April 23, 2020

1-2-3 Buckeyes! Jeff Okudah Taken No. 3 Overall by Detroit Lions

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Jeff Okudah, one of the great cornerbacks in school history and the first Ohio State cornerback to be named a unanimous All-American, was taken with the third overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft Thursday night by the Detroit Lions. That means Buckeyes went 1-2-3 in this year’s draft as Ohio State graduate and three-year team member Joe Burrow, out of LSU, went No. 1 to Cincinnati and stalwart Buckeye defensive end Chase Young went No. 2 to Washington.

The draft was to be held in Las Vegas this year, but instead is being held remotely because of the stay-at-home and no-gatherings declarations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes annually to the top defensive back in college football, Okudah finished his Ohio State career with 88 tackles (68 solo), 21 passes defended and three interceptions. He ties Shaun Springs as the highest drafted defensive back in Ohio State history.

Ohio State’s Highest Drafted Defensive Backs
Year    Sel.#     Player, Pos. (Team)
2020     3          Jeff Okudah, CB (Detroit Lions)
1997     3          Shawn Springs, CB (Seattle Seahawks)
2018     4          Denzel Ward, CB (Cleveland Browns)
2006     8          Donte Whitner, SAF (Buffalo Bills)
2016     10        Eli Apple, CB (New York Giants)

Five First-Round CBs Last Five Years
Okudah’s selection gives Ohio State five cornerbacks who have been selected in the first round of the NFL Draft over the last five years, and six CBs in the last seven drafts.

Year    Cornerback     Team
2020     Jeff Okudah – Detroit Lions
2018     Denzel Ward – Cleveland Browns
2017     Marshon Lattimore – New Orleans Saints
2017     Gareon Conley – Oakland Raiders
2016     Eli Apple – New York Giants
2014     Bradley Roby – Denver Broncos

Five Consecutive Years
The Buckeyes have now produced multiple first-round draft picks for five consecutive years with 14 total first-round selections since 2016.

Year    First-Round Draft Picks
2020     DE Chase Young (Washington) and CB Jeff Okudah (Detroit)
2019     DE Nick Bosa (San Francisco) and QB Dwayne Haskins (Washington)
2018     CB Denzel Ward (Cleveland) and C Billy Price (Cincinnati)
2017     CB Marshon Lattimore (New Orleans), SAF Malik Hooker (Indianapolis) and CB Gareon Conley (Oakland)
2016     DE Joey Bosa (Los Angeles Chargers), RB Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas), CB Eli Apple (New York Giants), OT Taylor Decker (Detroit) and LB Darron Lee (New York Jets)

 Jeff Okudah – Ohio State Career Overview
#1 / Cornerback / 6-1, 200 / Grand Prairie, Texas / South Grand Prairie

  • Earned unanimous All-America recognition in 2019 by the Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, Walter Camp, American Football Coaches Association and The Sporting News
  • Is one of only four Ohio State defensive backs to be awarded unanimous All-America status, after Jack Tatum in 1970, Michael Doss in 2002 and Malik Hooker in 2016
  • Was a finalist for the Thorpe Award, which honors the nation’s outstanding defensive back, and started every game for the 13-1 Buckeyes, who extended a run of outright Big Ten Conference championships to a league record three consecutive years
  • Intercepted the first three passes of his career – vs. Miami and two vs. Nebraska – and had nine pass break-ups and two forced fumbles to go along with 35 tackles (29 solo) this past season
  • Was a huge part of a defense that was No. 1 nationally in fewest passing yards allowed (156.0 per game), No. 2 in pass efficiency defense (97.50) and No. 1 in total defense, allowing just 259.7 yards per game
  • Was majoring in communications and had earned OSU Scholar-Athlete status