Ohio State defensive back Jeff Okudah speaks at the NFL...

Ohio State defensive back Jeff Okudah speaks at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis on Feb. 28, 2020. Credit: AP/AJ Mast

INDIANAPOLIS — Jeff Okudah is looking forward to competing against NFL wide receivers. As the top cornerback in this draft class, he should get that opportunity very soon.

But first, he wants to compete against people in the league who play the same position he does . . . and were once in the same place he is now.

That’s why, on a white board back home in his apartment, he wrote out all of the numbers that players such as Jalen Ramsey and Patrick Peterson and Stephon Gilmore posted when they were at the NFL Combine. Their 40 times, their verticals, their cone and shuttle drills. Everything.

“It’s about putting my numbers on top of theirs,” he said. “Coming to the Combine has always been a dream and being here is a dream come true. You go back and watch some of those Combine videos [of Peterson and Ramsey], I want someone down the road to say, ‘Let me try Jeff Okudah’s Combine video.’ ”

That won’t happen until at least Sunday, when the defensive backs take the field in Indianapolis. So far, though, Okudah has put on a show for scouts just by standing there in front of them. He measured in at just over 6-1 and 205 pounds with an eagle-like wingspan of 78 5/8 inches. If NFL teams could cast a mold for a prototype at cornerback, Okudah’s size and shape might be it.

He’s also impressive in a way that some recent Giants first-round picks at cornerback haven’t always been. Eli Apple and DeAndre Baker had talent and measurables, but had a lot to learn (and perhaps still do) about being a professional. Okudah comes across as NFL-ready, not only on film but in person. He’ll be meeting with the Giants on Saturday, though many project he will be off the board and taken by the Lions at No. 3 one pick before the Giants make their selection. He said playing with Darius Slay in Detroit would be “magical.”

If the Lions trade back though — they have indicated a willingness to consider offers — Okudah could be there for the Giants’ taking. He was asked about having a personality for New York, but shrugged.

“Maybe it will be,” he said. “I guess we’ll find out.”

Depending on free-agent acquisitions, he might become a very quick leader at that position for them, too. If you consider Antonio Hamilton more of a special teamer than a cornerback, the most experienced corner on the Giants’ roster right now is Grant Haley.

That would be fine with Okudah, who believes he has an “aura” as a leader that comes from his work ethic.

“After practice I’ll be out there catching extra balls, doing extra releases with the DBs, before practice I’m doing my own workout,” he said. “When you see that, subconsciously, it’s like, ‘I see it working for Okudah, I might want to get in on that.’ I think when you have guys who all have that mentality to get in extra work, you have a team that is willing to go the extra mile.”

That worked at Ohio State. Can it work in the NFL as well?

“Guys respect someone who works,” Okudah said. “That trait is timeless.”

Whether it be from a bit of a distance (he bragged about having bought every version of the Madden video game since he was in third grade) or up close in a film room, he’s all ball and a student of the sport.

“I like watching how Richard Sherman understands route concepts, I like watching Patrick Peterson’s consistency in his technique, Jalen Ramsey for his physicality and aggressiveness, how Stephon Gilmore switches up his leverage every time to bait the quarterback,” he said.

He even studied himself, changing his approach after his first two years at Ohio State when he found that playing the hands of opposing receivers was leading to too many pass interference and holding penalties. In 2019, he said, he focused on playing the ball and not the player. It worked to the point that when someone asked him on Friday about his reputation for “sloppy” play, Okudah snapped back.

“I had zero pass interferences, zero holdings, so cut the tape again,” he said. “I think you might see something else.”

Okudah is less snippy on the field. Unlike some other in-your-face cornerbacks, he said he actually “whispers” to opponents during games.

“I’ll get in their head and whisper and be like, ‘Hey man, I’m sticky, it’s gonna be a long day,’ ” he said. “I think they feel that eventually . . . I’m quiet and quiet and quiet. Then I just snap.”

I want someone down the road to say, ‘Let me try Jeff Okudah’s combine video.’ ”

— Jeff Okudah

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