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No. 1 pick Okoye agrees on deal with Texans


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No. 1 pick Okoye agrees on deal with Texans

The Houston Texans have agreed to contract terms with defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, the youngest player ever selected in the modern-era draft, and the 10th player chosen overall in this year's NFL draft.

Okoye, 19 when he was drafted and 20 as of last month, will sign a six-year contract that will void to five seasons if he reaches certain performance thresholds. The deal has a maximum value of $17.7 million and includes $12.8 million in bonuses.

Although first-round signings continue to be slow, the past two days have shown a good deal of movement. Okoye is now the fourth pick in the top 10 to come to terms.

Okoye, born in Nigeria, played collegiate at Louisville. He is the fourth straight defensive lineman chosen by the Texans in the first round, following Jason Babin in 2004, tackle Travis Johnson in 2005 and end Mario Williams, with the first overall pick in the 2006 draft. None of three has yet to play up to his potential.

Okoye didn't begin playing football until his sophomore year in high school and was a two-year starter at Louisville. He is still maturing both physically and as a player, and will need to better define both his physique and technique over the next few years, scouts say.

Okoye, who probably projects best to the "under" tackle position in the NFL, figures to be an active interior player with good penetration skills and quickness. He has also shown the ability to compress the pocket, as evidenced by his 8½ sacks in 2006.

In 48 games at Louisville, including 24 starts, Okoye registered 121 tackles, 23 tackles for losses, 10 sacks, three passes defensed four forced fumbles and three recoveries. At the NFL combine, he posted an impressive time of 5.07 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.

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Okoye and Mario Williams on the same line is scary.

I agree, i think there definetly potential in a few years to have a heck of an offensive line down in houston. If the Texans can lineup Okoye next to Mario in that 4-3 scheme that could benefit the both of them because you couldnt double team them. I think it will be atleast 2 years before Okoye and Williams make a huge impact in this league there both still raw.

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not really. Mario had what 5 sacks last year?

He was a rookie.

The rest of his line wasn't that great.

He played well for a rookie and showed signs of why he went #1 overall (although I still feel they made a mistake in passing on Reggie Bush, Mario Williams wasn't the worst pick they could have made).

Okoye now gives opposing OLines something to target other than Mario Williams. They can double team MWill all they want, but then Okoye is 1 on 1. Or they can double team Okoye and leave Mario on an island. It's up to them, but someone should be given an opportunity to make plays.

We'll really be able to see both of their worths this season and next.

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