The 2020 NFL Draft is here!
The speculation is finally over!
And Jeff Okudah is heading to Detroit Lions.
After weeks of mixed signals from the organization, the Lions took Okudah with their third overall pick. Okudah, 21, is the top cornerback prospect in this year’s draft. Rightfully so, as the former Ohio State Buckeye had two impressive seasons to end his college career.
Last season at Ohio State, he tallied 29 tackles, nine pass deflections, three interceptions, and a pair of forced fumbles. This led to Okudah earning unanimous All-American honors, in addition to first-team All-Big Ten honors.
Okudah coming to Detroit shouldn’t come as a shock.
Especially after the Lions sent Darius Slay to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Last month, the Lions traded their former Pro Bowl corner for a third-round and fifth-round pick. Because of this, Okudah will have big shoes to fill. It’s safe to surmise he’ll play opposite the newly signed Desmond Trufant. Trufant, 29, inked a two-year deal with Detroit last month before they dealt Slay.
Before drafting Okudah, several scenarios were on the table for the Lions at number three. One scenario involved the Lions swapping spots with the Miami Dolphins, then moving back to number five to draft Okudah. Under this scenario, the Lions would have been able to acquire more capital throughout the later rounds of the draft.
Ultimately, the Lions decided on Okudah being their guy, which may not come as a shock to some. Lions general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia are on the hot seat. Picking Okudah is a sign that the Lions are focusing on one thing; immediate improvement to their defense.
And it’s possible he can provide that.
Standing just above six feet, and clocking 4.48 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the combine, Okudah has a unique combination of height, length, and speed at his position. These attributes will aide him against elite wide receivers in the NFL.
Let’s not forget one thing. The Lions play the Arizona Cardinals and the Atlanta Falcons this season. Which means Deandre Hopkins and Julio Jones. The Lions will also face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season as well. And that means Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski (Gronk) will be there too as huge tests for Okudah also. There will be a series of big tests ahead for the young corner this season.
Fortunately for the Lions, they made a great selection taking Okudah.