When training camp swings open its doors next week, the sheer depth of the Denver Broncos wide receiver corps will provide some intense competition for roster spots. One player expected to excel will be the second-year Jerry Jeudy, who let too many dropped passes creep into his game in 2020.
But the former first-rounder still flashed moments of genius.
ESPN recently compiled a list of 15 second-year players who could become break-out stars in 2021, and Jeudy checked in at No. 2 behind only Cincinnati Bengals quarterback, and former No. 1 overall draft pick, Joe Burrow.
Somewhat predictably, ESPN's analysis comes with the recurring caveat that Denver's QB play must improve if Jeudy is going to take a quantum leap forward in Year 2.
Jeudy had a rough season, hauling in only 46% of his targets en route to a 52 catch, 856-yard campaign,” ESPN documented. “There is hope for an upside, but that’s assuming Denver’s quarterback play is much improved. Jeudy led the league in targets that were incomplete via a quarterback-fault error (28), according to tracking from PFF. Accuracy issues from Broncos quarterbacks simply didn’t allow him to show off his true skill set.
ESPN, just like the majority of Broncos Country, is all too aware of the issue of delivering the ball to Jeudy in stride, as well as his fellow receivers, and how that lack of polished timing and accuracy held back the offense last season. To be hypercritical of Jeudy, his reputation as a master route-runner has been greatly enhanced by his prolific posting of social-media training videos than the actual body of work he produced thus far.
Moving forward, some growing pains will be largely forgiven as the page turns over towards Jeudy’s sophomore campaign. On sheer talent alone, there probably isn’t that much to worry about with the ex-Alabama star, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t need to brush up on his tendency to drop the football.
“Jeudy wasn’t completely faultless, though, as his 17.1% drop rate ranked as a bottom-five mark in the league among receivers with at least 25 targets. But if those numbers – quarterback fault incompletions and drop rate – regress toward average, Jeudy is in line for a great 2021 season.”
Just take a quick tour of the 22-year-old's social media accounts and it's easy to see his newfound emphasis on improving his hands. Translating that into consistent error-free production will not only help Jeudy break out in Year 2, but it will also boost whoever ends up distributing him the football.
The Broncos will kick off training camp on Wednesday of next week, July 28. From there, fans will begin to see just how far Jeudy has come with his hands.
Follow Keith on Twitter @KeithC_NFL.
Subscribe to Mile High Huddle on YouTube for daily Broncos live-stream podcasts!