Importance of, and stakes for, Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah in 2022 further confirmed

SideLion Report

The coming season is a big one for Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah, and it has been further confirmed.

Entering his third NFL season and coming of a torn Achilles that ended his 2021 campaign in Week 1, Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah has passed all the tests up to now. He rehabbed his injury without apparent issue or any setbacks, so much so that he was not placed on the PUP list to start training camp.

Then Okudah looked good in practices, and carried that into preseason games. After the preseason finale, head coach Dan Campbell named him a starter.

Okudah knows he has more to prove, and he is plenty motivated to carry his positive momentum right into meaningful games.

Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus outlined strengths, weaknesses and offered an x-factor for each NFL team’s starting lineup this season. Okudah was tabbed as the x-factor for the Lions.

Importance of Jeff Okudah in 2022 season further confirmed

The Lions have a couple of interesting, young cornerbacks but few sure things. That’s true for Jeff Okudah more than anyone. The former No. 3 overall pick struggled in limited action as a rookie in 2020, battling injuries and difficult coverage responsibilities in Matt Patricia’s defense. Last season, Okudah played just 48 defensive snaps before a left Achilles tendon injury ended his season. Okudah looked like a can’t-miss prospect coming out of Ohio State given his size, skill set and production, but he hasn’t lived up to his reputation through two seasons. Detroit will be hoping that changes for a healthy Okudah this season.

Here’s the bare bones of it for Okudah as he enters the 2022 season.

1-Staying healthy
2-Performing according to the talent level that justified being the No. 3 overall pick in 2020
3-The Lions have a fifth-year option decision to make on him by May 2023, so No. 1 and No.2 has implications for his future in Detroit, and tentacly perhaps his NFL future

If Okudah stays healthy and breaks out this season, the Lions’ secondary could be quite good and far more opportunistic than it has been for awhile. And his future will not be a question, as the Lions will gladly pick up that fifth-year option and perhaps even consider a contract extension.

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