Fri, 10 Apr 2020

Meet the Prospect: Jeff Okudah

Detroit Lions
24 Mar 2020, 00:25 GMT+10

Name: Jeff Okudah

Position: Cornerback

School: Ohio State

Ht/Wt: 6-1/205

40-yard dash: 4.48

Bench: 11

Vertical: 41.0

Broad: 135.0

3-cone: Did not run

20-yard shuttle: Did not run

How he fits: The Lions traded top cornerback Darius Slay to the Philadelphia Eagles and signed veteran Desmond Trufant. While that's not a one-for-one in terms of skill set or Pro-Bowl appearances, Trufant's been a good player in this league for a long time and projects to be a starter in Detroit.

Detroit returns Justin Coleman in the slot, but will still be looking for competition, depth and talent at the other outside position. Amani Oruwariye played pretty well down the stretch last season as a rookie, but is he ready to step into a starting role in year two? Maybe, but the Lions have to be prepared if not.

Okudah is by far the top cornerback available in this draft and fits everything the Lions would be looking for to fill that role opposite Trufant. He's big, physical, smart and plays with good size, speed and change of direction to make him a top talent. Drafting Okudah would instantly promote some really good competition at cornerback and give the Lions options and versatility at the position.

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Key observations: Okudah allowed a career passer rating of 55.7 over his three seasons at Ohio State and a completion percentage of 43.2 when opposing passers threw his way. He has the size to guard big receivers and the speed to run with deep threats.

What they had to say about him: "Okudah has ideal size, length, twitch and competitiveness for the position. He is very comfortable and effective in both press and off coverage. He is patient in press and very fluid/smooth when he opens up. He does a nice job of staying on top versus vertical routes and he can locate the football down the field. He has the agility to mirror underneath. In off coverage, he explodes out of his plant and he is a dependable open-field tackler. This is a very clean player with a very high floor and ceiling." - Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com

How he stacks up: Okudah comes in at No. 5 overall on Jeremiah's list of the Top 50 players in this draft class, and he's the top cornerback on that list. He's No. 4 on Dane Brugler's list of the Top 50 from The Athletic.

Scouts Inc. lists Okudah as their fourth highest graded prospect with a 94 out of 100, which puts him in the "rare prospect" category.

What he had to say: "I know (Lions head coach Matt) Patricia is a heavy man-to-man guy," Okudah said at the Combine, when asked about Detroit. "Coming from the Patriots, they run a lot of man-to-man. They're allowing man-to-man matches to let the defensive line get home. So I've been studying a lot of those top groups (high in the draft). I think I'm really cover-versatile. So I'm trying to figure out, where's the best fit will be."

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