Jerry Jeudy

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Preseason

Chance of Injury in 2020: question mark 0%
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Jerry Jeudy Player Overview

What You Need to Know:

-- Among Broncos, only Courtland Sutton eclipsed 66 targets last season.

-- Emmanuel Sanders ranked 2nd among Denver WRs in catches and receiving yards, despite leaving after 7 games.

-- Jeudy racked up 145 catches at 17.1 yards per reception over the past 2 years.

-- He ran most often from the slot at Alabama.


Targets Available

No one should have been shocked to see the Broncos draft a WR in Round 1. Courtland Sutton dominated targets with 126 of them last year, his 24.6% share ranking 7th among all NFL wideouts. Rookie TE Noah Fant checked in 2nd among Broncos with 66 targets.

DaeSean Hamilton ranked 2nd among Broncos receivers at just 52 targets. It was Emmanuel Sanders, though, who ranked 2nd at the position for Denver in receptions (30), receiving yards (367) and TD catches (2) -- even though the Broncos traded him away after 7 games.

League wide, the Broncos had Sutton rank 18th in targets, and then Fant 92nd and Hamilton 125th.


The New Offense

Last year’s Broncos clearly struggled in the passing game outside of Sutton’s contributions, ranking 27th in attempts, 28th in yards and 32nd in TD passes. HC Vic Fangio apparently didn’t think it was totally a roster issue, though.

He fired 1st-time OC Rich Scangarello after the season and hired Pat Shurmur, fired after 2 years as Giants HC.

Shurmur has spent all or part of 11 years as an OC or HC in the NFL across 5 teams, including stints under Chip Kelly in Philadelphia and Mike Zimmer in Minnesota. His offenses have ranged in their passing lean, with Shurmur’s Giants units ranking most pass-heavy. Attribute that primarily to those squads going 4-12 and 5-11 (thus playing from behind a lot). But Shurmur appreciates the importance of the pass.

“I know the importance of running the football and how that affects not only your offense but your full team,” he said during his introductory press conference on Feb. 6. “Then I worked recently with Andy Reid and really that’s where I got my start and my appreciation for the importance of throwing the ball and how you score points and doing it in a way that’s efficient and explosive.”

We’ll see exactly what that means for play-calling balance in Denver. The Broncos did just sign an expensive veteran RB in free agency and sport a QB with just 5 career starts.

Interestingly, Shurmur’s teams have shown decent consistency in their target shares for #2 WRs. The average share for the teams’ 2nd wideouts over the aforementioned years: 16.7%. Eight of those players fell in the range of 16.5% to 20.7%.


The Prospect

As the 15th overall pick, Jeudy immediate and easily ranks among the best #2 receivers that Shurmur has coached -- and just might top that list. (Stefon Diggs and Golden Tate look like the biggest challengers.) Multiple Broncos decision makers have professed excitement. That includes director of player personnel Matt Russell, who seems to believe Jeudy will be ready to contribute quickly.

"I think when you've got a receiver that is that seasoned at the college level, they can just be that much more impactful, that much quicker at the NFL level," Russell said. "You eliminate maybe the year of developing and learning how to run routes, learning how to stick the brakes on and separate, getting away from coverage, those kind of things. That takes time for those guys to learn, and he's already way ahead of the game when it comes to that.”

Shurmur calls Jeudy “obviously” a good scheme fit.

“He did a great job when he played in the slot,” the OC said. “He can also play outside. So he sort of fits that player that we want to play opposite of Courtland Sutton.”

Jeudy would have to seriously disappoint this summer to miss taking over the #2 job for 2020.

That average target share among Shurmur’s #2 WRs -- 16.7% -- would have been worth 84 targets in last year’s low-volume Broncos pass offense. That total would have tied A.J. Brown for 46th among wideouts. It seems fair to expect these Broncos to climb higher than 27th in the league in attempts -- especially if they don’t morph into a 10+ win team.


Draft Sharks Bottom Line:

Jeudy is a terrific player with immediate opportunity under a veteran OC. The biggest question facing him is 2nd-year QB Drew Lock. We’ll see about Lock this summer (and beyond).

The opportunity and playing opposite Courtland Sutton puts Jeudy in WR4-level contention. Lock and an offense that could still lean run a bit threaten his consistency.

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Jerry Jeudy Injury History

Date League Injury Details
This player has no recorded injuries