Giants’ star linebacker listed their ‘most underrated’ player by PFF

New York Giants linebacker Bobby Okereke (58) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants struck gold in free agency last offseason when they signed linebacker Bobby Okereke to a four-year, $40 million deal. Okereke made an instant impact on the defense and performed as one of the best players in the NFL at his position last season.

Despite his excellent performance last season, Okereke was not named to a Pro Bowl team or an All-Pro team. He was overlooked in his first season with New York, but recently received recognition from Pro Football Focus.

PFF lists Bobby Okereke as one of the NFL’s most underrated players

nfl: new york giants at buffalo bills, bobby okereke
Oct 15, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Giants linebacker Bobby Okereke (58) sacks Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) during the second half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

In a recent article listing the most underrated player on each NFL team, Okereke received praise from PFF’s Zoltán Buday. Okereke was named the Giants’ most underrated player for his performance in 2023:

“Okereke was everything and even more that the Giants might have hoped for when they signed him as a free agent in 2023,” PFF’s Buday wrote. “Not only did he play a career-high snap total, but his 1,128 snaps over the regular season ranked second among all linebackers. In addition, his 78.9 overall grade ranked 12th among linebackers.”

Okereke finished the 2023 season with 149 combined tackles and career-highs in tackles for loss (11), pass defenses (10), sacks (2.5), and forced fumbles (four). He was on the field for every defensive snap this season, one of only two defensive players to achieve that feat (ex-Giants safety Xavier McKinney being the other).

Okereke will lead an upgraded Giants defense in 2024

New York Giants linebacker Micah McFadden (41) celebrates with teammates (Bobby Okereke) after making an interception in the second quarter at Highmark Stadium.
Oct 15, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Giants linebacker Micah McFadden (41) celebrates with teammates after making an interception in the second quarter at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Entering 2024, Okereke will aim to lead a front-seven that has seen significant upgrades in the offseason. He and fellow inside linebacker Micah McFadden form a tantalizing duo for opposing offenses that combines well with edge rushers Kayvon Thibodeaux and Brian Burns, and defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence.

Under new defensive coordinator Shane Bowen, and led by Okereke, the Giants’ defense should take a step forward in 2024. The talent they added this offseason should help them improve against the run, and the pass, and in their efforts to apply pressure to opposing quarterbacks.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: