FanDuel - WFBC

April 12, 2007

Hey, Clarett, This is How You Get Drafted Early: "Okoye is poised to become the youngest player drafted in the first round since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger. Not because he has the brightest lawyers, mind you, but, well, because he's just plain bright. Twice before high school, he skipped grades. Now this Nigeria-born defensive tackle is set to defy the notion that teenagers have no place in the grown man's NFL."

posted by yerfatma to football at 04:56 PM - 18 comments

I think it's a great story, I live in Louisville, so I am happy he is moving up the draft boards for his sake. I wish he will be around at 22 cause we need a DT for depth. But I would say he'll go to Atlanta jsut because Petrino is familiar with the player. Great story though, he's a great kid.

posted by sumokenobi at 05:28 PM on April 12

It is a great story. McShay's mock draft has him going 6th to Washington.

posted by bperk at 06:39 PM on April 12

I'm certain Clarett will take this under advisement. Nothing he's been through has taught him any lessons, but this thread ought to do it.

posted by Bishop at 01:51 AM on April 13

Sorry for making a joke. Won't happen again. Had Okoye come first, would Clarett have had a better case? I don't really see where this is different from the other.

posted by yerfatma at 05:34 AM on April 13

The rule is you have to be three years out of school, not a certain age, so I doubt this would have helped Clarrett.

posted by apoch at 06:09 AM on April 13

The rule is you have to be three years out of school, not a certain age, so I doubt this would have helped Clarrett. But that rule is based on and defended by saying that younger bodies and/or skills aren't ready for the NFL. So, if there were a young body that held up okay, that argument goes up in smoke.

posted by SummersEve at 06:40 AM on April 13

The rule is you have to be three years out of school, not a certain age Ah, good call. All the same, there's no justification for that except the fatuous claim about health. If you let one 19 year-old in, you gotta let them all in. I think.

posted by yerfatma at 07:21 AM on April 13

Personally I'd be a bit wary of putting a 19 year old in against older players. And setting the precedent might not be such a good thing either. Maybe Okoye will go on to be a star and suffer no adverse harm from this, but I'm guessing that if that is the case he would be the exception if more were to follow suit. The rule itself strikes me as a bit odd, anyone know why it isn't a certain age?

posted by Fence at 07:27 AM on April 13

The rule itself strikes me as a bit odd, anyone know why it isn't a certain age? Because the NFL wants to use the college system as a minor league. If you chose a certain age, then a kid who was held back could join the NFL straight out of high school.

posted by bperk at 08:43 AM on April 13

Look at how well using the NCAA as a minor league worked for the Saints, they draft Reggie Bush and sell out every home game because of all the hype he generated in college.

posted by apoch at 10:26 AM on April 13

Hey Clarrett? You could say hey PacMan or hey Williams (wr Det.) or hey any other person who has taken the wrong route into and out of the NFL, or we could talk about the countless too numerous to mention failures of young men in other sports who have skipped college, or left after a year or so. This young man from Louisville looks to be the real deal. Good in the NFL or not, which I think he will be, he has many other options to fall back on with his degree. Failures are long harped on and get longer and brighter coverage than do the successes.

posted by dbrown41 at 12:31 PM on April 13

I am worried about this kids health. I hope whoever takes him is very careful about how quickly they start playing him. This is not hoops or baseball. This is a teenager being thrown in(on the line) with the men. I would have a little less concern if he was a receiver or a d-back due to size and hitting but as a lineman, I would be worried about his saftey. While I will admit there are a few freaks out there that mature more quickly, going into the league at such a young age, I think, will lead to a short injured career. He is not ever done growing yet. Whoever drafts him should redshirt him

posted by Debo270 at 01:11 PM on April 13

This is a teenager being thrown in(on the line) with the men. A teenager that is 6'2" 295lbs! I don't think you need to worry too much. It would make sense if the guy was seriously under-weight, but then again, who the hell would draft him? I think you should start worrying about the guys that are going to have to try to block this man-child.

posted by yay-yo at 01:38 PM on April 13

I think that he'll be fine. I doubt most would be predicting him to go in the 1st two rounds of the draft if there was any widespread concern about whether or not he can keep from getting killed. Either way, i'm doubtful he'll see immediate action, so he can grow into NFL action.

posted by brainofdtrain at 02:27 PM on April 13

Just a terrific story about a terrific kid. We've been seeing this here locally for sometime now and it nevers fails to make me smile. I think the world of this kid and believe he can be a force in the NFL for years to come. Once his body catches up to his mind look out. On a personal note, it'd be nice to see him slip to the tail end of the first round. I believe Dallas picks 22-or 23 and he could provide some depth at DT. Thanks Yerfatma for the post.

posted by ampto11 at 03:29 PM on April 13

Yay-yo, Big doesn't necessarily equal physically mature. Until his development settles into an adult state, he's probably in greater danger of injury. This is much more true of playing in the NFL than other sports, especially as a lineman, because of the demand for heavy impact and nut-busting displays of strength on virtually every play. Running, jumping, etc., are pretty natural actions for any adolescent. Brute force combat is not, and it can really screw up developing bones, joints, ligaments, etc. Okoye could be an exception who happened to mature earlier than most...but if he's not, then concerns for his health aren't too far fetched. He sounds like a wonderful kid, and I hope he suceeds, but I can see where his entry to the NFL could mean trouble, both for him and for future teens who overdo it in an attempt to follow him.

posted by ctal1999 at 02:15 PM on April 14

Until his development settles into an adult state, he's probably in greater danger of injury. Is this true? If so, why do I wake up creaky and all the kids in the neighborhood spring back from crashes faster than Gumby?

posted by yerfatma at 03:22 PM on April 14

Believe me, Yerfatma, I feel your pain. After we've been in the adult state for awhile, we start to wear out. We have a few years at our peak, and then it all starts to go downhill (even if the closest we come to exercise is watching sports from the couch). I guess what it comes down to is that being an NFL lineman is GOING to take a toll on the body. The difference is that someone who hasn't finished developing faces all the dangers that an adult does, plus potential problems because the anchor points of ligaments and tendons may not be at 100% yet, the bone growth plates are still active and vulnerable, etc. That's the main reason why heavy weight training for teens is a bit controversial.

posted by ctal1999 at 02:56 PM on April 15

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