A look at the Detroit Lions secondary after Jeff Okudah’s selection

COLUMBUS, OH - AUGUST 31: Jeff Okudah #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes defends against the Florida Atlantic Owls at Ohio Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - AUGUST 31: Jeff Okudah #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes defends against the Florida Atlantic Owls at Ohio Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

With the Detroit Lions drafting cornerback Jeffrey Okudah last night, we take a look at how the position stacks up on the team’s depth chart.

After the Detroit Lions did what many expected and took Ohio State cornerback Jeffrey Okudah with the third overall selection in the NFL Draft, their secondary looks as strong as ever. Here is a quick preview on how the depth chart might appear at the position.

Cornerback 1: Desmond Trufant – Of course, Okudah will be ready to start this season in Detroit. Although, It’s unlikely they will throw him at opposing team’s best receivers, due to the fact that he should benefit from facing opponent’s second option at wide receiver.

Next season the Lions will face DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, Davante Adams, and Adam Thielen. That’s a tough slate for a rookie cornerback to take on. It’s safe to say Desmond Trufant will be facing this list of elite players.

Trufant played in nine games last season, totaling four interceptions and 26 tackles. Pro Football Focus also gave him a 70.3 overall grade. In September, Trufant will turn 30 years old, he should have a few more years of good football left.

Cornerback 2: Jeffrey Okudah – Despite being unable to trade down, Detroit made the right move in taking the best player available. It was reported they received no trade offers, so that might soften the blow for anyone who wanted to grab extra picks in the draft.

For now, Okudah is better off starting on the right side of the football field. Usually, rookie cornerbacks need a year of development or two before they become starters, but that will not be the case for Okudah.

The Lions new rookie has been called the best cornerback prospect since Jalen Ramsey. In Ramsey’s rookie year, he played all 16 games and intercepted two passes along with 65 made tackles. Expect something similar for Okudah’s rookie season.

Slot Cornerback: Justin Coleman – Another plus by selecting Okudah is that Justin Coleman will make a full-time move back to the slot cornerback position. Head Coach Matt Patricia experimented with Coleman playing both inside and outside. To put it bluntly, it wasn’t the best decision.

On 203 snaps as an outside cornerback, Coleman allowed 21 catches on 26 targets for a 80 completion percentage with a 147.2 NFL passer rating against. In the slot, he allowed 51 catches on 84 targets for a 60 percent completion rating with a 97.0 NFL passer rating against.

If the Lions want to be a better coverage team this season, it would be smart to have Coleman play primarily in the slot. No doubt, they are poised to have one of the top cornerback trios in the NFL.

Rotation: Amani Oruwariye – Matt Patricia is opting to have Amani Oruwariye develop for at least another season. Although, he’ll still play a decent amount of snaps. Oruwariye played well in his rookie year with two interceptions in only nine games played, that also only being in two starts.

Surely, in the future, we will see Okudah and Oruwariye become their starting cornerbacks. Detroit now has something they’ve hadn’t have in a while, good depth. If Trufant were to be injured, they would have someone who can come in and start, while at the same time not becoming a liability on defense.

Next. Lions 2020 NFL Draft: 3 late-round sleeper prospects. dark

The NFL draft continues with the second and third rounds at 7:00 pm EST on Friday night. Look for the Detroit Lions to try to address either the EDGE rusher, guard, defensive tackle, or wide receiver positions.