Okay, I’m cheating on the vote here just for a minute, I had to slide this guy to the top of the list. I have another draft crush on an Ohio State defender. The Buckeyes have pumped out some impressive defensive backs; Malcolm Jenkins, Malik Hooker, Denzel Ward, Marshon Lattimore, while our own Kendall Sheffield is starting to blossom. Jeffrey Okudah may be the best of the bunch.
Okudah was a 5-star out of high school and didn’t dazzle immediately, but like Chase Young, he has become the best player at his position. The 6’1″ Junior has excellent size for an NFL corner and has shown some great ball skills this season, snagging three picks and forcing a fumble, while notching 21 tackles. The fact that he’s a willing and physical tackler should entice Falcons fans everywhere. He still needs a little work in zone coverage, but as far as manning up and athleticism, he’s next to none in this draft class. With Desmond Trufant’s status with the team up in the air, Isaiah Oliver being inconsistent, and the injury woes to the safeties, the Falcons will be addressing the secondary this offseason. Okudah is a prototype NFL Corner; he’s long, rangy, physical, fast, and has innate ball skills.
His intelligence and understanding of route trees combined with a physical press make him a future #1 corner on an NFL team. He can shadow the likes of Michael Thomas, DJ Moore, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Curtis Samuel. His combination of footwork and length makes him my #2 choice behind Chase Young. Like Young, Okudah’s an immediate impact player and a day 1 starter for a defense that badly needs some star players to take the pressure off of the few guys who are performing, and his presence in the secondary will give more time to the pass rush – Lord knows they need it.