As rookie class rankings pour in with the 2020 season in the books, it’s no secret third overall pick Jeff Okudah is catching his share of the flack.
It was a tough season for the first-round 2020 NFL Draft pick in his first year with the Detroit Lions. Selected so high, he was expected to immediately contribute, and Darius Slay’s departure certainly added to that.
Jeff Okudah was on the field for 400 coverage snaps in 2019— PFF (@PFF) March 3, 2020
He allowed just 284 yards on 27 receptions pic.twitter.com/yE9p3yI9jC
Okudah’s inconsistent play coupled with injuries that limited him to just nine games has drawn criticism from many. In those nine games, Okudah tallied up 47 tackles, four tackles for loss, but just two defended passes and one interception.
New defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn is telling the young corner to forget all that. Forget the expectations. Forget living up that No. 3 pick. Focus on being your best, reports Detroit Lions senior writer Tim Twentyman.
“Don’t try to live up to be the third pick in the draft. We don’t need you to do that. We just need you to be the best Okudah you can be, and that’ll be good enough for us,” Glenn told Twentyman.
Those words may be exactly what Okudah needs to hear to turn things around in 2021. After all, Glenn has experience with this type of situation—having taken a mediocre New Orleans Saints secondary and revamping it to one of the top performing units this season.
And onto the rest of your notes.
- Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press examines Kenny Golladay’s worth versus where the Lions are at now — “I don’t doubt for one second that Golladay, who turns 28 this fall, will return to form as one of the NFL’s premier playmakers once he is back on the field. But the reality of the Lions’ situation has changed.”
- The Lions released their latest Black History in Two Minutes or So segment:
- Detroitlions.com columnist Mike O’Hara offers a second mock draft in which the Lions stay put at No. 7.
- Many enjoyed Matthew Stafford for his powerful arm. Lions Wire’s Jeff Risdon compares Stafford to Jared Goff as deep-ball passers.
- Probably your top note of the day - new Pride of Detroit managing editor Erik Schlitt weighs in on whether or not he likes Toto:
I do— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) February 22, 2021
So, good news there. Happy Monday.