The Detroit Lions decided to pull the plug on Jeff Okudah by trading him to the Atlanta Falcons. The former first-round pick failed greatly to live up to expectations and now is turning in a different direction with Dan Campbell's group.
Campbell had nice things to say about Okudah but admitted that the young cornerback needed a fresh start. In a conversation on the Rich Eisen Show, the Lions head coach said that the team wanted to upgrade at secondary and that new guys like C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Cameron Sutton and Emmanuel Moseley give him confidence in the unit.
“We felt pretty good with the additions that we made and we really felt like, at this time, this is probably the best thing for us and for Jeff: a new change of scenery and give him a fresh start,” Campbell said. “We felt really good about our guys. And, look, I appreciate Jeff. He was a pro, he came to work, he busted his a**, he worked at it. He was coming off an injury last year and we just felt like, ‘You know what, this is the right thing to do right now.’”
The Lions drafted Okudah third overall in the 2020 draft but got just a fifth-round pick in return for him. He had started to show some promise this season but still has a lot more work to do before becoming a reliable corner. Opposite of AJ Terrell on a rebuilding Atlanta team, he could build on the improvements he made. Meanwhile, Detroit is eager to get fully back into the playoffs.