Our next prospect is arguably the best cornerback in this draft class and that is Jeff Okudah of Ohio State.
Jeff Okudah is one of the best cornerbacks I have ever seen coming out of college since maybe Jalen Ramsey. At 6”1, 200 ibs., he has the elite ability to play in just about any coverage. He is physical, athletic and has outstanding ball skills. Okudah had a career year with 28 tackles and 3 interceptions on the season. Because of his body frame, Okudah has very efficient tackling skills. He has gone up against some of the most elite talent in the country at the wide receiver position like Tee Higgins. He screams consistency and is going to be a franchise player for years to come. He has all the talent in the world to be an All-Pro caliber player.
Jeff Okudah has almost the perfect size to play cornerback in the NFL. I know that some NFL GM’s want their CB’s to be around 5’11, but I think Okudah, who stands at 6’1, has a tremendous advantage due to his athleticism pairing with his height. After watching some film of Okudah it is clear that he is a solid tackler. He is a guy who brings a lot to the table.
Jeff Okudah is by far the best CB in this draft. He’s tall at 6’1 for his position and also has long arms. Those traits help him win jump balls versus anyone. Okudah also breaks the typical corner mold with his tackling ability. He is more inclined to form tackle ball carriers, rather than throwing his body at their legs like most others at his position. Finally, he’s going to bring a swagger to his new defense. Ohio State’s defense looked much different when he was off the field in the first half of the Big Ten Championship game to when he was on it.
Ohio St. has been a factory for elite cornerback prospects and Jeff Okudah is no exception. He is the best defensive back prospect in this year’s draft because he has smooth quickness which makes him great in man-coverage. He’s also physical and tough giving opposing receivers a challenge for the entire game as he rarely loses his guy. He’s always there to challenge and disrupt. Lastly, Okudah is a great tackler and aggressive closer. This is especially apparent when he tackles ball-carriers in the open field off screens. He hits hard, on point, and rarely misses.
The jury is still out on who is the second best defensive prospect in this year’s draft, Chase Young is the obvious number one prospect. Jeffery Okudah is certainly one of the best on the defensive side of the ball, and could legitimately be the second best defensive prospect this year. Coming from Ohio State, which has quickly become a Cornerback U, Okudah has the size that NFL GM’s want in DB’s today. He’s 6’1 200 lbs. Okudah has the height but also has the strength to keep up with some of the most physical receivers in the league. His overall athleticism is out of this world; quick feet, fast hips, great acceleration. His coverage skills are fantastic too, especially in man coverage. Okudah is no doubt the best CB in the draft and has the potential to be one of the best in the game.
The one minor flaw to Jeff Okudah is that he will at times let his technique get in the way of him. His technique is efficient, but there is room for improvement in certain areas. There are times when he will lose the battle to wideouts who have a complex route tree. This causes Okudah to fail to swing his hips open and anticipate on their routes efficiently.
In all seriousness, what I have seen from Jeff Okudah, at least in his weaknesses, can be fixed in the NFL. I really believe that with his coaching, he would be able to fix some rather lackluster details about his performance. From what I have seen, he has had trouble adjusting on certain plays and when breaking down to make a tackle. Those can all be fixed with some experience and coaching at the professional level.
Jeff Okudah doesn’t have major weaknesses. He does however have some minor flaws. He can lose focus and get lost during plays. He’s also not a technician. He relies too heavily on his physical gifts in coverage at times. However, these flaws are nothing. In the NFL they will get fixed by an NFL coaching staff.
As an athlete, Okudah is very polished, but he is still raw in certain technique things. In coverage he could be more physical with his hands and press more. As a newcomer to the NFL, he would be classified as not trusting his own skillset and being reliant on his physical tools. I think once he gets a professional coaching staff behind him and in-game experience, he will find himself. It may take being thrown into the fire but every corner has to be burned to be good, and Okudah is not the exception.
If there is one thing you can knock Okudah for, it’s his sloppiness with his technique, which only comes out at times. He likes to rely solely on his athleticism. That will cost him big time when he goes up against the cream of the crop in the NFL.
Draft Projection: Where will the nation’s best cornerback land in the 2020 NFL Draft?
Jeff Okudah is arguably the best secondary prospect in this draft and one of the best overall prospects this year. I would not call it a lock that he will end up in Detroit with the third pick, but it makes a ton of sense. The Lions need another secondary playmaker and Okudah would be a perfect fit for them. Darius Slay has been in talks of being on the market as of lately. Even if they were to keep him, Detroit would still need another franchise defensive playmaker. Justin Coleman has shown sparks throughout the 2019 season, but Okudah would not only add more depth to their secondary, but he also provides All Pro talent for years to come.
If Jeff Okudah were to fall out of the top 3 due to trades, I think there could be a team that would trade up for him like the New York Jets, who need another defensive playmaker, especially since they could be losing Jamal Adams after the 2020 season. If Okudah falls out of the top 5, things will get very interesting.
Okudah is no doubt a first round talent. The big question for him is, where will he fall? The problem is that there is also a lot of first round talent out there. I believe that this is a deep draft and no team will pass on a useful cornerback. I’d say that Okudah gets drafted within the first two days of the draft, and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t have the opportunity to walk across that stage and shake Roger Goodell’s hand on day one.
Jeff Okudah has top-10 level talent. He could go as early as three to the Detroit Lions. However, there is a chance a guy like Okudah tumbles out of the top-10 if there is a run on QBs early. No matter where he goes, expect him to make an instant impact. He is a day 1 starter who will eventually morph into a top CB in the league.
Okudah is a top defensive prospect in this year’s draft with serious pro-bowl potential. Expect him to go in the late top-ten to twelve area as teams like Jacksonville, The Jets and Carolina need a potentially elite secondary guy. He reminds me of Jalen Ramsey a lot, so he has the potential to turn around a defense, much like Ramsey did in Jacksonville a couple years ago.
Okudah is going early in round one, likely top 5. With the recent reports of Darius Slay being shopped around, Detroit has become an ideal fit for Okudah at 3rd overall. Coach Matt Patricia could use a young DB to help bolster a Detroit defense that is starting to put some pieces in place. Okudah could also land in New York or Miami if Detroit goes elsewhere with the third overall pick.