2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah

HEIGHT: 6-1 / WEIGHT: 205 / COLLEGE: Ohio State / CLASS: Junior

2019 STATS (13 GAMES): 34 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 3 interceptions, 9 passes defended, 1 forced fumble

CAREER STATS (35 GAMES): 83 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 3 interceptions, 18 passes defended, 1 forced fumble

GAMES WATCHED (8): Clemson, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Wisconsin (2019); Michigan, Michigan State, Washington (2018)

40 BENCH VERT BROAD 3 CONE 20S 60S
4.48 11 41″ 135″

COVER SKILLS (29/30)

  • Elite in press-man and press-bail coverage (didn’t allow a single reception of more than 15 yards through all of 2019 on 504 snaps in press coverage!!), per PFF.
  • Skilled in off-man and half turns
  • Great at staying in-phase with receivers at all levels of the field
  • Wasn’t asked to play much zone coverage at Ohio State, but he showed a pretty good feel for spacing as well as an ability to anticipate route breaks
  • Excellent functional strength and sound jam technique allow him to consistently reroute receivers and disrupt their route timing

AGILITY/TECHNIQUE (19/20)

  • Excellent fluidity and foot quickness for a 6’1″ cornerback
  • Silky smooth hip flips
  • Very good at mirroring receivers’ releases
  • Smooth, efficient and balanced footwork through backpedal and transitions
  • Patient in press — rarely opens hips too early and times jams well
  • Does a great job of pinning receivers down on vertical routes to limit their route running/route adjustment space
  • Gets hand on the upfield shoulder consistently to feel route breaks
  • Occasionally takes too many gather steps in zone coverage

SPEED/BURST (13.5/15)

  • Very good closing speed and coverage range (had two outstanding pass breakups in the 2019 Rose Bowl vs. Washington where he was playing off coverage and closed on the ball in a hurry); makes up ground well if he allows a step or two off the line
  • Doesn’t have elite top-end speed, but it’s above average
  • Very impressive click-and-close ability out of backpedal

MENTAL PROCESSING (13.5/15)

  • Very good route recognition in man coverage — feels breaks consistently and limits separation
  • Pretty good feel for when to pass off receivers in zone coverage
  • Gets head around early to locate the football

BALL SKILLS/PLAYMAKING (9/10)

  • Good ball production in his lone year as a starter (nine pass breakups and three interceptions)
  • Great at disrupting the catch point and playing the ball through receivers’ hands without drawing flags
  • Doesn’t have great interception production in his career because he only started one year, played almost exclusively with his back to the ball as a man coverage corner and wasn’t targeted much, but he did capitalize on the few opportunities that he did have
  • Great at contesting jump balls thanks to height (6-1), length (32 5/8″ arms) and vertical (41″)

RUN SUPPORT/TACKLING (4/5)

  • Can be a bit of a drag-down tackler at times, but he’s very willing to play the run and he’s had a high success rate as a tackler in college
  • Wraps up and consistently comes to balance as a tackler
  • Does a good job of maintaining edge contain on perimeter runs
  • Delivers some jarring hits to ball-carriers when he has a running start
  • Could be quicker to stack-and-shed receivers at times

SIZE/PHYSICAL TRAITS (5/5)

  • Prototypical size for a No. 1 NFL corner (6’1″, 205 lbs.)
  • Ideal length for a boundary corner (32 5/8″ arms)
  • Has the size, strength, quickness and fluidity to play in the slot or outside

OVERALL GRADE: 93.00/100.00 — ELITE — Perennial Pro Bowler with All-Pro potential

NFL COMPARISON: Jalen Ramsey

SCHEME FIT: Press-man

DRAFT PROJECTION: Top-10 pick

Jeff Okudah is the best cornerback prospect I’ve scouted in seven years. He’s got prototypical size and length, excellent athleticism and strength, and very good technique. If I’m nitpicking his game, I would say that he doesn’t have elite top-end speed, he could be a little more consistent with his tackling form and also be a little quicker to process route combinations from zone coverage, but those are all minor gripes that only slightly detract from his performance. Okudah should become an immediate star for a team with a press-heavy defensive scheme, and he has the potential to become a top-5 player at his position within a few years.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s