INDIANAPOLIS -- In a year when some of the biggest names at the NFL scouting combine have decided against working out, players like LSU quarterback Joe Burrow and Ohio State defensive end Chase Young, Buckeyes cornerback Jeff Okudah said he is all-in.
"I think going to the combine has always been a dream," Okudah said Friday. "So, just being here is a dream come true and I think you go back and watch all these combine videos, for me, I watched Jalen Ramsey's combine video, Patrick Peterson's combine video, I want someone down the road say, 'I want to watch Jeff Okudah's combine video.'"
Okudah, at 6-foot-1⅛ and 205 pounds, with elite speed and flexibility, is the top-ranked cornerback on the board in this year's NFL draft. So, Okudah could have taken a pass when the defensive backs go through their on-field workouts Sunday afternoon and instead told teams he would work at Ohio State's pro day.
But the combine workout isn't an inconvenience for him; he's been planning for it for quite some time.
"Right now, in my apartment, I have a whiteboard, I have all of Jalen Ramsey's and Patrick Peterson's combine numbers on there," Okudah said. "So, I think it's just about putting my numbers up with theirs, about going into the field work, showing really good footwork, really loose hips and that I'm feeling good."
At the 2011 scouting combine, Peterson, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection who just finished his ninth season with the Arizona Cardinals, ran a 4.34 40-yard dash to go with a 38-inch vertical jump and a broad jump of 10-feet-6-inches.
At the 2016 combine Ramsey, a three-time Pro Bowl selection who was traded from the Jaguars to the Rams this past season, ran a 4.41 40-yard dash to go with a 41½-inch vertical jump and a broad jump of 11-feet-3-inches.
If Okudah posts anything close to those numbers Sunday, he will cement his status as a top-five player in the draft. He also showed Friday he has already done plenty of homework about which teams in the league just might need to add him to their secondaries.
Okudah quickly named the starting cornerbacks, recent transactions and potential free agents in the secondary for each of the teams that have top-five picks in April. And in an interview with Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden and Raiders general manager Mike Mayock at the combine, Okudah said Gruden asked him, "Hey man, are you from planet Earth?" after Okudah had answered questions about how he played in the Buckeyes' scheme.
"Just being a football guy, I do my research a lot," Okudah said. " ... I know a lot about [the players]."