Hope springs eternal for football fans and analysts alike. This is a time to be optimistic for most fan bases. Gas up your favorite players and teams. Talk that talk. Egg on your rivals. Let it roll.
And then there’s the Detroit Lions, whose first-round pick should be getting all sorts of hype. But instead, is all sorts of questionable right now:
Anyone projecting Jeff Okudah to be rookie of the year hasn't seen him practice. He has all the tools, including IQ, and there's no reason to think he can't be great eventually. But there's also a reason he's probably going to play behind Amani Oruwariye. Patience is required. https://t.co/xXyegLR3pw
— kyle meinke (@kmeinke) September 10, 2020
That's probably true, although not for the reason you're assuming. Jeff Okudah will probably start the season on the bench. I'd be surprised if he played more than 15-20 defensive snaps against Chicago. https://t.co/bp9ZtpBRWa
— kyle meinke (@kmeinke) September 5, 2020
The Lions have been taking things slowly with Jeff Okudah, but Cory Undlin says "Jeff is going to have a role on this football team."
— kyle meinke (@kmeinke) September 8, 2020
Jeff Okudah was the third overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. By many accounts, he was college football’s best cornerback. And thus, the top-ranked cornerback prospect in the draft. Playing cornerback in the NFL is hard. Doing so as a rookie is a challenge that many don’t conquer. Some aren’t even given much of an opportunity because of the learning curve. But there’s an expectation that a player with Okudah’s skills and prospect pedigree should be cracking the lineup of what was one of football’s worst secondaries last year. Instead, it sounds like Okudah will start the year on the bench until the team carves out a role for him. Yikes.
Meanwhile, Jaylon Johnson — the 50th overall pick and seventh corner taken in the 2020 draft — is set to start opposite of Kyle Fuller in Week 1. Go figure.