Houston Texans Cornerback Among Those With 'Most To Prove' In NFL

The Texans defensive back is facing some pressure headed into the new NFL season.
Jul 28, 2023; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons cornerback Jeff Okudah (1)  runs during a drill during training camp at IBM Performance Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 28, 2023; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons cornerback Jeff Okudah (1) runs during a drill during training camp at IBM Performance Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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The Houston Texans have bolstered their roster over the offseason, banking on the production of star quarterback C.J. Stroud during his rookie-scale contract to build a Super Bowl contender. With star power and strong depth in nearly every position group, the Texans' cornerback position seems to be lacking.

Houston tried to confront the issue this offseason, making free agency signings and drafting the position.

Pro Football Focus recently released a list of ten NFL players with "the most to prove" in the upcoming NFL season. Texans cornerback Jeff Okudah was listed, and his underwhelming start to a once-promising career was cited as a big reason why.

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"Okudah was a clear-cut CB1 during the 2020 draft, even regarded by some analysts as the best corner prospect in several classes," PFF wrote. "Yet Okudah has been anything but exceptional since he entered the league, never finishing with an overall grade above 60.0. The Lions shipped Okudah to Atlanta, where he hardly fared much better in a one-year stint."

Heading into his fifth season, Okudah's career has been quite underwhelming after being selected No. 3 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Texans are a great fit for Okudah, though. They need help in the cornerback department, and Okudah will have the opportunity to compete for a starting spot.

"The Texans inked Okudah to a one-year, $4.75 million deal this offseason, seeking cornerback depth next to burgeoning stud Derek Stingley Jr. Okudah has an opportunity to claim the CB2 role if he fends off rookie Kamari Lassiter — but if not, it’s hard to envision Okudah earning another opportunity to regularly contribute on defense anywhere," PFF continued.

This could be the last attempt for Okudah to be a real rotational defensive back, as PFF alluded to. He's disappointed so far in his career, but turning things around would be incredibly beneficial for the Texans. They drafted Lassiter to help bolster the position group, and he could easily lobby for the CB2 position after impressing so far this offseason.

There's plenty of pressure mounting on Okudah, and the team could easily go in another direction if the pairing doesn't work out.


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Stick with TexansGameday for more coverage of the Houston Texans throughout the offseason. 

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Kade Kimble

KADE KIMBLE

Kade has been covering a wide variety of teams ranging from the NFL to the NBA and college athletics since joining Sports Illustrated's FanNation in 2022.