The Detroit Lions need to replace All-Pro cornerback Darius Slay after trading him to the Philadelphia Eagles. Selecting Jeffrey Okudah seems like a no-brainer with the fifth overall pick. He’s a plug and play corner, the second-best defensive player in the draft aside from his college teammate defensive end Chase Young.
Recently Bob Quinn signed former pro-bowl corner Desmond Trufant to a two-year $20-million deal. The former first-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons is still just 29-years old. At one time, an exceptional number one corner but is better served as a teams’ second corner these days. For those who expect Trufant to replace Slay and play as the team’s left corner, I think you are overhauling him at this point in his career. He will be a tremendous upgrade to Rashaan Melvin at the right corner position next season.
Okudah is that good; he will step right in and be the Detroit Lions top cover corner. The junior classman plays at 6’1 with plenty of length. He is everything you’d expect an outside corner to be. He will be able to match up wonderfully against the likes of Davante Adams and Adam Thielen in the NFC North.
Jeff excels in man coverage, something Matt Patricia expects of his cornerbacks. Slay was a player that could cover the opposition’s top receiver without any safety help over the top, expect the same with Okudah from day one. It’s a luxury to have a cover corner of that caliber; it will allow Duron Harmon to roll to Trufant’s side of the field, providing help often.
Okudah has tremendous footwork, which he put on display at the NFL combine. He also runs a 4.48 40-yard dash. He produced an impressive 41.0 broad jump to go along with a 135.0 verticle leap.
Okudah led the Ohio State Buckeyes with nine passes defended and three interceptions in 2019 starting in all 14 games. That after not starting a single game in 2018 as a sophomore. The Buckeyes are becoming a cornerback factory having sent ten cornerbacks to the NFL drafted in the first round over the last 20 years, which is double any other school over that span. He’s a nearly perfect pick and a great addition.