Adam Thielen vs. Jeffrey Okudah
With the third overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions took Jeffrey Okudah and they clearly think he can develop into a shutdown corner for them.
Okudah has great physical traits, standing at 6-foot-1 and weighing in at 205 pounds to go with his nice, lanky limbs. The rookie corner has great ball skills and he routinely shut down some of the top wide receivers in the nation during his college career.
That’s what the Lions will want him to do for them and one of the biggest tests he could face during his first year will be when he lines up across from Vikings receiver Adam Thielen.
As far as size goes, Thielen has an inch on Okudah. But other than that, it’s a pretty fair matchup. Thielen wins with his quickness off his release and exceptional route running. He also has the ability to haul in catches while being blanketed and sometimes it doesn’t matter if the man covering him has perfect positioning.
Okudah has the quickness to match Thielen stride-for-stride and step-for-step. The question is how often Detroit will let their prized rookie try and keep up with Minnesota’s top receiver. Despite his raw talent, Okudah is still a rookie and he could get embarrassed by a veteran like Thielen in year one.
Instead, the Lions might try to put a veteran cornerback like Justin Coleman or Desmond Trufant on Thielen. However, the Vikings will probably try to move Thielen around to possibly get that matchup with the highly touted, but inexperienced, rookie.
With Thielen signed through 2024, he’ll likely be seeing a lot of Okudah over the coming years. We will get our first glimpse of this rivalry this season and there’s a good chance that the Minnesota receiver will be the early winner.