• Matt Oehl

Following the Rookies: AFC West Denver Broncos

With their 1st round pick the Denver Broncos took the electric WR, Jerry Jeudy, out of Alabama. The goal with this pic was to give 2nd year QB, Drew Lock, an abundance of weapons in the passing game. With Cortland Sutton, Noah Fant, Melvin Gordon, and Phillip Lindsay this offense needed the addition of a WR2 and I think Jeudy will fill that role. Again this is a rookie who has been affected by injuries of players around him. Whether it be Cortland Sutton missing the entire year which allows defenses to put more focus onto Jeudy or Drew Lock missing 2 weeks early in the year injuries have played a major role in many rookies development.

Jerry Jeudy has played in all 6 games this year, starting in 4 of them. He has 19 receptions on 37 targets for 286 yards and 1 touchdown while playing in an average of 70% of offensive snaps. His 51.4% catch rate is definitely low but that is more so because of his QB play considering he only has 1 drop on the year. What makes Jeudy special is his explosiveness in his release as well as his precise route running that allows him to create separation all over the field. One concern over Jeudy was that he would struggle against physical press corners in the NFL and so far he has proven that to be incorrect. When going back to the week 1 game against the Titans who have 3 solid corners in Adoree' Jackson, Malcolm Butler, and Kristian Fulton, he was able to consistently beat the press coverage with his patience at the line of scrimmage and his ability to in explode in and out of his cuts. Another aspect of Jeudy's game that was not seen as much in college simply because not many teams were willing to press him, is the usage of his hands to counter the press coverage. You can see this in his slant route against Kristian Fulton of the Titans where Futlton lined up in press coverage, shading Jeudy's inside shoulder, forcing Jeudy to have to use an outside release. Jeudy then responds to this alignment by starting with a patient release, then exploding upfield to attack Fulton's outside shoulder, forcing him to commit to the release while still having the ability to jam Jeudy with his inside arm in case Jeudy cuts back inside. This is exactly what Jeudy proceeds to do; he explodes off of his outside leg to shoot inside on the slant and Fulton goes for the jam with his inside arm. This is where Jeudy uses his hands to beat the press by slapping the inside arm of Fulton to beat him inside and secure the catch. Jeudy's ability after the catch has translated well from college to the pros where he can make any defender miss with his stop and go, his jukes, and his ability to get from 0-60 in the blink of an eye. The future is very bright for this young receiver but I don't believe he will truly reach his potential until next year when this team can get back to full health with Cortland Sutton and Drew Lock.

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