Adam Schefter is reporting that Seattle has signed sixth overall pick, offensive tackle Russell Okung. This ends a minor holdout for Okung. Some speculated that the hangup was over contract length, with Okung wanting five years. Some speculated Okung wanted a premium for playing left tackle, though only quarterbacks earn premiums among draft picks. Some speculated that like Michael Crabtree last year, Okung wanted to be paid more because he was the highest rated left tackle, though Trent Williams was selected before him. Whatever it was, it's immaterial now. Okung has agreed to terms and could sign and practice as soon as this afternoon.
Okung is a bruising left tackle with great size, a low center of gravity and quality skills, including footwork. In my final summary of a play-by-play scouting I did on Okung this past spring, I evaluated his core potential and his fit within Seattle's zone blocking scheme:
Which is the final matter: Okung is not a cut-from-the-cloth zone blocker. His footwork is terrific and he moves very well for an offensive linemen, but he does not fit the lean, quick and agile profile of a prototypical zone blocker. His cut blocking is methodical rather than explosive. He has the power and technique to engage and position a defender, but he is going to miss some blocks and achieve only glancing blows on too many others. His raw power and ability to steer defenders means he fits a traditional power blocking scheme much better than a pure zone scheme, but it's the latter he will play. Washington drafted Trent Williams to fit their zone scheme and though Williams is not the pass blocker Okung is, he is a better fit for the system.
Okung has immense potential and a very high likelihood of reaching it. His best quality is his pass blocking. Okung could be a legendary pass blocker. It's within his reach. I don't think he has the same potential of say Ryan Clady to move into the second and third level on sweeps and screen passes and batter defenders on the move. But then no left tackle short of Walter Jones gives you everything. That Okung has Jones-like potential as a pass blocker, maybe better, is plenty exciting.
That's high praise. Perhaps the highest. Jones was among the greatest left tackles in the history of the league and perhaps the greatest pass-blocking left tackle ever. His 2004, in which he never allowed a sack, is the stuff of legends. Okung is not as fluid and agile as Jones, but he compensates with better size, reach and power. Jones shadowed defenders. Okung can lock them down completely. In my mind, Okung is the Orlando Pace of this draft and Trent Williams the Walter Jones. It is very unlikely that Okung reaches that potential, but that he has it is thrilling.
Today he begins his quest to fulfill it, a Seahawk.