7. Carolina Panthers – Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Analysis by Arrowhead Addict contributor Rylan Stiles
After Simmons came off the board one pick ahead of the Panthers, cornerback Jeff Okudah is the obvious choice. Okudah is a shutdown corner that I would trust week one to go one-on-one with the likes of the NFL’s best.
In the NFC South, and with the loss of James Bradberry, the Panthers and first year coach Matt Rhule desperately need someone to go head-to-head against the likes of Mike Evans, Michael Thomas, and Julio Jones twice a year. Okudah is, at worst, the third best defensive player in this draft, and given his positional value, this move makes sense in a passing league. His size and speed mixed with his physicality make him a plug-and-play option immediately.
I would go as far to say Okudah would be the first true shutdown corner in Carolina Panthers history. Josh Norman had a good run with the team, but his success was more built on the team’s front seven and scheme fit with the Panthers. Okudah’s success is not dependent on him getting help from his front seven or sitting back in a zone. I trust this impact talent to travel around the field and compete with the top targets in the NFL. (Rylan Stiles)
Other Players Considered: None