Giants’ Linebacker Bobby Okereke Reacts to All-Pro Snub

Bobby Okereke

Getty New York Giants' inside linebacker Bobby Okereke reacted to being snubbed by All-Pro voters.

He didn’t make the cut for the first nor the second All-Pro teams, and New York Giants’ middle linebacker Bobby Okereke isn’t going to forget being snubbed. Especially when nose tackle Dexter Lawrence II got enough votes.

Instead, Okereke has promised to get “back to work next season” as part of a post including The 33rd Team’s Ari Meirov reporting the All-Pro teams.

The reference to Michael Jordan’s “and I took that personally” line should worry the Giants’ opponents for 2024. So should Okereke’s promise to keep working.

That’s a bold claim from a player who put in enough work not miss a single snap this season. In addition to being an ever present for Big Blue’s defense, Okereke was a force who impacted every phase of offenses.

His All-Pro omission has surprised more than a few people, even though another starter did make the grade.

Bobby Okereke Is Not In a Forgetting Mood

Okereke is right to take his snub personally. After all, there wasn’t much he didn’t do to merit All-Pro honors.

His efforts included being in on 149 tackles, logging 2.5 sacks and snatching a pair of interceptions, per Pro Football Reference. The former starter for the Indianapolis Colts also forced four fumbles, broke up 10 passes and made 11 tackles for loss.

Those numbers make it “really tough to believe MLB Bobby Okereke didn’t at least make the 2nd team,” per Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.

Leonard noted those who did get the votes, including New Orleans Saints’ starter Demario Davis and Patrick Queen of the Baltimore Ravens, “are all good players, but Bobby was lights out this year.”

Leonard’s sentiments were echoed by ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, who detailed how Okereke “received one first-place vote, 11 second place.” As Raanan put it, “my eyes told me he was one of the best all-around ILBs this season.”

Okereke deserves more recognition because he did everything the Giants hoped for when they handed him a four-year contract worth $40 million last offseason. He instantly took to a role as on-field signal-caller for now former defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale’s complex schemes.

Mastering both the mental and physical demands of life at the heart of the Giants’ front seven made Okereke “arguably the best” free-agent signing the franchise made since safety Antrel Rolle in 2010.

Those things contributed to a highly impressive debut campaign with the Giants. Yet, they weren’t enough for Okereke to join a teammate among the league’s All-Pros.

Dexter Lawrence Gets More All-Pro Recognition

There may have been no love for Okereke among All-Pro voters, but the judges still acknowledge the talents of Lawrence. The beefy nose tackle earned second-team honors for the second year in a row, per Talkin’ Giants.

Lawrence justified maintaining his status, despite his numbers taking a dip. No. 97 recorded 4.5 sacks, down from 7.5 in 2022. He also made a further 21 QB hits, seven short of his tally for the previous season.

A drop in production was inevitable once the Giants traded Lawrence’s fellow defensive tackle Leonard Williams to the Seattle Seahawks in October. Dealing Williams left Lawrence at the mercy of even more double- and triple-team blocks.

The extra attention made it tougher for Lawrence to make splash plays, but he still dominated at times. Like for this powerful run stuff against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 18, highlighted by Nick Falato of SB Nation’s Big Blue View.

Significantly, Lawrence was lined up next to Okereke for this play. They are dual building blocks for a defense getting ready for change in coaching, with the Giants already interviewing potential replacements for Martindale, including Ravens’ secondary coach Dennard Wilson.

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