The Detroit Lions were unable to trade the third overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, so they added Ohio State’s elite cornerback Jeffrey Okudah.
The first two picks of the 2020 NFL Draft went as expected with LSU’s Joe Burrow going to the Cincinnati Bengals and OSU’s Chase Young heading to the Washington Redskins. With the third pick in the draft, despite many trade rumors the entire offseason, the Detroit Lions decided to stay put at three overall and draft Ohio State’s shutdown cornerback, Jeffrey Okudah.
Most people around the nation expected this to be the pick, but a late surge was made by Auburn’s Derrick Brown. Ultimately, the Lions took the best cornerback in the draft, one who should be able to start right away opposite Desmond Trufant.
Okudah comes to Detroit joining a cornerback room made up of Trufant, Amani Oruwariye, Justin Coleman, Jamal Agnew, and Mike Ford, among others. Okudah should immediately start for the Detroit defense, taking over as CB2 on the team. But it won’t be long before he becomes CB1.
Okudah brings everything you want to the field from a cornerback. He’s long, he’s fast, and he can stick to the hip of any receiver you put in front of him. He uses his athleticism and agility to easily change directions with receivers, giving little to no separation up in the process.
He is more than a physical specimen though. Okudah is one of the smartest players in the 2020 NFL Draft and spends a lot of time viewing the film and studying his opponents. That preparation shows up on tape, as he is rarely (if ever) out of position on any given play.
His mind is sharp and he is tremendous at reading the quarterback’s eyes and determining the true route of his opposition. He hardly ever gets beat, but when he does his ability to react and recover quickly often salvages what might be a loss for any other player.
Okudah is a great talent and will start from day one. He will be a Pro-Bowl caliber player right away and will find himself in discussions as one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL sooner rather than later. It’s a great pick by the Detroit Lions.