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 Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

Okudah’s fit with the Detroit Lions

How does Okudah fit? From this perspective, Okudah is a good pick. He is what we call “Quinn-approved“, meaning he fits or exceeds the athletic profile for his position.

Okudah has lined up in press-man coverage for his time in college, which is what he will be asked to do in the Honolulu Blue. He’s a physical, fluid, athlete whose only weakness is not having elite straight-line speed. Okudah can tackle and has near the ideal size for the position.

Okudah is 6-foot-1, 205-pounds, and has good speed having run a 4.48-second 40-yard dash. He also has long arms, has a vertical jump of 41-inches, and broad jumped 11 feet, 3-inches.  Again, all elite numbers other than the sprint which is still good. His lateral agility is evident in his ability to mirror wide receivers and break on the football, too.

That makes him the new CB1 in town although depending on the opponent, we could see him manning up a bigger receiver while newly acquired veteran Desmond Trufant may take a smaller, more agile pass-catcher. Also, a second-year player and a fifth-round pick, Amani Oruwariye, will get a chance to earn more reps in 2020, as well.

Justin Coleman, the normal slot receiver cover man will also line up on outside receivers from time-to-time, rounding out the improved options that the Lions secondary will boast this year. Coleman will most likely be able to concentrate on locking down those slot players, though, as a result of better talent being infused through the draft.

Head coach Matt Patricia’s defense can plug-in from five to six defensive backs at a time.  The Detroit Lions defense plays a majority of plays from a nickel defense, or five defensive backs (thus the nickel reference), three defensive linemen, and three linebackers.

Draft implications

Lastly, how might this pick affect the other six rounds? With a cornerback in the fold, the Detroit Lions draft can focus on fixing the rest of the defense or finding the line talent to improve the protection for Matthew Stafford. Five names to watch in Round-Two are offensive tackles Josh Jones and Ezra Cleveland, edge rusher Yetur Gross-Matos, safety Xavier McKinney, and cornerback Kristian Fulton.

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Although they may not draft another cornerback, Fulton offers great value for a second-round pick and that could change the landscape of the Detroit Lions’ next pick, number 35. Our favorites of that group would be Gross-Matos and Cleveland, who fit the Quinn-approved measures for their positions and big needs on the roster while offering value.