Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell aims to fix corner back Jeff Okudah

The Detroit Lions drafted defensive back Jeff Okudah with the third pick in last years NFL Draft. Okudah, started just six games and appeared in nine due to a hamstring injury that lingered throughout the season. When he was healthy, Okudah did not play well. At all. Enter new Lions head coach Dan Campbell who likes Okudah and believes his issues may all stem from a lack of confidence.

It needs to be stated that the NFL is typically rough on first year defensive backs. But Jeff Okudah had a rookie season to forget. Yet it seems that Okudah is a player the Detroit Lions are going to lean into during a massive rebuild.

Lacking confidence for any athlete is not good for player, coach’s, organizations and fan bases. Defensive backs already have a spotlight on them. They are all alone trying to cover the guy with world class speed across from them.

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 15: New Orleans Saints coach SECONDARY Aaron Glenn before an NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams on September 15, 2019, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA.(Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Defensive backs even the good one, even Hall of Famers, have been beaten more than once. The good ones figure it out. Defensive backs need to be thick-skinned. That sound easy, it is not.

Jeff  Okudah had 47 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss, one interception and four passes defended in 2020. One thing that should be mentioned, Okudah spent his rookie season in Detroit, a team that fired it’s head coach and front office after Thanksgiving.

Part of the issue I feel was former Lions head Matt Patricia’s defensive system. New Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn favors the Cover 1 with a little Cover 2 mixed in.

It is widely thought that Okudah is as good as advertised when the Detroit Lions drafted him. Dan Campbell said early this week he feels the players will be better because of the coach’s he has brought in. Confidence starts at the head and trickles down. It is good that Campbell is confident about his coaching staff.

LANDOVER, MD – NOVEMBER 24: Amani Oruwariye #24 of the Detroit Lions celebrates after intercepting a pass against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedExField on November 24, 2019 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Jeff Okudah and fellow defensive back Amani Oruwariye give the Lions two promising corner backs to build the secondary around. I look for Jeff Okudah to rebound under Aaron Glenn’s watch.

Detroit Lions Amani Oruwariye could have an expanded role

Embed from Getty Images The 2019 Detroit Lions defense struggled. The Detroit secondary which had it’s share of ups and downs, was the group largely to blame. With the departure of top cornerback Darius Slay, second year corner Amani Oruwariye could see more playing time.

Drafted in the fifth-round of last years draft, the Penn State product Oruwariye played in just nine games as a rookie. His production in those nine games gives the Lions some hope.

With a respectable 17 solo tackles with two interceptions Amani Oruwariye showed promise while playing in only 19% of the Detroit Lions defensive snaps.

The 2020 NFL draft is two weeks away and the Lions will look to improve the secondary. With that said Oruwariye may be Detroit general manager Bob Quinn’s best late-round draft picks.

Amani Oruwariye, has both very good speed and the the ultra important length, teams look for at the cornerback position. Entering only his second pro season Oruwariye has the making of a player who could push for CB2.

As well as he played Amani Oruwariye is still growing into his role. Oruwariye plays physical and improved his tackling. Something scouts wondered if he could before last years draft.

Oruwariye has been praised for his intense film study habits. Oruwariye who has to face Detroit Lions wide receivers Marvin Jones Jr. and Kenny Golladay in practice has said he believes facing them has helped in his game.

If the Detroit Lions draft a cornerback with the teams first round draft pick it would give the Lions a young athletic combo at DB. Something the team has struggled to do through their history.

Two young dynamic corners would give the rest of the Lions defense the flexibility to rush the quarterback and stop the run. This must be the path Bob Quinn takes. It would be a quick way to fix the defense.