Detroit Lions draft Jeff Okudah: First round reaction and grade

Jeff Okudah, Detroit Lions (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Jeff Okudah, Detroit Lions (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Jeff Okudah, Ohio State
Jeff Okudah, Ohio State (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Grading the draft pick

Grading any move is tough, ultimately it will take several years to properly judge this move against the teams who picked after or near them. CBS Sports writer, Pete Prisco, gave the move a “B.” We think that’s a bit stingy. While we don’t know if there were any real offers to trade down, most fans’ preference, we can say that it seems like a solid pick if you have to take a prospect at pick 3.

Our grade: B+

It’s solid and yet unspectacular, just like Bob Quinn. It mirrors his preferences and is exactly what we expected him to do, although, we would’ve liked to have traded down.

At pick three there just wasn’t a have-to-have player. Chase Young, who went to the Washington Redskins with pick number two, was the consensus best player but quarterback Joe Burrow still was selected first by the Cincinnati Bengals due to the importance of the position.

The draft picks after the Detroit Lions went also as scripted. Offensive tackle Andrew Thomas went at pick four to the New York Giants, pick five was quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to the Miami Dolphins, and the sixth pick was quarterback Justin Herbert who went to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Picks seven and eight really ended the group of top talent options. Pick seven was a defensive tackle, Derrick Brown to the Carolina Panthers, followed by linebacker-safety Isaiah Simmons to the Arizona Cardinals. Those were all of the names being thrown around prior to the draft, linked to the Detroit Lions.

Detroit Lions former player and game analyst, Chris Spielman made a point on the Lions pre-draft coverage that defensive linemen don’t play all game, they rotate due to size and stamina. That’s a valid reason to take a different position. The Lions obviously don’t believe that they need a new quarterback, at least not as a top priority.

Lastly, Simmons was a fan favorite but he didn’t fit an immediate need, like Okudah. The Lions also had the opportunity to draft an offensive lineman, where four were drafted in the ten picks following the Lions’ selection. That could’ve solidified the protection for their franchise quarterback and graded paths for any runner they put in the backfield.

The reason that the grade is not an “A” is that the value of cornerbacks has only been in the top-4 a handful of times in our lifetimes. In fact, only three have been selected above pick five in the last 25 years. Denzel Ward in 2018, Charles Woodson in 1998, and Shawn Springs in 1997 are the only members of that club, according to Pro Football Reference.

Ward hasn’t lived up to that pick, although he has been good for the Cleveland Browns. He’s the only one since 1998. So, the Detroit Lions paid a very premium price for a position that is difficult to find value at high in the draft, not to mention that they’re often done playing at a high level by the age of 28, too.