DALLAS - The University of Oklahoma star on defense, Obo Okoronkwo goes to Los Angeles Rams in the fifth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday, Oklahoma State defensive back Tre Flowers taken by the Seattle Seahawks.
Obo, a 6-foot-2, 235-pound linebacker was taken as the 23rd pick in the fifth round, 14 spots behind Flowers, a 6-3, 200-pounder, who went ninth. Obo was projected to go in the fourth or fifth round prior to the draft.
At this year's NFL Combine, Obo ran a 4.77 40-yard dash, jumped 38 inches in the vertical jump, 121 inches in the standing broad jump and did 27 reps in the bench press.
Obo is the son of Nigerian immigrants, and a defensive end recruit from Houston Alief Taylor High School before going to Oklahoma. He redshirted in 2013, then played in 11 games as a reserve, making eight tackles, three for loss, and two sacks. Okoronkwo lined up for the first nine games in 2015 (nine tackles, two sacks) before being sat down as an internal discipline.
He got his chance to attack the quarterback in 2016, earning a second-team All-Big 12 selection as a junior, making 67 tackles, 12 for loss, nine sacks, three pass break-ups, and two forced fumbles.
Sooners coaches sent him into the backfield again in 2017, and he shared the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year award with Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson. Obo posted 76 tackles, a team-high 17.5 for loss and eight sacks, as well as two pass break-ups and three forced fumbles. He was also named second-team All-American with Jefferson by the Associated Press for his efforts.
Among the accolades collected by Flowers were:
- 2015 Second Team Academic All-Big 12
- 2016 Second-Team All-Big 12 (Coaches)
- 2016 Barry Sanders Award (Most Contribution with the Least Recognition)
- 2017 Second-Team All-America (AFCA)
- 2017 First-Team All-Big 12 (Coaches)
- 2017 Second-Team All-Big 12 (Associated Press)
- 2017 Team Captain as Voted by Teammates
- 2017 Leslie O’Neal Award (OSU’s Outstanding Defensive Player)
Flowers was an All-America safety his senior year, piling up 279 tackles during a productive career.
His teammates voted him as a team captain for the first time in his career during his senior year.
He led the team and ranked 16th in the Big 12 with 79 tackles and finished third on the team with eight pass breakups. Flowers picked off two passes in his senior season, one that led to a rout of Pittsburgh. The other came in a crucial game against TCU.
He ranked third in the Big 12 among active players with 274 career tackles.
Flowers ran a 4.45 40-yard dash at the NFL combine this spring, had a vertical jump of 34.5 inches, long jump of 122 inches and did 18 reps in the bench press.
In the seventh round, the Oakland Raiders selected OSU wide receiver Marcell Ateman. A big-bodied receiver who developed into a mainstay of the offense in 2015 after he spent his first two seasons finding his way. Emerged as one of the nation’s most dangerous OSU receivers in 2017 after missing the 2016 season due to an injury sustained during summer workouts.
- 2017 Second-Team All-Big 12 (Coaches)
- 2017 Second-Team Academic All-Big 12
- 2017 Barry Sanders Award (Most Contribution with the Least Recognition)
- Receptions - 8 at Iowa State, 2015
- Receiving Yards - 132 at Iowa State, 2015
- Long Reception - 82 vs. TCU, 2015
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