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Projecting Ohio State CB Jeffrey Okudah's impact as an NFL player

The passing game is king in the NFL, and as a result, stopping the pass is of utmost importance. While resistance is often futile, as it was in Super Bowl LIV, collecting a number of solid players in coverage gives teams a much bigger chance than hoping that pass rush, scheme or, frankly, poor play by an offense will hold up. And hence the draft-day case of Jeffrey Okudah from Ohio State.

[Editor's Note: PFF's new college-to-pro projection system is powered by AWS machine learning capabilities.]

Okudah had a terrific season in 2019, intercepting three passes and breaking up another nine throws en route to allowing less than three-fourths of a yard per coverage snap for the Ohio State Buckeyes. He never allowed more than 50 percent of the passes into his coverage to be completed during his three years, while playing the vast majority of snaps on the outside (589 of 692 2019 snaps).

So what does this mean for the consensus No. 1 cornerback in the draft? Using our college-to-pro projection system — powered by our friends at AWS — we look at where Okudah stacks up in a facet of play (coverage) that is notoriously difficult to project from college to pro. The first thing we will look at is Okudah’s projected completion percentage allowed into his coverage, as well as his rate of breaking up or intercepting passes (play-maker rate) when in primary or secondary coverage:

Okudah’s projected completion percentage allowed and play-maker rate during his first five NFL seasons in the context-free environment. Vertical lines are median performance for NFL players drafted in 2015 or later.

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