Jerry Jeudy was taken 15th overall in the 2020 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos. He was considered the top receiver in the class throughout the draft process and into the start of the 2020 season. During his rookie year, Jeudy showed a lot of promise, but there are areas where he can improve. While he may still have the most upside of any receiver taken in 2020, guys like Justin Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb, and Chase Claypool all outshined Jeudy in their rookie campaigns. Jerry Jeudy’s second season will be one to watch. Here is what he did well in his rookie campaign and where he needs to improve as he heads into his second season in the NFL.
Jerry Jeudy’s Second Season: What He Needs To Address in Sophomore Campaign
In late May of 2021, the young wide receiver acknowledged that he has “a lot to prove” going into his second season. Many Broncos fans remain adamant that Jeudy will take a big leap in his second season, especially if the team’s quarterback play is improved. This article will address three areas of Jeudy’s game that stood out, both good and bad, in 2020.
Something to Improve: Pass Catching
Jeudy struggled at times to catch the football during his rookie season. While this was a minor concern coming out of college, he grappled with drops more than any scout or fan might have anticipated. Jeudy dropped 10 passes as a rookie and had a catch percentage of just 46 percent and a drop percentage of 8.8 percent. While his catch percentage can largely be attributed to inconsistent quarterback play, the same cannot be said about the drop percentage.
In order to improve in this area, Jeudy will need to work on and learn how to secure the football before he worries about anything else. Thankfully for Jeudy and the Broncos, this is something that many receivers tend to grow out of, especially ones as talented as Jeudy. The Alabama product’s early struggles draw comparisons to a now-superstar wide receiver who had his fair share of trouble catching the ball early in his career.
Something to Continue: Route Running
Much like Davante Adams, Jeudy showed elite potential as a route runner from his first day in the league, despite having similar troubles with hauling in passes. Unlike Adams however, Jeudy has not had the luxury of catching passes from Aaron Rodgers. Given the issues and rumors surrounding Rodgers and the Packers this off-season, there is a possibility that Rodgers ends up in Denver, but Jeudy is likely going to be stuck with mediocre quarterback play once again in 2021. But regardless of who will be throwing him the ball, Jeudy is a talented route runner.
Jeudy is already one of the better route runners in the NFL and he will only continue to perfect that area of his game. Jeudy has an unteachable feel for where to settle on the field and understands when he needs to adjust his route. He also has an innate ability to get open when his quarterback is in trouble.
Something to Improve: His Frame and How He Uses It
Jerry Jeudy has a large frame for a 6-foot-1 athlete and he uses it as well as he can. Too often, however, his strength lets him down in spots where he should be able to haul in contested passes. For example, a few of Jeudy’s drops came as a result of his inability to box out defenders in the middle of the field. He also struggles at times to hold onto contested passes over the top. This is something that he can improve simply by hitting the weight room and attempting to bulk up a little.
Thankfully for Jeudy, he has one of the best and most effective first steps in all of football, so getting off the ball has rarely ever been a problem. This won’t always be the case, though, especially when facing guys like Jalen Ramsey, who is a menace at and near the line of scrimmage, and Stephon Gilmore, who has the ball skills of a wide receiver at cornerback. If Jeudy can find a way to put on 10 pounds of muscle and cut down on drops, he will be an All-Pro level receiver for years to come.