Sometimes, the most valuable players in sports fly under the radar, overshadowed by big
names and flashy performances. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, born April 24, 1995, is one such
hidden gem. His journey from impressive college statistics to a promising career in the NFL
demonstrates his immense potential and the impact he is set to take on the Cleveland
From College Standout to the NFL
Okoronkwo racked up 71 tackles, 12 for loss, and nine sacks in 2016 during his junior
season. Even more impressively, he was selected as an All-American and earned the Big 12
Defensive Player of the Year during his senior season in 2017. Okoronkwo was destined for
the major leagues, as seen by his 75 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, and 8 sacks.
Drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Okoronkwo’s
entry into professional football was marred by a foot surgery that left him unable to start the
season. But setbacks only fueled his determination to succeed.
A Texan Turnaround
In March 2022, Okoronkwo signed a one-year contract with the Houston Texans and seized
the opportunity to showcase his talents. He delivered his best season to date, racking up
career highs in tackles (44), pressures (36), hurries (25), and sacks (five). His skills shone
brightly when he earned the starting job midway through the season.
Joining the Browns
At 27, Okoronkwo has agreed to a three-year, $19 million deal with the Cleveland Browns.
The signing strengthens the team’s defense—an area they’ve been focusing on—and brings
a talented, young player to the Dawg Pound.
The Underrated Difference-Maker
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo may not be a household name, but his potential and skill set make
him an underrated yet valuable addition to the Browns. With his upward career trajectory,
expect Okoronkwo to play a significant role in the team’s defensive success in the coming
years. Keep an eye on this unsung hero as he makes waves in the NFL and solidifies his
place among the league’s defensive stars.
Adaptability in the Browns’ Defense
New Browns defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is known for employing the wide-9
technique for edge rushers in his defensive strategies. This technique is perfect for an agile
edge rusher like Okoronkwo, who is quick off the line and can create chaos in the blink of an
eye. With the opportunity to reach his full potential, Okoronkwo will be a force to be reckoned
with in Schwartz’s defense.
Over the years, Okoronkwo has built a solid reputation as a pass rusher and has
continuously improved his tackling skills. However, he has faced some challenges in
containing the run, with his highest grade in this area being 75.6 overall during the 2021
season – the only season he’s graded above 70.0.
Under Schwartz’s guidance, Okoronkwo is poised to improve in this aspect of his game. The
Browns’ run defense was a major weakness last year, as they allowed the eighth most
opposing rushing yards per game (135.0). Okoronkwo’s addition to the team will help bolster
this area and elevate the Browns’ defense to new heights.
As the upcoming NFL season approaches, Okoronkwo’s underrated signing by the Browns
can potentially be a game-changer. With his talent and adaptability, he fits the team’s
defensive scheme like a glove and can contribute significantly to their success. This exciting
development in the Browns’ roster also allows fans to make the most of the upcoming
season by taking advantage of Ohio Sports Betting Promos.
Explosive Power to Impact the Browns’ Pass Rush
Despite standing at just 6-foot-1 and weighing 253 pounds, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo possesses
an incredibly high motor and explosiveness that can strike fear in the hearts of opposing
offenses. His ferocious presence on the field is undeniable, and he has proven his worth as
a formidable pass rusher.
In the 2022 season, Okoronkwo earned impressive ratings from Pro Football Focus (PFF),
with an 81.9 pass-rushing grade and a 75.1 overall defensive grade. His overall defensive
grade was higher than any Cleveland defensive lineman, except for Myles Garrett. This feat
alone showcases Okoronkwo’s potential to become a key player in the Browns’ defense.
Okoronkwo’s talent for pass rushing came to light after securing the starting position midway
through the season. From Week 7 onward, according to PFF, he ranked in the top 10 among
edge rushers for pressure and pass-rush win rates. This impressive performance
demonstrates his ability to significantly impact the field, especially when putting pressure on
With star player Myles Garrett likely to attract double- or triple-team coverage from opposing
offensive lines, Okoronkwo’s presence will help draw attention away from Garrett. This
strategic advantage allows both players to maximize their impact on the field, creating a
formidable pass-rushing duo that will keep offenses on their toes.
Unleashing Potential: Okoronkwo’s Untapped Abilities
Despite the Texans’ lackluster season, it provided Ogbonnia Okoronkwo with a golden
opportunity to display his skills on the field. His new career highs in tackles, pressures, and
sacks were clear indicators that he’s a force to be reckoned with. At just 27 years old and
entering his fifth professional season, Okoronkwo may have only scratched the surface of
his true potential.
There are some concerns about his durability, as the 2022 season marked his first full
season of action. However, if he can maintain his health throughout the 2023 season, there’s
no doubt that his talents will significantly impact the Browns’ defense.
To gain more insight into Okoronkwo’s signing and the potential he brings to the Browns,
watch Sports 4 CLE host Dave Bacon and Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger delve deeper into the reasons behind this underrated acquisition.
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo’s journey from a college standout to an underrated NFL signing
showcases his unwavering determination and passion for the game. His adaptability and
explosive power make him the perfect fit for the Browns’ defensive scheme, and his growth
potential could make him a key player in the team’s success.
As Okoronkwo continues to develop his skills and overcome the challenges he’s faced in his
career thus far, there’s no doubt that he has the potential to become a standout player in the
league. With the support of the Browns’ coaching staff and his fellow teammates,
Okoronkwo’s future in Cleveland looks bright, and fans should be excited to see the impact
he’ll make on the field in the coming seasons.