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Falcons CB Jeff Okudah Benefitting From 'Change of Scenery'

The Atlanta Falcons traded a 2023 fifth-round pick to the Detroit Lions for cornerback Jeff Okudah.

Sometimes a change of scenery is exactly what a player needs to reach their full potential.  

Cornerback Jeff Okudah got his change of scenery when he was traded from the Detroit Lions to the Atlanta Falcons for a 2023 fifth-round pick. The former No. 3 pick in the 2020 draft acknowledged that not everyone gets a second chance, and he'll put his best foot forward with the new opportunity. 

"Fresh starts don't come around often, so I think when you get them, you've got to put your best foot forward, take advantage of them," Okudah said. "So, that's what I've been trying to do. That's my mindset every day I step in the building."

Falcons defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen also believes being on a new team can benefit a player and has seen its merit thus far with Okudah. 

"I think a change of scenery sometimes is good for players, and I think it's been good for Jeff," Nielsen said.

Okudah struggled to stay on the field to begin his career. He only played nine games in his rookie year, then tore his achilles just one game into the 2021 season.

Okudah played in 15 games in 2022 and had one interception, which he ran back for a touchdown. The fourth-year cornerback also set career-highs in tackles (73) and passes defended (7). 

With his fifth-year option getting declined, Okudah is entering the final year of his rookie contract. If the change of scenery leads to improved play from the former No. 3 pick, Okudah may find himself in Atlanta beyond this season. 

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