Alex Okafor
refer to caption
Okafor with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019
Personal information
Born: (1991-02-08) February 8, 1991 (age 31)
Dallas, Texas
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:261 lb (118 kg)
Career information
High school:Pflugerville (Pflugerville, Texas)
College:Texas
Position:Defensive end
NFL Draft:2013 / Round: 4 / Pick: 103
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 12, 2021
Total tackles:206
Sacks:30.0
Forced fumbles:5
Fumble recoveries:3
Interceptions:1
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Alex Okafor (born February 8, 1991) is an American football defensive end who is a free agent. He was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played college football at Texas, where he earned All-American honors as a junior.

Early years

Okafor was born in Dallas, Texas to a Nigerian father and an African-American mother.[1] His parents met in college at Grambling State University, a historically black university, before settling down in Texas.[1] Okafor attended Pflugerville High School in Pflugerville, Texas, and played for the Pflugerville Panthers high school football team. He also played soccer and basketball and was a stand out in both.[2] Following his senior season, USA Today recognized him as a high school All-American in 2008.

College career

Okafor attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he played for coach Mack Brown's Texas Longhorns football team from 2009 to 2012.[3] He finished his 2011 junior season with 46 tackles and seven quarterback sacks, and was named a first-team All-American as a defensive end by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).[4] He was also a first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2011 and again in 2012.

Okafor was named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award, and CFPA Defensive Lineman Trophy watch lists to start the 2012 season.[5]

Professional career

Okafor was ranked as one of the middle tier pass rushers in the 2013 NFL Draft.[6] He was projected as either a defensive end or linebacker in the NFL.

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 4+12 in
(1.94 m)
264 lb
(120 kg)
33+78 in
(0.86 m)
9+58 in
(0.24 m)
4.91 s 1.69 s 2.82 s 4.43 s 7.26 s 31 in
(0.79 m)
9 ft 4 in
(2.84 m)
21 reps
All values from NFL combine[7]

Arizona Cardinals

Okafor was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the fourth round, with the 103rd overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.[8] He played in his first game in 2013, recording a special teams tackle before a bicep injury ended his season.[9]

Okafor recorded his first two career sacks in Week 6 of the 2014 season against the Washington Redskins on quarterback Kirk Cousins.[10] He had his first interception in Week 14 on Kansas City Chiefs' quarterback Alex Smith.[11] He ended the season playing in 13 games with 12 starts, recording 30 tackles, 8 sacks, three passes defensed and one interception. During his time in Arizona, he played in 39 games (25 starts), tallying 74 tackles (63 solo), 13.5 sacks, 30 quarterback hits, 18 tackles for loss, four passes defended, one interception (returned for 26 yards), one forced fumble and two fumble recovery.

New Orleans Saints

On March 14, 2017, Okafor signed with the New Orleans Saints.[12] He started the first 10 games of the season, recording a career-high 43 tackles, 4.5 sacks and four passes defended. He suffered a torn Achilles in the team's Week 11 win over the Redskins and was ruled out for the rest of the season.[13]

On March 16, 2018, Okafor re-signed with the Saints on a two-year contract.[14] He started all 16 games in 2018, recording 36 tackles and four sacks.

On February 14, 2019, the Saints voided the final year of Okafor's contract, making him a free agent at the start of the new league year.[15]

Kansas City Chiefs

On March 14, 2019, Okafor signed a three-year, $18 million contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.[16] In week 7 against the Denver Broncos, Okafor sacked Joe Flacco twice in the 30–6 win.[17] He played in 10 games before suffering a torn pectoral in Week 15.[18] He was placed on injured reserve on December 16, 2019. He finished the season with 22 tackles and five sacks. During his absence, the Chiefs went on to win Super Bowl LIV, their first championship in 50 years.[19] On August 10, 2020, Okafor and the Chiefs restructured his contract to save about $2 million in cap space.[20]

On October 24, 2020, Okafor was placed on injured reserve after suffering a hamstring injury in Week 6.[21] He was activated on November 21, 2020.[22]

Okafor was re-signed on July 20, 2021.[23]

Personal life

Okafor traveled to Kenya during the 2016 offseason with former Texas and Saints teammate Kenny Vaccaro and is involved in community and fundraising efforts to construct a school in the region.[24]

On March 9, 2015, Okafor was arrested for evading arrest on foot and for a misdemeanor warrant for jaywalking in Austin, Texas after he knocked over a pedestrian.[25][26]

References

  1. ^ a b Okafor, Alex (June 19, 2021). "'America needs you, Mom': KC Chiefs defensive end Alex Okafor speaks out for justice". The Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on June 28, 2020. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  2. ^ "Texas' Okafor looks to embark on NFL career – The Daily Texan". www.dailytexanonline.com. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  3. ^ "Alex Okafor College Stats". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  4. ^ AFCA Announces 2011 FBS Coaches' All-America Team Archived December 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 9, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2012.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "2013 Defensive End Prospect Rankings". Archived from the original on August 8, 2013.
  7. ^ Alex Okafor – 2013 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile
  8. ^ "2013 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  9. ^ "Alex Okafor". Chiefs.com. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  10. ^ "Washington Redskins at Arizona Cardinals – October 12th, 2014". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  11. ^ "Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals – December 7th, 2014". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  12. ^ "Saints Add Free Agent DE Alex Okafor". NewOrleansSaints.com. March 14, 2017. Archived from the original on January 18, 2018.
  13. ^ Patra, Kevin (November 20, 2017). "Saints DE Alex Okafor out for season with torn Achilles". NFL.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  14. ^ Gantt, Darin (March 16, 2018). "Saints hang onto defensive end Alex Okafor". ProFootballTalk.NBCSports.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  15. ^ Teope, Herbie (February 14, 2019). "Saints' Alex Okafor to enter FA after hitting sack mark". NFL.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  16. ^ Teicher, Adam; Triplett, Mike (March 14, 2019). "Chiefs agree to deal with DE Okafor". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  17. ^ "Patrick Mahomes hurts knee in Chiefs' win over Broncos". www.espn.com. Associated Press. October 17, 2019. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  18. ^ Teicher, Adam (December 16, 2019). "Chiefs' Alex Okafor suffered torn pec in win against Broncos, source says". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  19. ^ Shook, Nick (February 2, 2020). "Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl LIV". NFL.com. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  20. ^ "Roundup: DE Alex Okafor agrees to restructured deal with Chiefs". NFL.com. August 10, 2020. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  21. ^ Goldman, Charles (October 24, 2020). "Chiefs make two roster moves on Saturday". Chiefs Wire. USA Today. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  22. ^ Williams, Charean (November 21, 2020). "Chiefs rule out Sammy Watkins, place Taco Charlton, Mitchell Schwartz on IR". NBCSports.com. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  23. ^ "Roundup: Chiefs re-signing pass rusher Alex Okafor to one-year deal". NFL.com.
  24. ^ Underhill, Nick. "'Pretty amazing': Saints' Kenny Vaccaro, Alex Okafor, building schools in Kenya, wowed by children's gratitude". NOLA.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  25. ^ Weinfuss, Josh (March 9, 2015). "Police: Alex Okafor ran from scene". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  26. ^ Duffy, Ty (March 10, 2015). "Alex Okafor Arrested For Being an Out of Control Pedestrian". thebiglead.com. Retrieved October 29, 2017.