Jerry Jeudy had an up-and-down rookie season for the Denver Broncos. Despite that, it was one of the most productive rookie campaigns in team history for a wide receiver.
Jeudy finished with 52 receptions (113 targets) for 856 yards and three touchdowns, which is a respectable body of work. The fly in the ointment?
He dropped too many passes.
Jeudy exited his rookie year with the second-most drops among all NFL wideouts (12), However, knowing his resume at Alabama and recognizing the unique talent he brings to the table, the general consensus was that his drops were mostly due to a between-the-ears variety issue.
The former Crimson Tide star has worked diligently all offseason to improve his hands and his mental mettle. From working overtime on the Jugs machine to staying late to run routes and catch balls, Jeudy has put in the extra time and focus to put his bad case of 'the dropsies' behind him.
Head coach Vic Fangio has seen an improvement already. As the Broncos held their mandatory minicamp last week, Fangio revealed his initial impressions of the team's 2020 first-round pick.
“I just see a more mature wide receiver, both in his approach, in everything off the field meaning meetings, preparation," Fangio said last Wednesday. "I see a more mature, confident wide receiver on the practice field."
To this day, Fangio holds true to his prophecy of sorts down the stretch last season. After Jeudy had one of the most drop-plagued games for a wideout in modern history, Fangio predicted that the next week would be pivotal for his rookie.
After dopping five passes against the Los Angeles Chargers in a performance that was painful to watch, Jeudy returned in the season finale vs. the Las Vegas Raiders and hauled in five passes for a season-high 140 yards, which included a spectacular 92-yard touchdown.
"I think it goes back to some of it back to what happened between the 15th and 16th game last year, where he had a bad game and was able to come back with a good game," Fangio reflected. "I think that was a big moment in his career. I think it’s catapulting him into where he’s at right now.”
Indeed, Jeudy seems to have matured. In place of the cagey and at times petulant personal he adopted whenever a microphone was in his face, both times we've been able hear from Jeudy this offseason, he was affable, open, optimistic, and honest.
It feels like the kid has turned some sort of corner mentally and it's going to be interesting to see how that comes out in the wash when the 2021 regular season rolls around this fall.
Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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