Jerry Jeudy Makes Defenders Look Silly (2020 NFL Draft)
WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
Weight: 193 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.45 seconds
Vertical Jump: 35.0 inches
Broad Jump: 120.0 inches
3-Cone Drill: N/A
Coming out of Alabama, Jeudy has some big footsteps to follow in, as Amari Cooper and Calvin Ridley have set a high mark to live up to in the NFL. To this point, Jeudy hasn’t disappointed. Many have him as the No. 1 wide receiver in this draft class despite his weight being lower than most would hope for, as he’s as well-rounded as they come and will contribute on day one.
Over the last two seasons, Jeudy managed to rack-up 2,478 yards and 24 touchdowns despite being surrounded by two other receivers who are considered borderline first-round talents. And the best part is that he was consistently destroying competition, as he racked-up 100-plus yards in 10 of his last 26 games, including a career-high 204 yards in his final game on New Year’s Day. Will his skills translate to the NFL?
Here’s my detailed scouting report on Jerry Jeudy (ratings out of five stars):
His size is the one thing that’s a glaring negative about Jeudy, though it’s not as if he’s 170 pounds. He’s built similarly to someone like Calvin Ridley, who’s proven you can play at a high level without weighing 215 pounds. He aligned all over the formation, including the slot. If an NFL team wants him to play the slot, he can do that, though it’d be a waste of his talent on the perimeter. He’s someone who’ll be moved all over the field, allowing an offense to pick and choose their matchups. So, this category is somewhat of a mixed bag.
Route Running/Ability to Separate
If there’s a criticism of his game in this territory, it’s that he’ll take plays off when he knows the ball isn’t coming his way. But when Jeudy wants to get open and puts forth the effort, he does. There was a route he ran late in that game where he had the defender simply fall down in the route and it created an automatic reception. His footwork on his routes is something that can’t be taught. Doesn’t need to decelerate a lot to curl his route or break it outside. There were plenty of times while watching his film where Tua Tagovailoa waited to throw the ball until well after the break in Jeudy’s route, but he created so much separation that it didn’t matter. He walks into the NFL as a top-10 route runner.
He has speed at every level of the field and won’t leave you wanting more. The breaks in his routes create separation, while his speed allows him to get over the top. The best part is that defensive backs cannot leave him with a cushion because he can also act as a possession-style receiver.
He’s not someone who’s going to win contested catches consistently, as that’s not who he is. He’s a natural separator who relies on distance from his defender. He lets the ball come into his body quite often rather than plucking it out of the air. Saw a drop on both a deep ball and touchdown against LSU but looks to be competent for the most part.
RATING: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2
He has common sense, which is obviously a trait you want with a receiver, as he’ll derail his route in order to avoid a defender in a zone. He’s also brilliant at getting a defender to flip his hips before cutting his route. That is a part of his game that not many realize how special he is, as there are route-runners who don’t necessarily pay attention to the defender while running their route. Jeudy manipulates defenders and gets them right where he wants them. His ball-tracking is rock-solid, though his hands will let him down at times (though it doesn’t affect his grade in this area).
After the Catch
He’s not someone who’s going to break many tackles at just 192 pounds, as that’s not the type of receiver he is. What he can do after the catch is use his elite stop-start ability to make defenders miss, or at the very least not get a clean hit on him.
RATING: ⭐⭐ 1/2
Projected Draft Spot
He’s going to be drafted inside the first-round, we know that much. The question becomes: Just how high can he go? My best guess would be that won’t fall outside of the top 15 picks, and it’s possible that someone selects him inside the top-10. He’s a Pro Bowl-type talent and someone who will deliver in the NFL, as route-running translates at every level. The teams to watch with him include the Cardinals, Jaguars, Jets, and Raiders. If he falls to the Broncos, they should run to the podium and select him.
If you couldn’t tell by now, I have high expectations for Jeudy. He reminds me quite a bit of Stefon Diggs, as he’s not your prototypical No. 1 receiver in size, but does everything you could hope your top receiver would. He’s a top-tier route runner, has the speed to blow the top of the defense, and pays close attention to what the defender is doing.
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