What a night Thursday was. There were non-stop trades from the first pick on down. The most unpredictable draft in NFL history. If you watched the draft, you know nothing I just said is true. The first round of the 2020 NFL Draft was pretty much by the numbers.
That’s the way it should have been for the Lions. They had every chance possible to screw this pick up, but they didn’t. Instead of trading down, the Lions stayed put due to receiving no offers, and picked Ohio State corner Jeff Okudah.
This cat is pretty good. He’s been compared to Jalen Ramsey by some scouts, and his work ethic is everything the Lions are looking for in their players. There were rumors the Lions were high on Auburn’s Derrick Brown, but this was absolutely the way to go. The Lions have found themselves a guy that could very well be the NFL’s next elite shutdown corner.
But don’t take it from me. Take it from the guys that covered Okuadah during his time at Ohio State. We got in touch with our friends—or enemies, depending on who you ask in this state—over at Land-Grant Holy Land. Here’s what their managing editor Gene Ross had to say about the newest Lion.
What are your thoughts on Okudah’s time at Ohio State?
“Okudah’s stats don’t tell the story of his Ohio State career at all, as some might be scared of his just three career interceptions (all in 2019). However, don’t be fooled: Okudah is a stud. The only reason for his low pick numbers is opposing teams’ fear of throwing the ball his way.”
What are his strengths?
“Okudah is nothing short of a lockdown corner. He excelled in both man and zone coverage at OSU. He is a very willing tackler, not afraid to lay the big hit. Even when trying to lay the boom, he doesn’t miss tackles in the open field. Has the closing speed to make up ground even when you may think he fell behind a step.”
What are his weaknesses?
“It’s tough to find a weakness in Okudah’s game. If anything, I’d say one area that maybe won’t work at the next level is the way he baits QBs into throwing at him. Playing a bit off a wideout just to turn on the jets and make a play probably won’t play as much in the NFL.”
With Darius Slay gone, can Okuddah rise to Slay’s level? What’s his ceiling?
“Okudah can absolutely be the next big cornerback in Detroit. Darius Slay is a special player, but “El Jefe” has all of tools to be just as good if not better. Even with guys like Marshon Lattimore and Denzel Ward coming out of OSU in recent years, Okudah is the best Buckeye CB prospect.”