okoye, so there's obviously some interest there and Okoye is projected now as a top 10 pick. But, really, in terms of immediate needs, we just don't see defensive tackle ranking that high. Okoye doesn't have the bulk to eventually replace Keith Traylor at nose tackle and Holliday probably has a few more productive seasons ahead of him. Besides, the Dolphins had a couple of young DTs on the roster in Rodrique Wright, Kevin Vickerson and, yes, Manny Wright who are worth a look. So, quite frankly, we just don't see the Dolphins-Okoye connection.

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Alain Poupart is the Associate Editor of Dolphin Digest and To read him every day, visit and become a Miami Dolphins insider.