CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio St.*

6’1” – 200 lbs.

One of the top recruits in the country out of high school, he ended up making seventeen tackles and breaking up one pass as a true freshman. Became more of a major contributor the following season, finishing with 32 tackles and eight breakups. Enjoyed his most productive campaign as a junior, finishing with 35 tackles, nine breakups, and three interceptions before declaring for the draft. Tall, long-limbed defender with an excellent build for the position. Lined up on the left side of the defense this past season, playing a lot of shuffle technique and press-man; wasn’t asked to backpedal much. Would play zone out of a shuffle technique when no receiver lined up split out wide to his side of the field. Snap to snap consistency is very impressive. More of a pure cover cornerback who didn’t jam opponents at the line very often, but flashes the ability to mix things up from time to time; instead, used his excellent quickness and balance to match opposing releases at the line of scrimmage, appearing equally comfortable defending against inside and outside releases. Covers a lot of ground when shuffling and does a good job of keeping the play in front of him without being too conservative in his cushions. Quick-twitch player who has excellent hips and speed to stick with opponents in man coverage; looks comfortable running with opponents down the field, or even across it on shallow crosses, etc. Overall pattern recognition is very good; rarely caught out of position, and can provide tight coverage through the route stem. Can diagnose route combinations when working in zone coverage. Able to use his hands to feel routes developing. Able to locate the ball in the air, with the length, leaping ability, and timing to make plays when targeted. Because of his excellent pure cover skills, was rarely targeted during the games reviewed, with Clemson being the game where he was challenged most. Effective run defender who attacks blockers with aggression and can also use his quickness to slip past them. Understands the need to maintain outside position and uses wrap tackling technique to bring down ballcarriers. One of the cleanest prospects in this year’s draft class, checking every box as a man cover cornerback; has excellent size, speed, fluidity, recognition skills, and reaction times, making him about as safe a bet as a prospect can be. Looks like a lock for the top five or ten picks as a plug-and-play starter who can serve as a defensive cornerstone for years to come.

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