The Detroit Lions are getting set to consider the offseason, and a big part of that involves scouting as well as the 2020 NFL Draft.
In that aspect, who is the top fit for the Lions early in the draft? Pro Football Focus took a look, and provided an answer. Writer Michael Renner explained that Jeffery Okudah is the top choice.
Here’s a look at why he sees that as the case:
“They need pass-rushing help, but the value won’t be there at No. 3 with Young gone. Pairing Okudah with Darius Slay could make Matt Patricia far more comfortable about ‘faking’ a pass-rush via blitz with how good a man-coverage duo that would be.”
Okudah is a solid player, and the Lions do have a big need in their defensive backfield. That could make this pairing a potential home run for the team this offseason.
Jeffrey Okudah Stats
Okudah could be the best player on the board when the Lions end up picking at No. 3. As also explained elsewhere, evaluators love his length and size. It could be a winning combination for a needy Detroit pass defense that has been exposed in a major way this season on the back end.
At Ohio State, Okudah has put up some excellent numbers in a short time. He’s collected 78 tackles, 3 interceptions, 16 passes defended and 2 fumble recoveries. Perhaps better than that for the Lions, he didn’t allow a completion over 50 yards this season.
That paints the portrait of a player who can be a potential lock down defender at the next level. Okudah has also been a popular selection in mock drafts for Detroit.
Lions Biggest 2020 NFL Draft Need is Defensive End
Detroit cannot pressure the quarterback meaningfully in 2019, something that has been painfully obvious for weeks and that is a glaring problem given what the team has done to add to the front in recent months and years. Part of the problem has been injury, but beyond Trey Flowers and Da’Shawn Hand, the Lions simply don’t have any young building blocks they can count on right now. The team has to find some form of consistency in the trenches, and that is why it’s a major need for them moving forward.
If the draft were held today, the Lions would have to target some type of defensive end or pass rush specialist highly, and Chase Young would be the top option if he were there. Without a few impact players here in 2020, it’s tough to imagine the Lions turning their defensive fortunes around.
In the event Young wasn’t on the board, the Lions would likely be content to grab Okudah. While defensive end is the biggest need on the team, cornerback isn’t far behind. Detroit’s backfield has been searching in vain for another top flight cornerback for some time, and Okudah could give them just the right mix at the spot.
Whether Okudah or Young, the Lions could score with a pair of Buckeyes in 2020. While many fans see Young as the ideal fit at a spot of need, many see what a good fit Okudah is as well.
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