The New York Giants had arguably the worst linebacker corps in the NFL last season. This offseason, general manager Joe Schoen made it a priority to bolster the position group, signing free agent LB Bobby Okereke to a four-year, $40 million deal.
Okereke will transform the Giants’ defense, providing Big Blue with a versatile skill set and a level of athleticism that was otherwise absent from the unit.
How new Giants LB Bobby Okereke will transform their defense
Okereke signed with Big Blue this offseason after starting his career with the Indianapolis Colts. The 2019 third-round pick appeared in 64 games for the Colts across the past four seasons, totaling 420 combined tackles.
In an interview with Fireside Giants, Okereke detailed his playing style and highlighted the different aspects of his game that make him stand out:
I’m a fast, physical, sideline to sideline linebacker. I’m great in man coverage. I’m great in zone coverage. And I really excel at stopping the run. I’m disciplined. I’m smart. I’m a team player. And I’m really just an athlete out there, trying to work together with my teammates, but someone who really just has a big drive to win.Bobby Okereke in an exclusive interview with Fireside Giants
Okereke is known for his ability to contribute both as a run-stopper and as a coverage linebacker. He racked up over 130 combined tackles in each of his last two seasons with the Colts while also totaling two interceptions and nine pass breakups.
New York struggled against the run in 2022, surrendering 144.2 rushing yards per game (sixth-most). Okereke’s run-stopping prowess will help the unit improve in that facet of the game. According to Pro Football Focus, Okereke’s 13 defensive stops against the run tied for the 13th most in the NFL this season.
At 6-foot-1, 235 pounds, Okereke has the blend of size and speed that allows him to make plays in coverage. Okereke has sideline-to-sideline speed and the athleticism to stick with tight ends and running backs in coverage. Okereke will serve as a massive upgrade in the middle of New York’s defense.