Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah is viewed as the best shutdown cornerback in the 2020 NFL Draft. The oddsmakers over at William Hill U.S. have created a market that offers bettors the opportunity to wager on which team will draft the coveted defensive standout.

Odds courtesy of William Hill U.S.

The evolution of modern NFL offenses and its effect on the cornerback position

Cornerback has developed into the premium defensive position in the NFL over the past decade, directly correlating with the league shifting to more pass-heavy offensive schemes. The league has slowly turned away from the days of “ground and pound,” with quarterbacks now being asked to air the ball out frequently. It’s why stopping four- and five-wide receiver spread formations requires quality cover cornerbacks now more than ever.

Nearly every draft expert has Okudah as the top ranked corner in this year’s draft. Dating back to 1999, 10 cornerbacks out of Ohio State have been selected in the first round of the NFL Draft (no other school has more than five during that span). According to SI’s Buckeye Maven Bruce Hooley: Okudah’s selection at No. 3 would match the highest by a Buckeyes’ defensive back (Shawn Springs, Seattle, 1997) and make him the seventh player from the OSU secondary taken in the first round since 2014.

Okudah started all 14 games, registering three interceptions, one forced fumble and wasn’t guilty of a single pass interference or defensive holding penalty all season. Okudah garnered first-team AP All-American and first-team All-Big Ten honors.

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