While preparing for the 2007 draft, there was something very intriguing about a defensive tackle that was only 19 years old. Amobi Okoye was very good at Louisville, but by being so young, the team that drafted him was going to have to show ultimate patience as Okoye grew from a boy into a man.
Well, the Texans ended up selecting Okoye with the 10th selection in 2007. Okoye went on to have 5.5 sacks his rookie season, but his struggles were noticeable. Okoye was taking too long to fully develop, so when the Texans transitioned to the 3-4 defense last year, Okoye was released by Houston and signed by the Chicago Bears. With the Bears, Okoye had his best production since his rookie season.
With 5 years experience under his belt, the 24 year old Okoye signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today on a 1 year $2m deal.
Okoye will bring outstanding depth to a Buccaneer defensive line that has lacked depth for years. Also, at 24, Okoye still has the potential to develop into a very good defensive tackle.
With just a one year deal, the Buccaneers have the ability to get a close look at Okoye before determining whether to keep him in Tampa for a much longer time.
With Roy Miller and Frank Okam being big disappointments the past couple years, I had penciled the Bucs in for drafting a defensive tackle in a few weeks to provide some much needed depth. While it is still possible, the signing of Okoye makes that need much less substantial.