Comparing Jaylon Johnson to Jeff Okudah rookie season

Chicago Bears - Credit: Detroit Free Press
Chicago Bears - Credit: Detroit Free Press /

How has the Chicago Bears rookie compared to the Detroit Lions rookie?

The Detroit Lions drafted a cornerback third overall. Considering their rival Chicago Bears drafted one 47 picks later, it is fair to say the two may be compared for a while as the two are set to see the field together for the first time.

That is because Jeff Okudah was inactive in Week One with an injury. It is fair to note that Okudah has had lingering issues and has been on what appears to be a pitch count in recent weeks. Nonetheless, the progress and value of Jaylon Johnson and Jeff Okudah will always be compared to each other.

While it is too early to say that one is going to be definitively better than another, it is worth seeing how they compare after 11 games before they see the field on Sunday.

Coverage stats

Okudah has missed time but has managed to play 251 snaps. It is worth noting that the two have both had primary matchups against Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Justin Jefferson, T.Y Hilton, and D.J. Moore. Both shut down Hilton, both struggled with Moore, and while Jefferson got his against both, he did perform better against Jaylon Johnson than Jeff Okudah. However, Johnson blanked Valdes-Scantling, and while it was the first start of his career, Valdes-Scantling beat Okudah multiple times.

Nonetheless, with the help of PFF,, and football-ref, I was able to compile the coverage stats for each cornerback to date.

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Jaylon Johnson has played nearly 200 more snaps, and faced 13 more targets, but still has allowed four fewer completions than Jeff Okudah. With that, he has allowed 60 fewer yards as well.

Okudah does have fewer touchdowns against, and more interceptions, which is worth noting. However, while it is not included, Johnson has been charged with 14 pass deflections, while Okudah has just two.

It is also worth noting that while Johnson is allowing more yards after the catch, that is likely due to more deep passes being completed on Okduah. Okduah is targeted nearly eight yards downfield, while Johnson is a bit under six. Okudah has also been targeted higher on a per-snap basis, showing that teams are more inclined to test him than Jaylon Johnson.

Run Defense

It is not as much of an impact, but Okudah has been better against the run. He has 16 run stops and five missed tackles. That is a 5.3% run stop rate and a tackle rate of 10.6. On the flip side Johnson has 10 run stops and seven missed tackles. That has resulted in a 1.7% run stop rate, and 6.1 tackle rate. Okudah of course has more run stops on much fewer snaps as well.


Johnson plays more zone, and Okudah has played more man. Johnson is benefited by a greater pass rush. Okudah has been injured to start his career. These are all fair notes that have to be added as we admittedly do not reach much of a verdict.

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However, no matter the draft position or player, it is worth being glad that the Bears invested a 50th overall pick to sure up a cornerback spot and are getting more production than Lions who used the third pick to fill the same spot.