When a team selects a player within the top 5 of the NFL Draft, the fit had better be seamless or a bust could be coming in the near future.
The good news for the Detroit Lions is the fit of their top pick in 2020 looks very seamless on the outside. According to Mike Clay of ESPN, the Lions found a player who fits their scheme in a big way in Jeff Okudah, the cornerback from Ohio State. In a piece looking at the best fits of the draft, Okudah was cited as one of the best by Clay.
Here’s a look at some of why he believes that to be the case:
“With high-end coverage traits — footwork, hips, short-area speed — Okudah is a natural fit in Detroit’s man-heavy scheme. Last season, Matt Patricia’s Lions defense played man-to-man coverage on 65.9% of opposing quarterbacks’ dropbacks, the second-most in the NFL behind the New England Patriots.
Line up and challenge receivers. That’s the drill for Patricia’s team. And Okudah will do that. After adding veteran Desmond Trufant in free agency, Detroit now has two scheme-specific coverage corners with the twitch and transition speed to drive on the ball.”
As part of this writeup, Clay offered a prediction on what Okudah’s rookie year could look like. He projected 67 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble for the rookie in his first season. Obviously, that would be decent numbers for a rookie season at cornerback.
Obviously, the Lions can only hope they get such a performance from their young defender.
Former NFL Player Emmanuel Acho Loves Jeff Okudah’s Fit With Lions
According to ESPN analyst Emmanuel Acho, Okudah is a player who is a generational talent at cornerback coming into the league for the Detroit Lions. In the aftermath of the Lions picking up Okudah with the No. 3 pick in the draft, Acho said that Okudah plays incredibly smart on the field, and showed a great example of why.
As Acho shows, Okudah makes an intelligent play in a game where he is able to break off a route, fall backwards and still make an interception. Additionally, Acho displays Okudah’s toughness in coverage, and his ability to stand up to the best wide receiver on the other team physically.
“He’s a generational talent. Elite ball skills, elite press coverage. Jeff Okudah is a dog,” Acho says in conclusion of the clip.
Across the board, plenty of folks have this opinion about Okudah, and it will be fascinating to see how his NFL career goes as a result. Many believe it could be a legendary one, and Okudah will be making an impact for a long time in the league.
Jeff Okudah Excited Joining Lions
After being selected, Okudah showed off a new virtual trading card from Panini, but also shared his excitement to be coming to the Lions. He even flashed the One Pride rally cry, as well as giving a “Go Lions” to the fans.
Okudah also said he is ready to be in the mix, and no words can describe his excitement to join the team.
Obviously, Okudah will have a bit of ground to make up with several fans in Michigan considering his Ohio State roots given his team has beaten up Michigan and Michigan State the last few seasons, but with a solid enough performance in the secondary, everyone will be able to overlook that.
Okudah also spoke humbly after being picked by the team about his ability to fit in and assimilate with the team.
It will be fun to see how Okudah adjusts to being a top dog on the Detroit defense, but it’s clear that he’s ready to fit in and make an impact for the team from a mental standpoint.
Eventually, he might be that cornerstone player and make a quick impact for the team.