Denver Broncos: Jeffrey Okudah and other top trade-up targets in 2020
1. Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
The Denver Broncos have a need at the cornerback position despite trading for AJ Bouye this offseason.
The Broncos could certainly bank on their youth developing at the cornerback position, but with some significant injury concerns regarding two potentially key contributors — Bryce Callahan (foot) and De’Vante Bausby (spine) –, this position group is loaded with uncertainty.
Adding a rookie to the mix certainly doesn’t guarantee you anything, but Jeffrey Okudah is one player that seems like he will step into an NFL program and be a team’s CB1 from the first day of his career.
Although many have been expecting the Detroit Lions to take Okudah with the third overall pick — and they might — there exists a possibility that they would go with Derrick Brown, the big defensive tackle out of Auburn, with that pick.
If that’s the case and Okudah is on the board with the fourth overall pick, where does he go at that point? The Giants are set at corner for now. The Dolphins are set at corner. The Chargers certainly have enough defensive backs. The Panthers at seven are the first team you would say would be really likely to take him in the top 10, and they would have to potentially decide there between Okudah or a guy like Isaiah Simmons.
If Okudah is on the board with the seventh overall pick, that’s where the Broncos should maybe explore moving up. The Panthers or Cardinals at 7 and 8 respectively could be willing trade participants.
Okudah is a shut-down corner whose junior tape is as dominant as you will find from a player in a single season. He might be worth the hefty cost to move into the top 10 picks, and it’s worth noting that the only college game John Elway attended in person in 2019 was Ohio State vs. Penn State, and he went to go see Okudah along with Chase Young and a number of other prominent pro prospects when the Broncos were poised for a top-five pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Keep that one in the back of your mind.