Jerry Jeudy has a chance to become an immediate star for Denver Broncos
Jerry Jeudy could become a star instantly for the Denver Broncos.
Many expected the Denver Broncos to use the No. 15 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on a wide receiver, but few believed that they would pick Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy, as the idea of someone with his combination of NFL-ready traits and college production being passed on 14 times seemed hard to believe.
Luckily for John Elway and the Broncos, the 2018 Biletnikoff Award winner slipped to No. 15, and Denver didn’t hesitate to make him their first-round selection. Jeudy, fresh off inking his rookie deal, should help an older, defensive-minded head coach in Vic Fangio have one of the league’s more explosive offenses.
Jerry Jeudy’s footwork and route-running are exceptional.
While he has a little bit of a slight frame and can stand to improve in contested catch situations, there is a lot to like about Jeudy, who topped 1,163 yards and 10 touchdowns during both of his last two seasons at Alabama, from a developmental point of view.
His route-running is without question the best in the 2020 class, and his insane top-end speed should help him become a big-play threat right away. Watching Jeudy torch a Michigan defense full of NFL players in the Citrus Bowl to the tune of over 200 yards shows that when he’s in a zone, he’s as lethal as they come.
Be it as an outside receiver who uses his speed to take the top off of the defense or as a slot guy that excels due to his quick releases off of the line of scrimmage, Jeudy should assume a starting role right away. If his performance against the best players in the SEC is anything to go off of, the learning curve shouldn’t be too steep.
Jerry Jeudy won’t have to do everything on offense.
Unlike most receivers drafted that high, Jeudy won’t be the sole competent skill position player that sucks up all the attention from the opposing defense. Jeudy will be flanked by Courtland Sutton, an emerging star in his own right, as well as 2020 second-rounder former Penn State firecracker KJ Hamler. Noah Fant might become an elite tight end by the end of the year.
Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay will affect the game both on the ground and in the air. While second-year quarterback Drew Lock has some warts in his game, the arm talent is real, and the brief glimpses we saw last year show that if properly supported, he can lead the Broncos to the playoffs.
Jerry Jeudy should flourish under Pat Shurmur.
Lost in all the hullabaloo after Denver’s offseason shopping spree was the fact that Rich Scangarello was relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator and replaced with Pat Shurmur. While he struggled as head coach of the New York Giants, a quarterback can be legally dead and still complete 60 percent of their passes in Shurmur’s offense.
He helped Sam Bradford set a completion percentage record while guiding case Keenum to an NFC Championship game, all the while helping receivers like Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen emerge as stars. Once he gets a hold of a player with Jeudy’s talent, you can bet that Shurmur will be coming up with interesting new ways to get the ball into his new WR1’s hands all season long.
The Broncos are a young team with a quarterback in Lock that has only five career starts under his belt, so don’t be shocked if there are some growing pains as Jeudy and the offense start to get their feet under them. Early struggles should do little to dampen the excitement surrounding Jeudy, as he has the makeup of a player that could become one of the best in the game at his position in short order.