The departure of Janoris Jenkins in the latter portion of the 2020 season poses a challenge for the New York Giants this offseason. Do they stick with DeAndre Baker and a slew of younger options in the secondary, or do they allocate some of their available caps-pace towards a player like Logan Ryan or Byron Jones to feature as the team’s No. 1 corner?
There is an alternative, and while some might stray away from this train of thought, Ohio State standout corner, Jeff Okudah, could be a fantastic option for the Giants with the 4th overall selection.
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Okudah is a 6-1, 200-pound corner that has exception man-coverage abilities and contains some of the quickest feet in college. With a severe void in the secondary, Okudah represents a long-term solution at cornerback alongside Baker, who isn’t ready to hold down the top spot yet.
The New York Giants can land a top-tier defender in Okudah:
The Ohio State CB is a tenacious player, crowding early routes and forcing opposing pass-catchers to adapt to his style of play and not the other way around. He makes route-running problematic and can stick on to the hip of receivers like white on rice. One of his most significant developments has been his ball-skills, as he racked up three interceptions last season, along with nine passes defended.
While Baker was primarily an on-ball cover-corner in college, he struggled massively in 2019 with off-ball coverage. Okudah is versed in both and can quickly develop into an NFL cornerback, which is often the negative side to selecting corners early in the draft. The adaptation period is usually the longest when it comes to CBs.
One of the most exciting aspects of Okudah is that he can play on an island. His fantastic vertical speed and transition abilities allow him to match up one V one in coverage, essentially taking the opposing team’s top receiver out of the game. He has an NFL comparison of Jalen Ramsey.