The Detroit Lions got their man yesterday, taking Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Jeff Okudah with the number three overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft.
We put out our grade of the important selection shortly after it was made official, and as always, media pundits from multiple sources have also chimed in to share their thoughts.
Check out some of the top reactions:
– Mike Tanier, Bleacher Report: Okudah has quicker feet than most of the receivers he covers, so he can match their footwork off the line. Not only does he not “lose speed in transition” (he doesn’t slow down when turning his hips and torso to chase his receiver), but it looks as if he actually gains speed. Receivers who appear to have a step on him when making their cut mysteriously lose that step almost immediately. Okudah is also exceptionally fast and has long arms to break up plays. Okudah completes a comprehensive overhaul of the Lions secondary: He joins fellow newcomers Desmond Trufant and Duron Harmon on the back end, with Darius Slay now in Philadelphia. It’s an upgrade — albeit an overcomplicated one full of moving parts, burnt resources and hurt feelings — of a unit that was pretty good in the first place. Grade: B+
– Max Gerber, Lions Wire The Lions saw their guy and grabbed him. With his job on the line, Quinn secured a young player who will be an instant contributor on this struggling defense. The Lions played it safe and still got their guy. It can’t get much better than that. Grade: A+
– Chad Reuter, NFL.com: The Lions traded Darius Slay this offseason, leaving them in desperate need of a No. 1 corner. Okudah’s the type of big, strong, athletic corner that teams desire on the outside. Matt Patricia coached reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore in New England, and I’m sure he sees the potential for Odukah to make a similar impact. Grade: A
– Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: I think they should have taken Derrick Brown. When in doubt, take the big guy. I don’t think you can pass on big people that play like Derrick Brown. Grade: B
– Michael Rothstein, ESPN: Though the Lions signed CB Desmond Trufant in free agency and feel good about the long-term prospects of Amani Oruwariye, Okudah has the potential to be a shutdown corner sooner than later. He can be a man-press corner, which fits coach Matt Patricia’s defense. He also has good speed (4.48 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the scouting combine, 12th among all corners) and closing ability to stay with almost any receiver. He’s as ready to play right away as any corner in the draft, and at a position where rookies usually struggle. (no grade)
– Bill Bender, Sporting News: Okudah is a technically sound ball hawk at 6-1, 205 pounds, allowing him to cover all receiving body types. He is fluid and quick enough with great recovery skills and is strong enough in press-man coverage to develop into a shutdown cornerback. (no grade)
– Andy Benoit, Bleacher Report: No team played more man coverage than the Lions last season, which is a philosophy that head coach Matt Patricia brought over from New England. In that same vein, Patricia also puts a huge emphasis on matchups, having specific corners travel almost everywhere with specific receivers week after week. You must have a true No. 1 corner to consistently do this. Grade: B+
– Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: The Lions traded Darius Slay and acquired Desmond Trufant, but they needed a young stud corner to fortify the back end of Matt Patricia’s defense. … He is fluid and quick enough with great recovery skills and is strong enough in press man coverage to develop into a shutdown cornerback. Grade: A