Falcons Deal Fifth to Lions for Jeff Okudah

Falcons CB Jeff Okudah
Falcons CB Jeff Okudah
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Offseason - The Atlanta Falcons have traded a 2023 fifth-round pick to the Detroit Lions for Jeff Okudah, the third overall selection from the 2020 draft who has never come close to living up to his draft position. It's pick 159, the pick Atlanta got from Jacksonville in the Calvin Ridley trade.

Okudah had his best season for Detroit in 2022, but still was no better than an average cornerback. He ranked 31st among qualifying cornerbacks in Sports Info Solutions charting for success rate at 57% but only 76th with 9.6 yards allowed per pass. He was generally a reasonable cover guy but his burns were very burny, including a 54-yard completion to DK Metcalf, 47 yards to Allan Lazard, and 32 to Samari Toure.

Okudah should theoretically move into the starting lineup for Atlanta, with A.J. Terrell on the other side and veteran Casey Hayward as the nickel.


7 comments, Last at 07 May 2023, 4:57pm

#1 by Joey-Harringto… // Apr 11, 2023 - 1:13pm

Bummer it didn’t work out for Okudah in DET.  Guy was talented and hard working, but seemed to lack the proverbial “short memory” that corners need.  When he got burned, he seemed to let it linger and affect his subsequent play.

For ATL, it’s an excellent buy low move.  CB is volatile position, so it wouldn't surprise me to see him become a very good (maybe even excellent) player with a change of scenery.

Points: 2

#2 by whocares4 // Apr 12, 2023 - 1:55pm

Yeah this is exactly the kind of player helped by a change of scenery: massive expectations that he fell way short of... steady improvement but *still* nowhere near the level of those expectations... move to a new team and the small leap from "average" to "arguably pretty good!" feels good for the franchise that bought low on him.

And if it's true that short memory is a problem, then lowering expectations will might help him make that small leap (since the pressure is off.) I still think ATL fans are crazy for touting their new rebuilt secondary as some All-World group, tho.

Points: 1

#3 by Joey-Harringto… // Apr 12, 2023 - 4:24pm

 "then lowering expectations will might help him make that small leap"

Yea, having AJ Terrell on the other side will definitely help take the pressure off.

"I still think ATL fans are crazy for touting their new rebuilt secondary as some All-World group, tho."

Yea, I agree.  Having a really good secondary is within the range of expectations, but Okudah still hovering around  "mediocre to okay", and Bates not quite living up to his contract are equally (if not more) likely outcomes.

Points: 0

#4 by theslothook // Apr 12, 2023 - 5:45pm

I agree in theory, but its hard for me to come up with a good reclamation story when it comes to cornerback. It seems to me, corners who are major liabilities in the big play area basically never see the field unless a team is out of bodies. And corner unfortunately is a hard position to hide as teams actively target weak corners. 

Corner is also one of those positions where its hard to platoon them like a stable of pass rushers and its hard to shift them to an easier role like tackle to guard. 

In other words, I don't mind taking a flyer especially for the cost of the trade; but I don't have high hopes. 

Points: 3

#5 by jw124164 // Apr 13, 2023 - 12:51pm

Falcons are gonna draft Bijan Robinson... they'll talk themselves out of the ER/CB prospects and will draft BR because by god we're gonna run the ball...


Points: 0

#7 by ImNewAroundThe… // Apr 30, 2023 - 9:23pm

You were right. But ATL did eventually get a CB. Unlike DET.

But 159 ended up being Dontayvion Wicks...to GB. 

Points: 0

#6 by ImNewAroundThe… // Apr 13, 2023 - 4:41pm

Good trade for the Falcons.

42.5 grade -> 53 -> 59.4 not great but improvement every year for a pick that likely turns into an Eric Johnson (2022) or Brenden Jaimes (2021) type. 

I guess Detroit got something at least. 

Points: 0

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