Every kid has a dream of growing up to become a professional athlete. That dream became a reality for 21 year old Jerry Jeudy Thursday when the Denver Broncos selected him with the 15th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Jeudy, one of the top receivers in the draft, does not know much about his new organization but is excited about the opportunity they have given him.
“I don’t really know too much about the Broncos, but I just want to thank the coaching staff and the organization for believing in me and just putting their trust in me to come out there and be part of the locker room,” Jeudy said. “I finally have the opportunity to take take care of all my loved ones. So, it’s a great feeling. It’s a surreal moment. I worked my whole life for this moment. I’m just thankful all the hard work paid off.”
Jeudy is a dynamic wideout that is capable of running any route imaginable at a high level. The Alabama product made a name for himself for his crisp routes and versatility within the Crimson Tide offense.
He hauled in 159 receptions and 26 touchdowns during his three years in Tuscaloosa while playing both on the outside and in the slot.
Jeudy does not have a preference of where he plays on the field and believes he will manage to get open wherever he is lined up.
“I feel like I’m a wide receiver who can play inside, outside, or wherever they put me at to get the ball,” Jeudy said. “I don’t feel like I’m a better inside receiver than outside receiver. I’m a good receiver overall. I know how to get open and press off against whoever is guarding me. I just know how to get open. That’s it.”
During his sophomore season, Jeudy ranked third in the FBS with 14 receiving touchdowns, hauling in 68 passes for 1,315 yards in 15 games. Jeudy was primarily a deep threat to start his college career, but he transitioned into a volume receiver his junior year to broaden his skill set.
Whether he is running short, intermediate or long routes, Jeudy’s quickness and versatility allow him to create separation from the defense, which he feels will be critical to his success at the professional level.
“I’ve got the ability to separate,” He said. “For a receiver, you find a way to get open and catch the ball. I feel like if I’m getting open and creating five or six yards of separation every time, that means more yards and yards I can catch. I feel like once I create that separation, I get 10 to 12 more yards, which is good to be able to be one of the top route-runners.”
Additionally, Jeudy became a student of the game under head coach Nick Saban. While at Alabama, Jeudy became a smarter receiver by learning how to read and adjust to different defensive schemes. By learning how to dissect coverages, Jeudy’s football IQ went up significantly.
“Once I started recognizing coverages and reading coverages better, I feel like I started playing a lot faster,” He said. “I know what the defense wants me to do and what they don’t want to do. Me knowing that, as a receiver, I can manipulate the defenders to think I’m going another way, and I know how to manipulate a defense. So, that leaves you open.”
Jeudy is a phenomenal addition to the Broncos young, developing offense. He is expected to be Denver’s No. 2 receiver alongside Courtland Sutton and will have an immediate role in Denver’s new-look offense led by coordinator Pat Shurmur.
The beauty of the Broncos drafting Jeudy is their offense already has star talent, which means there will be less pressure on Jeduy to thrive out of the gate. Jeudy will be able to learn from Sutton and as well as Pro Bowl running backs Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay during his rookie season.
“They are a great group of guys that I’ve seen play over their college careers and this past season,” Jeudy said of his new teammates. “So they are great players that I’d like to learn from, play next to, and compete with.”
The Broncos got the guy they wanted in the first round of the draft and now will work on re-imagining their offense around him. For Jeudy, Thursday marked the start of what he is hopeful will be a long, successful playing career in Denver.