Jeff Okudah is officially a Lion.
In order to keep his job, Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia will need to get Matthew Stafford and company back into the playoffs sooner rather than later. He could do that by beefing up the defense, and that crusade started with the addition of cornerback Jeff Okudah.
Okudah could be a star for the Detroit Lions.
Okudah recorded 34 tackles, nine pass deflections and three interceptions during his final season in Columbus. He was named an All-American and finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, though he eventually lost out to Grant Delpit.
The 6-1. 205-pound corner was largely considered the best cornerback in the entire draft, with some calling him the top cornerback prospect since Jalen Ramsey came out of Florida State. With 4.48 speed, near-perfect technique, and a nose for the football, Okudah projects as a starting cornerback from his first day on the job. While Patricia was one of the two coaches at the Senior Bowl, an event Okudah did not attend, he was not swayed enough by any of the prospects in Mobile to consider passing on the star corner.
Okudah will likely need to be forced into action soon, as the Lions are fresh off trading cornerback Darius Slay to the Philadelphia Eagles. In Detroit’s base nickel defense, Okudah will likely start alongside former Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant, while Justin Coleman will serve as the slot corner.
Patricia knows that he’s on his last legs in Detroit, and the alleged defensive genius needs to start showing that he can replicate the success he had in New England. Drafting Okudah as a replacement for Slay is a great start, as the former Buckeye should be able to step right in on Day 1 and contribute.