At the peak of free agency, all eyes turned to the Atlanta Falcons, who were very active with plenty of cap space. With just over two weeks to go before the NFL draft, the Georgia franchise is making yet another cleanup, navigating a former top-three pick to Atlanta in the process.
Cornerback Jeff Okudah joins the Falcons from the Detroit Lions. The 24-year-old comes to Atlanta in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft.
Okudah was selected third by the Lions in 2020 and never really arrived in “Motor City” due to injuries. He was considered the best cornerback in his class.
In his freshman season, Okudah only played nine games because injuries kept slowing him down. In his sophomore year, things got even worse: a ruptured Achilles tendon left him completely incapacitated.
Okudah was finally able to play the majority of games last season, but didn’t really stand out. Only seven repelled passes and one interception were recorded after 15 missions.
Statistics that were probably not enough for the Detroit Lions. The Lions now get another pick on day three and also save on Okduah’s just over $5 million guaranteed salary.
Atlanta Falcons continue to tinker with their defense
Meanwhile, Atlanta remains true to its own path. In this free agency, the Falcons attach great importance to strengthening their own defense.
Okudah, for example, is the second notable signing in secondary alongside safety Jessie Bates III, who came from the Bengals and whom the Falcons made one of the highest-paid players at his position.
The Falcons also secured the services of veteran Calais Campbell (DL), linebacker Kaden Elliss and defensive tackle David Onyemata, among others.