With the addition of Russell Wilson, Jerry Jeudy needs to put up, shut up and grow up

Jan 3, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (10) following his touchdown reception in the fourth quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Sure, the cute little sad face emoji said a lot. Probably too much actually.

But the fire emoji tweeted exactly an hour-and-a-half later said even more. Probably not enough – there’s likely no emoji powerful enough to show exactly what the acquisition of Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson means to Broncos third-year wide receiver Jerry Jeudy. Even “Oh we lit” doesn’t quite put Wilson’s significance to Jeudy and Denver into words.

As the second wide receiver taken (No. 15 overall) in the 2020 NFL Draft – a draft that boasted one of the best wideout classes in the history of the league, we were told – Jeudy entered the professional ranks with monster expectations. To date, those expectations – for the most part – have not been met.

Few will debate Jeudy’s raw talent – the speed, the precision, the ease in which he comes in and out of breaks. But it’s also impossible to ignore the sheer lack of production. In two seasons, Jeudy has yet to crack the 100-catch mark (he’s got 90 total receptions in 26 games), averages 50.9 yards per game and has crossed paydirt just three times, none of which were scored in 2021, his sophomore campaign in the league. His draft class – by and large – has run circles around him; Dallas’ CeeDee Lamb (No. 17), Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson (No. 22), San Francisco’s Brandon Aiyuk (No. 25), Cincinnati’s Tee Higgins (No. 33) and Pittsburgh’s Chase Claypool (No. 49) have all been significantly more productive than Jeudy.

That’s not debatable

And neither is the fact that Jeudy hasn’t been the beneficiary of a good (or even the same) quarterback. Yes, Jeudy missed seven games in 2021 with an injury, but even in the games he’s played, he’s never had an above average signal caller throwing him the ball. In fact, he’s played in one of the league’s worst offenses, period. There have been five Broncos starting quarterbacks in Jeudy’s short tenure in Denver. Between his offensive coordinator, and whoever was throwing him the ball, there’s a nearly excusable reason why Jeudy hasn’t lived up to his hype.

But it’s never an all or none. Jeudy hasn’t helped himself, either. Whether he’s got a case of the drops, as he’s had on occasion, or if he’s got somewhat of a bad (perhaps understandably) attitude, he’s likely not as good as he “should be.” Ultimately, assessing Jeudy is a mix somewhere between underachiever and a product of his bad luck environment.

With Wilson heading to Denver, however, the onus is now on Jeudy to become the player he’s supposed to be. There are no more excuses, no more inconsistencies.

That’s the best news possible for Jeudy. Not only does Wilson have all the physical and mental tools, but he’s exactly the type of leader under which Jeudy can – and should – flourish. Wilson has an undeniable resume and pedigree; he’s a noted leader, even amongst NFL quarterbacks. He’s the classic CEO-type, a Type-A personality who leaves no stone unturned heading into Sunday. In the locker room, he’s the opposite of a young and inexperienced Drew Lock; between the lines, his statistics, wins and Super Bowl appearances are the opposite of Teddy Bridgewater.

In other words, there’s no room for Jeudy to act up.

To say Jeudy has been a malcontent, or even a distraction, isn’t entirely true. He hasn’t disrupted the Broncos winning ways or caused a scene in the same vein as Antonio Brown. He has, however, sent his fair share of cryptic tweets, most of which would point to his general displeasure.

It’s time for Jeudy to cut the crap. Time to put Twitter down and fixate on Wilson’s every move, every piece of advice and every second of preparation. Wilson has the ability to change the fortune’s of Jeudy’s career, so long as Jeudy shows some humility, learns the game from a future Hall of Famer and let’s his ability take over from there.

With @DangeRussWilson in town, it’s time for Jeudy to grow up, shut up and put up. If does, the combination of Jerry Jeudy and Russell Wilson will be dangerous indeed.

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