Detroit Lions NFL Draft: Jeff Okudah the perfect pick

(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Whether we like it or not, Detroit Lions General Manager (GM) Bob Quinn got the pick correct last night as the organization drafted corner Jeff Okudah from Ohio State.

The Detroit Lions defense had been atrocious, ranking 31st in the NFL last season.  The team needed a replacement for All-Pro Darius Slay, who talked his way out of town.  The Lions signed former Pro-Bowler Desmond Trufant, who will replace Rashaan Melvin, leaving Jeff Okudah to work as the teams’ top corner on the left side of the defense.

Shut down corners shouldn’t be taken for granted, and that’s precisely what Okudah is.  He’s a guy who will trot out to the left side of the defense, and you might as well just turn the lights off on that side of the field.

Okudah excels in press-man coverage, and he won’t need any safety help over the top.  That in itself is a luxury to have from a corner.  This will allow Matt Patricia to roll safety help to Trufant’s side, immediately improving the defense.

More from Detroit Lions

I don’t expect Okudah to walk in and be a better option than Slay on day one, but I’d expect him to grow into an All-Pro corner within his first three years, he’s that good.  He’s a much more physical corner than Slay at 6-foot-one, 205-pounds  and will match up nicely against the big NFL outside receivers.  In particular, Green Bay’s Davante Adams; that will be a fantastic NFC North match-up to track in the years to come.

Okudah displays a quiet back peddle, smooth shifty hips, and plenty of raw athleticism.  The thing I like the most is his willingness to tackle; not all corners are willing to stick their nose into the backfield and make a play on a running back.

Leading up to the draft, there was much speculation about the Detroit Lions trading down. Apparently, the Jaguars who held the ninth and 20th picks in the draft had an interest in moving up to three.  Nothing materialized, as the (trade) well ran dry, Quinn needed to make a choice, and I’d say he made the right choice with Okudah.

Reports yesterday indicated that head coach Matt Patricia wanted to hitch his cart to Derrick Brown, but Quinn preferred Okudah.  Isaiah Simmons was also an intriguing possibility along with Tua Tagovailoa, Detroit decided to go in a different direction.  Okudah is the highest selected corner since Shawn Springs way back in 1997.

Okudah was rarely targeted last season with Ohio State and still recorded three interceptions, to go with his nine passes defended and 34 tackles.

A complete seven-round mock draft. light. Trending

The Detroit Lions were the worst in football at defending the pass last season, much of that is due to an abysmal pass-rush, with Chase Young selected a pick ahead of Detroit it ruled out an edge rusher (they can address in round two)  leaving the safe pick in Okudah.