"Jeff, welcome to the Lions," Head Coach Matt Patricia said. 'We just made you the 3rd overall pick in the draft."
"Thank you so much coach I’m blessed I feel blessed right now," Jeff Okudah said.
That’s a behind the scenes look at the moment the Detroit Lions made Jeff Okudah the highest cornerback selected in the NFL draft in 23 years.
His play on the field made the Ohio State star the top corner in the draft, but it’s what he said to head Coach Matt Patricia that cemented being hired by Detroit.
“It’s not often that you meet someone, and you spend a 15- to 18-minute interview at the combine when you’re rolling through players, and that player says something that just sticks so hard to you as a person that explains who he is as a person,” Patricia said. “It’s something that makes you go back, and you talk to your wife about it and you’re like, ‘wow, this is an amazing young guy.’ so we’re just really excited that we had the opportunity to add him to our team.”
In addition to his character, the Lion’s front office is raving about Okudah’s work ethic.
The 21-year old says he got that trait from his late mother, who passed away in January 2017 after a long battle with lymphoma.
While she was doing chemotherapy, she was still in nursing school.
“Just seeing that, (it) just instilled a work ethic just knowing that you get out what you put into things. I’m always trying to put my best foot forward and strive to be great.”
Now the pressure will be on Okudah to help turn around the Lions secondary.
Last season, Detroit was among the teams that had the fewest interceptions in the NFL.