Weight: 200 pounds
School: Ohio State Buckeyes
Jeffrey Okudah 2020 NFL Draft Profile
When you’re one of the top prospects in the nation regardless of position, there’s naturally a feeding frenzy among top college programs for your services. That certainly was the case with Jeffrey Okudah. Rivals.com rated the Grand Prairie, TX native as the best cornerback in the 2017 class. As a result, over 30 Power Five programs offered him a scholarship. In the end, he gave his pledge to Ohio State with less than a month until National Signing Day.
Okudah enrolled at school in January of 2017 which gave him the opportunity to participate in spring practices. That experience was beneficial as he played in every single game during his true freshman campaign which culminated with a dominant win over USC in the Cotton Bowl. A year later, he began truly showcasing his ability to disrupt the opposition’s passing attack when he totaled eight pass breakups which were second best on the team. Two occurred in OSU’s Rose Bowl win over another Pac-12 foe in Washington.
The following season would ultimately be his last in Columbus as he cemented his status as a top pro prospect. His nine pass breakups and three interceptions both led the team in 2019. It led to him earning both first-team All-Big Ten recognition as well as unanimous all-American honors. So it didn’t come as much of a surprise when he announced he was foregoing his senior season and declaring for the draft. Given the multitude of successful defensive backs in the NFL who played collegiately at OSU, teams with a need at cornerback are certainly excited at the prospect of picking Okudah.
- checks quite a few boxes with respect to physical attributes;
- hugely impressive read and react ability;
- never afraid to dish out some physicality;
- does an exceptional job mirroring receivers down the sideline;
- should have no problem establishing dominance as a press corner;
- can line up on the boundary as well as in the slot;
- above-average hand-eye coordination enables him to break up passes;
- a solid wrap-up tackler;
- commands the respect of opposing quarterbacks wary of throwing the ball his way;
- ultra-competitive and capable of being a leader on defense;
- first Ohio State corner to receive consensus all-American recognition.
- hips are a bit static when adjusting to receivers’ route transitions;
- tends to generate too much unnecessary contact which could induce flags;
- gives up a lot of yards after initial contact with ball-carrier;
- susceptible to getting beat over the top if there isn’t safety help;
- just three interceptions over his three seasons with Ohio State.
NFL Comparison: Eli Apple
Teams With Need at Position: Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins
Projection: Top-five pick
Over the course of his time in Columbus, Okudah established himself as one of college football’s most elite cover corners. Teams at the next level looking to bolster their secondary have subsequently taken notice. Okudah’s reactive athleticism when making plays on the ball is hugely impressive. He’s also immensely physical with a track record of remaining injury-free despite such a style of play. All in all, his skill set is highly coveted by NFL scouts and front office personnel. For that reason, it’s pretty much a formality that he’ll be off the board very early on day one of the draft and should be the first cornerback taken.