5 players Detroit Lions should have drafted instead of Jeff Okudah

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 13: Jeff Okudah #1 of the Detroit Lions celebrates a interception against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 13, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 13: Jeff Okudah #1 of the Detroit Lions celebrates a interception against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 13, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports /

1. WR Justin Jefferson

Obvious, and true. Jefferson has set the league on fire over three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, giving the Lions an up-close look at what they could’ve had twice a season. The Lions are obviously not the only team who regrets passing on him now. There’s documentation from the remote settings of the 2020 draft how thrilled the Vikings were that he was still there for them at No. 22 overall.

Imagine Jefferson paired with Amon-Ra St. Brown the last couple seasons. Would the Lions have traded up to take Jameson Williams in the 2022 draft if they already had Jefferson? Maybe, and as Williams moves toward being fully healthy in his second season the Lions would have a wide receiver trio that’d be hard to match in the league.

Drafting Okudah third overall has now officially become another tally on the long list of mistakes and miscalculations the “Quinntricia” regime made in Detroit. Any of these five guys would have been better, some markedly so with the benefit of hindsight. But urgent need at cornerback, after trading Darius Slay to the Eagles, drove the choice of Okudah and closed off an already blind general manager and head coach to the idea of taking anyone else.

6 free agent defensive tackles the Detroit Lions should have on their radar. light. More