John Elway’s final draft class as the Denver Broncos' GM saw him use a first-round pick on Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy. Jeudy's expert route-running skills it made him a tantalizing prospect.
After a rookie year that yielded 52 catches for 856 yards, the general consensus that Jeudy underperformed is mostly born out of the frustration that he didn’t immediately live up to his superstar billing.
The 22-year-old had a slew of drops that crept into his game during his rookie year, all of which came to a head in a Week 16 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers. After five drops, some even began to question whether or not Jeudy was putting in the basic work of a sure-handed NFL receiver.
In Week 17, Jeudy bounced back spectacularly, registering five grabs for 140 yards and an eye-catching 92-yard touchdown that gave Broncos Country a glimpse of his mouth-watering potential. Head coach Vic Fangio referenced the importance of that pivotal fork in the emotional road moment, and how his receiver has emerged better for it.
“I thought it was going to be a defining moment in his career and how he played the following week,” Fangio recalled. “Then in our last game, he had a very good game and caught a bunch of balls for a bunch of yards. I think that was a very defining moment in his career.”
Translating the pivotal lightbulb moment into a long and productive career is the challenge that lies ahead for Jeudy, but Fangio believes his second-year receiver is now fully switched on.
“I see a more focused and more diligent receiver on the details,” Fangio said. “He knows he can’t slack. I see a much more mature guy right now.”
Heading into Year 2, the explosive receiver believes he can build on his formative rookie year, and as always, he remains fully focused on developing his famous route-running ability.
“Being that this is my second year, you just know the plays,” Jeudy said on Tuesday. “You know the tempo of the plays and the timing of the plays. That really helps you on the timing of your route-running, knowing what to do and what not to do because of how familiar I am with the plays. It really helps me a lot on becoming a better route-runner and knowing the timing of the plays."
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