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Jeff Okudah grateful for fresh start in Atlanta

Chris Simms tells Mike Florio how Jared Goff earned his highest spot on the Top 40 QB Countdown at No. 17 and why next season will be the ultimate test for him in Detroit.

Things didn’t work out for Jeff Okudah in Detroit after the Lions made him the third overall pick in 2020. He played 25 games and missed 23 with injuries in three seasons.

He sat out games with hamstring, shoulder, groin and Achilles injuries as well as a concussion.

After three seasons, Okudah totaled 124 tackles, 10 passes defensed and two interceptions, and the Lions shipped him to Atlanta for a fifth-round pick this offseason.

It was best for both sides.

“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, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “So, that’s what I’ve been trying to do. That’s my mindset every day I step in the building.”

The Falcons did not have an opportunity to exercise the fifth-year option on his contract, because of an adjustment to the contract to facilitate the trade. So, he enters the final year of his rookie deal needing to show he can stay healthy and live up to his draft status before hitting free agency in March.