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2019 NFL Draft Profiles: Jeff Okudah

As Week 17 approaches, the Giants season is coming to a close. No matter a loss or win to the Eagles the Giants will be placed firmly in the top 5 selections of the 2020 NFL Draft. While there are missing pieces offensively adding to a defensive unit that already has young, developing talent could be exponentially beneficial, especially to a secondary that could use improvement and that’s an understatement. That brings us to Ohio State corner back Jeff Okudah, who is regarded as one of the best defensive backs in the class, lets’ take a look at why and what he would add to Big Blue.

Jeff Okudah’s physical traits such as speed and agility are solid but are not what stand out on film. Things like discipline and instincts are elite already for the young corner. In the Rose Bowl last year, for example, those instincts are on display along with great field/football IQ. As a defensive back, it is imperative to follow the quarterback’s actions and Okudah excels at this, he has a great eye for the ball and an even better pursuit. Lastly, Okudah is great in standard man-to-man coverage and will use speed and angles to stay with his assignment. As for downside to his game, he lacks the same refined skills in press coverage and can beat easily by a receivers’ release off the line. This is especially noticeable in this years’ game against Michigan where Okudah would consistently get fooled by a receiver’s first move, most commonly a right or left step into a vertical route. But when challenged with an inside pattern Okudah shines due to that ball-hawk mentality, whether he’s closing in or is already blanketed on the receiver.

Overall, Jeffrey Okudah is a very refined prospect with a lot of tangibles and intangibles that will lead him to a solid NFL career. If he can clean up some of the technique near the line and streamline his footwork he has the tools and physical gifts, yes I said gifts, to be a top corner-back in the league at some point in his career akin to a player such as Patriots corner-back Stephon Gilmore, who share similarities in play style with him as well. It is safe to say if the Giants can stash him with their first round selection it will be a worthy investment in terms of both immediate impact and long term success.

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2019 NFL Draft Profiles: Jeff Okudah

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