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Camp Spotlight: Cornerback Jeff Okudah

Position: Cornerback

Ht/Wt: 6-1, 202

College: Ohio State

Experience: Rookie

Outlook: Okudah was the No. 3 overall pick by the Lions in this year's NFL Draft, which means he's expected to play a role in helping transform their defense in 2020.

The rookie out of Ohio State checked off all the boxes coming into the league from a size, speed and skill set perspective. The First-Team All-American was the only cornerback in this draft class to not allow a reception of 15-plus yards while in press coverage last season. Opposing passers had a career 55.7 passer rating and 43.2 completion percentage throwing at Okudah in college.

The Lions have been increasing Okudah's first-team reps incrementally throughout the first week of training camp practice, and he's been doing a good job getting better and better each day.

Practice report: It's been a pretty consistent rotation of Desmond Trufant, Amani Oruwariye and Okudah on the outside at cornerback with the first-team defense over the last week or so. That was the case in Thursday's practice as Oruwariye and Okudah rotated opposite Trufant at outside corner with the first defense in team drills.

Okudah and nickel cornerback Justin Coleman got crossed up in one rep of a two-on-two defensive back vs. receivers red-zone drill, leaving a wide open receiver. Okudah did show off his closing speed in knocking a ball away from wide receiver Quintez Cephus later in the drill.

Okudah also got some work as a gunner in a special teams team period.

In 7-on-7 drills, Okudah got matched up against wide receiver Kenny Golladay and had terrific position on Golladay in the back of the end zone to force a high throw and incomplete pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Overall it was a pretty quiet day for Okudah, which is a good thing when we're talking about a defensive back. The offense didn't attack him much Thursday. Stafford bounced a pass to wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. in the only other time I noticed the offense throwing at Okudah in a team period.

Quotable: "I think Jeff Okudah has done a really good job of, just all the way through camp, of learning," Lions head coach Matt Patricia said Thursday. "I think in the beginning of camp, as we know with young players all the way across the board, there is a lot to learn, a lot of technique, but just the system too on top of it. Certainly sometimes learning how to practice like a professional is part of it and staying on our feet and making sure we're under control with things.

"Jeff is extremely competitive. He wants to compete on every play. It's just learning some of the things and how we do them that I think he's made some really great strides on. I really think he's done a good job and improved in that area.

"I think the communication of the defense is a big part of it, especially at the corner position working with the safeties, being able to get that communication down. I think he's done a really good job of that too. It's a progression; it's a long road. There's a lot to be covered here in a short amount of time. That part of it has been good, but his competitiveness and the way he approaches it and works, that's been great."

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