The Detroit Lions selected cornerback Jeff Okudah with the 3rd overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, but it wasn’t the most ideal rookie campaign for the former Ohio State Buckeye.
He dealt with his fair share of criticism for his on-field performance compared to where he was selected in the draft, and directly addressed that criticism and whether or not he’s feeling pressure on himself during a media Zoom session this afternoon.
“Not really. I really don’t feel pressure,” he said. “?It’s not about putting pressure on myself, it’s about coming in every day with the mindset to get better.”
Of course, Okudah’s season ended early thanks to a nagging groin injury that ultimately required surgery to correct the problem. He gave a positive update regarding his health:
“I’m feeling great, trending towards 100%. It’s a testament to the training staff the Detroit Lions have,” he said.
“It feels like I have a different level that I wasn’t able to tap into last year, but this year, not having that pain in my groin anymore, it’s a different level.”
Of course, the Lions will have a new look coaching staff heading into the 2021 season. Among the new faces on Dan Campbell’s staff include defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn (who coached Okudah in High School) and defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant. For Okudah, he’s already noticing a major difference.
“Within the first couple of meetings, I was just picking up so much things that I thought to myself, ‘It just would have been nice to have these tools in my toolbox in my rookie year,” he explained.
We’re certainly hopeful that Okudah and the Lions will be able to enjoy better days ahead.
– – Quotes via Detroit Lions Link – –