Detroit Lions: Jeff Okudah enters 2022 with a chip on his shoulder

David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports
David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports /

One of the biggest things to keep an eye on as the Detroit Lions offseason continues is updates from Jeff Okudah. Though his health should be ready to go by the time training camp kicks off, the way he handles himself and addresses media is something to watch.

After two seasons passing since the Detroit Lions selected the Ohio State product, Okudah has yet to really get things going. He was the third overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, which was to the chagrin of some fans.

Entering his third year in the NFL, Okudah is trying to prove himself still. He will come into the 2022 season not only aiming to show that he is healthy but also looking to be the lockdown cornerback that the Lions were hoping to get out of him.

A depth chart with Amani Oruwariye lined up on the outside on one side and Okudah on the other looks exciting on paper. But, Okudah’s performance has not lived up to what the Lions expected. Not to mention, Okudah tearing his Achilles after the first game of the 2021 season puts a damper on things.

Detroit Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah has to prove himself in 2022.

Okudah logged nine games after injuries derailed him from completing an entire season in his rookie campaign. He only played in nine contests with nagging hamstring, groin, and shoulder injuries that plagued his 2020 season.

Throughout the 2020 season, Okudah had an interception, two passes defender, 41 tackles, and four tackles for loss. According to some of the other metrics, Okudah allowed a 77.4% completion percentage against him when he was targeted by opposing quarterbacks.

Opposing quarterbacks converted two touchdowns on Okudah as well. Granted, this is all from 2020’s NFL season since last season was ended after just one game. The moral of the story here is that there is much room for Okudah to improve his game.

He’s going to enter the year with a chip on his shoulder, looking to really try and be the player that the Lions have hoped for. Okudah has carried himself well thus far, taking the doubters with a grain of salt.

It’s not crazy to think that he can be that player the Lions drafted him to be, but things have to improve and change in 2022. Okudah has the opportunity to change the narrative; it’s just going to be up to him to do so.

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As the 2022 offseason continues and training camp comes up, he will be someone to keep an eye on. Many have noted Okudah as a storyline to keep an eye on, and with the need for improvement and him returning from injury, it makes sense.