Lions snag Okudah at No. 3

Justin Casterline / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Detroit Lions selected cornerback Jeff Okudah out of Ohio State in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, third overall.

Detroit was reportedly aggressively shopping its top selection but ultimately opted to keep it and bolster the secondary.

Okudah is an elite press-coverage cornerback who will fill one of Detroit's biggest needs following the trade of Darius Slay to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The 21-year-old was a unanimous All-American selection in 2019 after racking up three interceptions, nine pass defenses, and 34 tackles as a junior.

Okudah is the first defensive back selected in the top three since the Seattle Seahawks selected Shawn Springs, another Buckeye, at No. 3 in 1997, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

Prospect Profile

School: Ohio State
Height: 6-1
Weight: 205 lbs

Positives

  • Excellent size, length, and speed for his position
  • Great production in college with low completion rate allowed
  • Elite athleticism and burst
  • Quick feet at the line of scrimmage - changes direction effortlessly and is able to mirror any receiver
  • Good press defender with strong hands at the line
  • Explosive closing speed
  • Good ball skills while utilizing late hands to jar ball loose from receivers
  • Fluid hips and physicality to stick with receiver during entire route and excel in man coverage
  • Awareness to focus on pass-catcher's eyes and locate ball

Negatives

  • Below average run defender
  • Could improve ball tracking to avoid relying on length and closing burst
  • Can be overly physical downfield

Bottom Line

If you were to draw up a perfect cornerback prospect coming out of college, he'd look and play much like Okudah. The unanimous All-American possesses nearly every ideal coverage-defender trait that NFL teams covet, with size, length, production, athleticism, and ball skills just a few of them. The former Buckeye may not offer elite read-and-reaction skills to thrive in a zone, but he profiles as a high-end man-coverage corner who can lock down opponents' No. 1 target on the perimeter or in the slot. With so few true weaknesses in his game, expect Okudah to be an immediate-impact defender in the pros.

Comments
Lions snag Okudah at No. 3
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox