Executive producer and analyst for NFL Matchup and senior producer at NFL Films Greg Cosell has been kind enough to break down the Lions' draft picks for detroitlions.com in each of the past seven seasons, and has agreed to do so for an eighth year.
Cosell's opinions are based on countless hours watching the All-22 film and evaluating these prospects. He is one of the most honest evaluators in the business, and is well respected among NFL circles.
You can follow him on Twitter at @gregcosell.
Here's what he had to say about the Lions' 2020 draft class:
(Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and having less access to film at his home than he would in the NFL Films office, Cosell did not evaluate guard Logan Stenberg, running back Jason Huntley, defensive tackle John Penisini or defensive lineman Jashon Cornell.)
Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State, Rd 1 (No. 3 overall)
Cosell: "Okudah has the size, twitch and suddenness that all teams look for at the outside corner position in the NFL. He possesses the desirable combination of calm easy movement and twitchy explosiveness that allows him to play press man. Okudah reminded me of Champ Bailey in the way in which he played mirror press man, while also exhibiting the physicality to jam receivers and disrupt routes.
"Okudah has the size/twitch/speed profile that projects as a high-level corner prospect in the NFL. He showed the needed traits to play press man coverage and zone coverage and therefore can fit in any defensive scheme. Okudah is a fit in any coverage scheme. What I really liked about Okudah was he possessed elite man coverage traits and athletic and physical attributes."
Cosell said the only real weakness he saw watching Okudah on film was at times in mirror press man coverage, he sometimes stayed too focused on the receiver and lacked ball awareness to make a play.
D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia, Rd 2 (No. 35 overall)
Cosell: "Swift is one of the top running backs in the 2020 draft class with his excellent combination of traits. He has extensive experience as an I-back and predominantly ran zone concepts at Georgia both inside and outside. Swift has an outstanding feel for the tempo and pace of the zone run game with his patience and vision and his understanding of defensive fronts both before the snap and their fluidity after the snap.
"He has high level lateral quickness and short area burst and acceleration with the ability to make sharp decisive cuts at the second and third levels without losing velocity or speed. My sense is Swift can be highly effective as a receiver both out of the backfield and detached from the formation.
"As I projected Swift to the NFL, two players came to mind: Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara. I think Swift has traits and attributes that will allow him to be used in a similar way in outside zone run game as the foundation with the ability to be effective as a receiver in multiple ways."
As for weaknesses, Cosell described Swift as more quick that fast, and though Swift runs hard and tough inside, Cosell said Swift isn't necessarily a strong and powerful runner.
Julian Okwara, DE, Notre Dame, Rd 3 (No. 67 overall)
Cosell: "Okwara absolutely looks the part of an NFL edge pass rusher with his long, athletic, rangy build and his burst and flexibility to clear the edge and corner and flatten to the quarterback.
"He has much development to do in terms of pass rush variety and working overtime, but the overall traits are there, including speed-to-power. At this point, Okwara is not a strong run defender, lacking the physicality and strength to hold up effectively and consistently at the point of attack. There is much to like and much to work with as far as athletic and pass rush traits, and Okwara flashed as a strong pass rush prospect off the edge from a wide 9 alignment.
"But he needs coaching and development to further translate his skill set to the NFL. Edge pass rusher is always in high demand in the NFL, so Okwara will be looked upon favorably, but it's important to understand what he is and what he isn't at this point."
Jonah Jackson, G, Ohio State, Rd 3 (No. 75 overall)
Cosell: "Jackson has the size and traits needed to develop into a starter at either guard or center. His experience at Ohio State was at left guard, but he certainly could transition to the NFL as a center as well. Jackson needs to get stronger and more consistently play with better leverage, but he showed the overall athleticism and movement and mobility and balance to be effective in a zone run scheme.
"Jackson was efficient working to the second level and showed the balance and body control to locate and block linebackers. I felt watching Jackson that he could develop into a quality starting interior offensive lineman with more refinement and experience. I liked his tape quite a bit."
Quintez Cephus, WR, Wisconsin, Rd 5 (No. 166 overall)
Cosell: "Cephus is one of the more interesting wide receiver prospects in the 2020 draft class. His 40-yard dash time at the Combine (4.73) raised a major red flag, but his tape tells a different story, showing a receiver who has more than enough route quickness and physicality to create needed separation on short to intermediate routes and build up speed on vertical routes.
"Cephus' strong hands and consistent ability to make tough and contested catches also compensate for his lack of sudden explosive movement as a route runner. Cephus is one of those receivers that you need to understand what he is. He's not a quick twitch dynamic mover who can explode out of breaks or sink his hips to create separation.
"Cephus is a good-sized receiver with a physical presence and plus movement traits both to defeat press coverage and as a route runner who can catch the ball. He will find a place on an NFL roster, given that so many receivers get opportunities in the league and in the right situation could become an effective player working inside in multiple slot alignments, and at times outside as the boundary X."