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2020 NFL Draft grades: Detroit Lions receive overwhelming positive reviews for Jeff Okudah pick

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Pretty much everyone loves the Jeff Okudah pick.

Big Ten Championship - Northwestern v Ohio State Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions made what may have been a franchise-altering decision Thursday night, selecting Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah with the third overall pick. Without a doubt, we will be looking back on this decision in four years as a crossroads. Did the Lions get themselves an elite cornerback to fill the shoes of Darius Slay, or did they pass on another premier talent—say Isaiah Simmons or even Tua Tagovailoa—that could’ve sent them in a completely different trajectory.

None of those questions will be answered this weekend, but NFL analysts across the globe made sure to chime in on Detroit’s decisions. And, for the most part, people were overwhelmingly impressed with the Lions’ pick. Okudah has long been considered a top-tier talent in this draft, and his fit with the Lions is undeniable.

So what exactly are the experts saying about the pick and what, if any criticisms do they have?

Let’s check out the Lions’ Day 1 draft grades:

Sports Illustrated (Andy Benoit)

Grade: B+

Positive quote:

What reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore has brought to New England, the Lions hope Okudah will bring to Detroit. He’s a slightly different style of corner than the physical Gilmore; what scouts liked most about Okudah is he has the agility to mirror wide receivers. “

Negative quote:

“The only negative here is Detroit GM Bob Quinn probably felt he could get a quality corner a few picks later in the draft, but he did not get an enticing enough package to trade down.”

Yahoo Sports (Eric Edholm)

Grade: A-

Positive quote:

“Long, highly athletic coverage ace who is just starting to hit his peak and profiles as a future All-Pro at one of football’s most demanding positions.”

Negative quote: None

NFL.com (Chad Reuter)

Grade: A

Positive quote:

“Okudah’s the type of big, strong, athletic corner that teams desire on the outside.”

Negative quote: None

SB Nation (Dan Kadar)

Grade: B+

Positive quote:

“In the Ohio State product, the Lions get a man-coverage corner with excellent athleticism for the game. He’s a day one starter.”

Negative quote:

“This grade would be higher if the Lions didn’t force themselves into this pick by disenfranchising, and ultimately trading, Darius Slay.”

Draft Wire (Luke Easterling)

Grade: A

Positive quote:

“Okudah is easily this year’s top corner prospect, with the size, length and ball skills to excel in man coverage, as well as the toughness and technique to support in the run game. His confidence is his best trait, and one that every top corner must possess at the next level.”

Negative quote: None.

The Ringer (Danny Kelly)

Grade: A-

Positive quote:

The former Buckeye brings a scintillating blend of foot quickness, explosive speed, agility, and all-around playmaking talent. He’s got good size, is physical in press coverage, mirrors easily in man-to-man looks, and is measured and methodical in half-turn coverage.”

Negative quote:

“I’ve got to ding the Lions slightly for failing to secure a workable trade-back option (especially since they likely would’ve had a shot to land Okudah a few picks later), but it’s tough to fault them for grabbing one of the best players in this draft.”

Sporting News (Vinnie Iyer)

Grade: A

Positive quote:

“Okudah is a technically sound ball hawk at 6-1, 205 pounds, allowing him to cover all receiving body types. He is fluid and quick enough with great recovery skills and is strong enough in press man coverage to develop into a shutdown cornerback.”

Negative quote: None

Pride of Detroit (Jeremy Reisman)

Grade: B+ A

After the news that Bob Quinn didn’t receive a single offer to trade down, I upped this grade from a B+ to a solid A.

As for y’all, 64 percent of you gave the Okudah pick an A.

And as an extra bonus, here’s the live reaction from our draft show on Twitch.