Analyst Has Big Prediction for Lions CB Jeff Okudah’s 5th Year Option

Jeff Okudah

Getty Jeff Okudah celebrates a play against Philadelphia in 2022.

The Detroit Lions have already made some big decisions for their future this offseason, and there are a few left to come.

While some might be thinking of the NFL draft in that vein, the team also has to make a decision about what to do with cornerback Jeff Okudah. Once the third-overall pick in the 2020 draft, time is ticking on the team deciding about a fifth-year option for the player.

Will the Lions give Okudah the nod? A decision isn’t due until May 1, 2023, but already, some are choosing to speculate about what the team might do.

Pro Football Focus and writer Brad Spielberger attempted to make the call for every team as it relates to options on their player. As it relates to Okudah, Spielberger’s prediction was the team will decline the option, which would pay Okudah $11,514,000.

“Okudah has battled injuries throughout his first three NFL seasons, including serious ligament tears, and it’s not perfectly clear where he is in the Lions’ long-term plans after they signed cornerbacks Cameron Sutton and Emmanuel Moseley in free agency. To Okudah’s credit, he logged nearly 800 snaps in 2022, but the Lions’ defense also ranked 29th in expected points allowed per dropback on the season,” Spielberger wrote in the piece.

Okudah had bright spots as well as low moments last season, which helped put him in this situation. He may or may not be a part of Detroit’s long-term plans, especially given the fact that the team signed multiple cornerbacks including their own this offseason.

Detroit has time to mull over the decision, and could theoretically take it through the 2023 draft without making a call. If the team loads up on defensive backs there, Okudah’s future could be firmly in the air with the team.

Brad Holmes Addresses Decision With Jeff Okudah

Where do the Lions themselves stand on the decision with Okudah’s option? Nowhere firmly, at least in relation to what their general manager is willing to divulge.

Speaking to the media on Monday, March 27, Brad Holmes was asked in a wide-ranging interview about his impending decision with Okudah. As he explained, the team is weighing things out, and will provide an update soon.

In spite of that, Holmes was quick to point out that Okudah was learning on the job during the 2022 season, something which may have contributed to all of his ups and downs on the field.

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“We’ll update you as soon as we make that that choice on the fifth-year option. I talked to you guys about Jeff at the end of the season. The unique thing about him is that he’s still growing and he’s still learning as a player even with all the years that he’s been in the league already. It’s still been very minimal play time,” Holmes said. “I told you that last year, he was basically a rookie in terms of a playing time, so he’s still got a lot of ability. But when the the official decision is made on the fifth-year option, we’ll make sure you guys are first to know.”

That’s pretty much a non-answer answer on a vital player in Okudah, but Holmes’ words makes it seem as if things could go either way with the cornerback. It’s true Okudah has had bad injury luck his first few seasons in the league, and essentially, 2022 was his rookie year.

Holmes hasn’t made up his mind with what to do yet, so it will be interesting to see when the call is made. After an offseason of major additions to the Detroit secondary, Okudah’s future feels far from certain.

Jeff Okudah Endured up and Down 2022 Season

For Okudah, the decision about the fifth-year option will be intriguing, relative to what the cornerback did accomplish for the team in 2022.

Early on, Okudah got off to a hot start and managed to lock down some of the top wideouts in the game as the season got going. He even posted a 15 tackle game against Dallas, showing

In terms of impact plays, Okudah turned one in as well when he collected an interception for a touchdown against the Chicago Bears on November 13, 2022. That play ended up helping Detroit pull out a 31-30 comeback win.

Jeff Okudah with a clutch pick six against the Bears | Week 10 HighlightsWatch the Lions highlights from our Week 10 win against the Chicago Bears. Up next: #DETvsNYG on FOX Subscribe to the Lions YT Channel: #DetroitLions #Lions #NFL Keep up-to-date on all things Lions: Visit Follow: Follow: Like:

Okudah would finish with 73 tackles, one interception, one touchdown, seven passes defended and one forced fumble in 15 games played with 15 starts. Though he was benched at the end of the year, these were far and away the best numbers that Okudah has put up to this point.

Has he done enough to earn the option, though? That remains to be seen, but Pro Football Focus is betting the team will not be giving it to Okudah.

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