The Detroit Lions have traded former third overall pick cornerback Jeff Okudah to the Atlanta Falcons for a fifth-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft.
Trade: the Falcons are acquiring Lions CB Jeff Okudah, his agent Kevin Conner of @UniSportsMgmt confirmed.
Conner articulated that the GMs of the two teams involved – Detroit’s Brad Holmes and Atlanta’s Terry Fontenot – made it a seamless, collaborative process. The… pic.twitter.com/vjSqui79aE
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 11, 2023
Okudah was selected by the Lions with the third overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft after an impressive career at Ohio State University. However, his time in Detroit was plagued with injuries and inconsistent play.
During his three seasons with the Lions, Okudah dealt with elbow issues, a shoulder injury, a core muscle injury, and an Achilles tear that sidelined him for the entire 2021 season.
Despite his high draft status, Okudah struggled to live up to expectations on the field. In 25 career games with the Lions, he recorded just two interceptions and 124 tackles. He did, however, manage to score a pick-six last season.
The Lions signed former 49ers cornerback Emmanuel Moseley and former Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton in free-agency while also adding versatile Eagles defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson as well. Jeff Okudah was the odd man out.
The Lions also have two first round picks and two second round picks in the 2023 Draft.
With the Falcons, Okudah will have a chance to start fresh and make an impact on a defense that struggled in 2022. According to Pro Football Focus, Atlanta’s coverage defense was ranked as the sixth-worst in the league last season.
The 5th-round pick Atlanta is sending to Detroit for Jeff Okudah is the pick they received from Jacksonville in the Calvin Ridley trade.
For the Falcons, the trade represents a low-risk, high-reward opportunity to acquire a talented player with plenty of potential. Okudah is still just 24 years old and has the physical tools to become a top-tier cornerback in the league if he can stay healthy and reach his full potential.
Overall, the trade is a gamble for both teams, with the Lions hoping to find value in the draft and the Falcons hoping to unlock Okudah’s potential on the field. Only time will tell if the trade pays off for either team.