Detroit Lions Jeff Okudah tagged a bust by The Athletic
Given where he was drafted, the likelihood that cornerback Jeff Okudah would live up to the billing was already going to be a daunting task.
Simply, many NFL teams don’t draft defensive backs with the No. 3 overall pick.
Unfortunately, after two injury-plagued seasons in the NFL, many pundits don’t see the 23-year-old rebounding to significantly help the Lions defense.
In a recent story revisiting the 2020 NFL Draft, writer Diante Lee gives a somber take on the Lions’ pick.
“The sample size for Okudah is smaller than most defenders selected in the first round of the 2020 draft – only two of the 14 have played fewer snaps – but evaluating Okudah’s on-court play makes it difficult the classification of old Ohio. Describe Buckeye as anything but a puff,” Lee wrote. “Regarded as a comfortable locking corner to play in press coverage, Okudah allowed a 71% completion rate on 56 covered targets, giving up 665 yards and two touchdowns in just 10 games played.”
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After recovering all of last season from a torn Achilles injury, Okudah is working to return to the field for his third season in the NFL.
With several hurdles behind him, Detroit’s coaching staff must find every way possible to bring out the traits many have observed on his college strip.
Lee continues, “Okudah did not enter the league with any obvious physical or athletic deficiencies – in fact, his arm length and explosiveness (wide and vertical jumps) scores were well above average at his But Okudah has struggled to maintain leverage and body positioning against NFL receivers and hasn’t made up for small technical shortcomings with ball production.
“To start justifying his place in the draft, Okudah is going to have to return to a level of play he hasn’t reached since college, and the rise is exacerbated by his injury.”