Embed from Getty Images With the third pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft the Detroit Lions took a player who many experts tabbed, Jeffery Okudah. The Ohio State product Okudah is said to be the best defensive back prospect this century.
When a defensive player who is gifted is there for the taking, you take. That is exactly what Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn did. Quinn did not over-think the pick, it was too easy. So what are the Lions getting in their prized first round pick? Let’s take a look.
With any defensive back feet and hips are critical. Jeffery Okudah has some ungodly feet. Okudah is smooth in his pedal and shuffle outside of his frame while retaining excellent balance and maintaining a base to recover and change direction depending on the angle of the play.
Man to man or zone, Okudah plays them both very well. Okudah disrupts route timing and anticipates route breaks very well. Okudak improved on baiting quarterbacks into throws in 2019-20.
Extremely relaxed at the line of scrimmage with the ability to mirror wide receivers release, Okudah is also aggressive and generates displacement without losing balance.
What sets Jeffery Okudah apart from the rest of the players in his field is his ball skills. Explosive with leaping ability with good length and timing to address the ball at the high point. Blessed with a good feel for route distribution and drop sequencing.
Okudah excels in dropping from off coverage and zone alignments and has a clear understanding how route spacing overlaps zone coverage to take away the quarterback first read.
While at Ohio State Okudah was never out of position. He never failed to recover and attack back to the ball. Flexibility, foot work, and near flawless balance are all at an elite level for Okudah. His perfect hip placement made Okudah a top five draft prospect.
Jeffery Okudah is not the best tackling cornerback. That is okay. He is a shutdown corner who has not been put in position to make many tackles. That is what the Detroit Lions expect him to do at the next level. Shut down the man lined up across from him.