On the surface, the Detroit Lions traded a top draft pick who didn’t work out for pennies on the dollar as they sent cornerback Jeff Okudah to the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday.
The #Falcons are trading a 2023 fifth-round pick to the #Lions for CB Jeff Okudah, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 11, 2023
But the Lions, who were already in need of cornerbacks, may have sent a message with the trade of Okudah, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 draft. With one less veteran and still a big need, the Lions may be preparing to draft a cornerback.
That could very well affect the Las Vegas Raiders. Detroit has the No. 6 pick, one slot ahead of the Raiders who select at No. 7.
Like Detroit, Las Vegas is a strong candidate to take a cornerback. So, the Raiders may be facing a situation where they may not get their top choice at the position.
The top cornerback prospects are Christian Gonzalez of Oregon and Devon Witherspoon of Illinois. Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr. is also expected to go high, but tabbing him at No. 6 or No. 7 may be a little too early.
So, there’s a strong chance the Lions will choose either Gonzalez or Witherspoon, leaving the Raiders with the other player.
Of course, Detroit and Las Vegas could rate the top cornerbacks differently, so even if the Lions do take a cornerback in front of the Raiders, they could still get their top cornerback prospect.
But guessing what Detroit may be doing will definitely be part of the Raiders’ draft process.