With hundreds of NFL hopefuls cycling through the NFL scouting combine spin cycle, it’s easy to miss some of the best quotations of the week — even from some of the best prospects.
But there was one soundbite from Ohio State CB Jeffrey Okudah that we felt deserved a little more attention a day after we put a bow on the 2020 combine.
Okudah spoke to the media on Friday and was asked about his experience to that point meeting with teams, and one stuck out for the Buckeyes star and likely top-10 pick.
It was the Las Vegas Raiders, owners of the Nos. 12 and 19 picks in the 2020 NFL draft.
“Mike Mayock, Jon Gruden, they love football, so being around them, they saw that I loved football,” Okudah said. “[And] with Jon Gruden, he says, ‘Are you from Planet Earth?’
“It was just crazy to think about it like ... He’s someone who’s been around some great football minds. For him to say that, it was like, ‘You're here man.’
Gruden is known for his quirky quotations, so this isn’t that shocking. But that it was said in private, perhaps Gruden wanted to keep it that way. Sure, the Raiders could, like most teams, use a cornerback and would love to land a player of Okudah’s talent.
The 6-1, 205-pound Okudah measured with the longest wingspan at the combine and led the Buckeyes this past season in pass breakups (12) and interceptions. He possesses the athletic traits and positional instincts to be a star in the mold of Patrick Peterson.
The problem? The Raiders just might not be able to get him. In all the mock drafts we’ve submitted to this point, Okudah hasn’t lasted until 12 — and we just don’t see that happening.
But perhaps the Raiders can send shockwaves through the crowd at the 2020 NFL draft, which is being hosted in — yep — Las Vegas, via a bold trade up. After all, if there’s a prospect worth trading up for, it’s probably one whom the coach believes is an extraterrestrial.
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