Jeff Okudah feels he’s on a “different level” after groin surgery

Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah‘s rookie season didn’t play out as planned.

Okudah had season-ending surgery to repair a groin injury in December and he struggled to play up to the expectations that came with being the third overall pick before the surgery. Okudah says that he’s “feeling great” after the operation and that he feels a big jump coming now that he’s over the injury.

“It just feels like I have a different level that I wasn’t able to kind of tap into last year,” Okudah said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “But I feel like this year just kind of moving around now and not having that pain in my groin anymore, it just feels like a different level so I’m excited to . . . get with [secondary coach Aubrey Pleasant], craft it up and see what it turns out to be.”

The new Lions coaching staff has been supportive of Okudah and they’ve urged him to move past a disappointing rookie season. If he can do that while recovering the form he had at Ohio State, the Lions will get a big boost on defense in 2021.