The Denver Broncos drafted Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy hoping he’d be the team’s next elite wideout.
Still, if the first half of Jeudy’s rookie season foreshadows what is to come, the Denver Broncos have to feel extremely excited.
Jerry Jeudy is the Broncos’ standout rookie
Jerry Jeudy followed in the paths of players like Amari Cooper as Alabama star receivers who landed in the NFL draft’s first round.
In his last two years at Alabama, Jeudy had 145 catches for 2,478 yards and 24 touchdowns. That stellar play earned Jeudy consensus All-American honors and the Biletnikoff Award in 2018.
Denver drafted Jeudy with the 15th overall pick in April. Jeudy opened his career with four catches for 56 yards in a 16-14 loss to Ryan Tannehill and the Titans in Week 1.
Over his first seven games, Jeudy hauled in 23 catches for 359 yards and a touchdown. Denver went 3-4 in those games and lost two others by five points or fewer.
Jeudy is coming off a breakout Week 9
Although the Atlanta Falcons defeated the Denver Broncos in Week 9, the Dirty Birds couldn’t stop Jerry Jeudy.
The rookie wideout set career-highs in catches (seven) and receiving yards (125) in the 37-24 road loss. Jeudy hauled in a 20-yard touchdown catch early in the fourth quarter.
According to the Broncos’ official website, Jeudy said he couldn’t enjoy his first career 100-yard game because Denver lost the game.
“I’m just tired of losing. I just want to do whatever I can to make the team better and just make us better as a whole. Going out there at practice the other day, I just remind myself, ‘Get better, just get better.’ Everything I do, I do at 100 percent.”
Jeudy’s 30 receptions are tied for the sixth-most among rookies, and his 484 receiving yards are fourth.
At 3-6, the Broncos have a challenging schedule ahead. Denver has four straight games against teams with winning records, including a Week 13 trip to visit Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
Denver has not made the postseason since Peyton Manning ended his NFL career by winning Super Bowl 50 in February 2016.
Jerry Jeudy is giving the Denver Broncos reason for excitement
The Denver Broncos have to be extremely excited about what lies ahead with Jerry Jeudy.
The next few weeks will be pivotal in determining the future fates of young quarterback Drew Lock and head coach Vic Fangio. If Denver lands a high-enough pick in next spring’s NFL draft, could they be tempted to draft a quarterback — North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, possibly? — and ship Lock off?
Fangio, for his part, knows what the Broncos have in Jeudy.
“I like where Jerry’s been playing, like where’s he headed,” Fangio said after the Week 9 loss. “He’s been practicing better, and it translates to the game. I think he’s doing a good job, and his arrow is definitely up. He’s what we thought we got when we drafted him.”
Jeudy is on pace to end his rookie season with 60 catches for 968 yards and four receiving touchdowns.
Another strong performance like what he did in Week 9 would be instrumental in putting Jeudy on pace to join the 1,000-yard receiving club.