If you kept up with Mile High Report’s NFL Draft prep, you already know how I had Jerry Jeudy as the best fit for the Broncos’ offense under Pat Shurmur. I was over the moon when he fell past the San Francisco 49ers to make it to 15. I’ve written a few different times about what he brings to the field. Today, I thought it’d be a great idea to look past that a little and get some insight on what Jeudy the person brings to the team. To get insight I reached out to Roll ‘Bama Roll’s Parker Simmons, who had the pleasure of covering the Crimson Tide during Jeudy’s collegiate career.
1st and 10
What stands out to you most about Jeudy’s time with the Tide? What will he be remembered for?
Simmons: Jerry Jeudy will forever be remembered in Alabama lore as the main weapon in the Crimson Tide’s greatest two offensive seasons of all time. Tua Tagovailoa was obviously the man who made it all go, but his number one target, by far, was Jeudy. And for good reason. He’s an elite wide receiver with skills that simply can’t be coached.
It’s been repeated ad-nauseam at this point, but he really is the best route runner I’ve ever seen in person. He’s up there with the greats like Antonio Brown and Jerry Rice. I thought Amari Cooper would never be topped in that regard in Tuscaloosa, but this kid comes around a few years later and does just that. His speed/quickness/agility/acceleration combo is insane, and he can give the best man-corners around fits. Don’t even try giving him zone coverage looks.
I, coincidentally, have already done a summation of Jeudy’s career at Alabama as part of an All-Saban team we are putting together over at Roll ‘Bama Roll here’s a quick look at where he fits in Alabama history:
“(Fellow RBR contributor) Dr.Who already delivered some of the arguments between (Jerry Jeudy and Calvin Ridley), but the narrative should be framed differently. Jalen’s unwavering reliance on Ridley in 2017 (his 63 receptions was more than the next three players combined) basically cost Jeudy an entire season. Despite this, Jeudy, as mentioned, ranks 4th all-time in school history, and a mere 39 yards short of Ridley for 3rd, in large part because of his insane 17.2 career YPC. Jeudy is also 2nd all-time at Alabama in receiving touchdowns (26), compared to Ridley’s 19. This is despite having to compete with three other guys (Ridley, Henry Ruggs, and De’Vonta Smith) mentioned in this (All-Saban Team) post for touches, as well as the fact that he was basically done catching any passes by the mid-third quarter of every game, save about five (2018 Georgia, 2018 Clemson, 2019 LSU, 2019 Auburn, 2019 Michigan).
Additionally, the 2018 Fred Biletnikoff Award winner is slated to be the first wide receiver taken off of the board in an absolutely loaded WR class in the 2020 NFL Draft. The reasons are quite obvious. Jeudy is a near-carbon copy of Amari Cooper (Alabama’s only other Biletnikoff winner). In fact, you could even argue that he is more gifted than Cooper.
Jeudy’s combination of route running, speed, quickness, strength, hands, and shiftiness are among the best I’ve ever seen packaged into a single person. He can beat anybody, anywhere on the field.”
2nd and 7:
How do you believe his game will translate to the NFL? Do you have any concerns about him coming to the Broncos?
Simmons: I have absolutely zero concerns about Jerry Jeudy at the next level. I also happen to be a Broncos fan, so my heart started pounding when the Raiders took Henry Ruggs at 12. I love Ruggs, but he’s simply not Jerry Jeudy.
When Goodell announced that the Broncos had drafted Jeudy, I was dancing around in my living room. I couldn’t believe he actually fell to 15. This guy is going to be an elite WR in the NFL. I watched just about every snap that Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, and Calvin Ridley took at Alabama, and Jeudy is as good as any of them. The way Cooper has played in Dallas is what I’m expecting from Jeudy during his prime in Denver. He and Courtland Sutton are going to be a top tier duo in short order. They both complement each other so well too. Sutton is a big, physical athlete with incredible ball skills and will be a possession and end-zone beast. Jeudy is a smooth-as-silk route runner with an incredible ability to create separation and make plays in the open field. With Noah Fant and Albert O. both possessing play-making ability at the tight end position and K.J. Hamler taking the top off of defenses, this could be an incredible offense.
Conservatively, I’d expect a floor for Jeudy to be what Ridley has been for Atlanta, a top-tier second option that occasionally delivers huge performances. But, his ceiling is the very top of the league. He could be a much more sane version of Antonio Brown by the time he’s done.
Jerry Jeudy and Julio Jones running the same route pic.twitter.com/OOoNpeKfDt— 24K (@GoldRush5280) May 14, 2020
3rd and 3:
So most in Broncos’ Country have watched a few Jeudy highlights here and there by now. Is there anything you can tell us from covering him that goes beyond the catches, touchdowns, and burned DBs? What kind of person did the Denver Broncos draft?
Simmons: Jeudy is a soft-spoken guy that prefers to lead by example and put his head down to work. Very similar to Julio Jones in that manner. There are zero character concerns with him. Despite Jeudy not being the most vocal or outgoing guy around, Nick Saban brought him as one of only three players to SEC Media Days last year. That speaks volumes to me. Saban doesn’t bring just anybody with him to do interviews like that. John Elway has been adamant on bringing in high character guys over the past few draft classes, and Jeudy is no exception. He’s already started doing some charity work by helping provide meals to front-line workers in the battle against COVID-19 via Brandon Marshall’s House of Athlete.
The most obvious example of Jeudy being a leader and a teammate on the field came in his final collegiate game. With rumors swirling that he would sit out the Citrus Bowl against Michigan, a practice that has become common among projected NFL Draft entrants in recent years, Jeudy came out on Twitter and adamantly denied them. He followed that up by having a huge game against a top-ranked Wolverines defense, while some of his fellow teammates sat the game out. He was named the game’s MVP with a stat-line of 204 yards on six receptions and a score.
4th and inches:
If you had to boil Jeudy’s collegiate career down to one play that defines him, what would it be?
Simmons: Man, a single play? Let me give you two, at least.
The first one that comes to mind whenever I think about Jeudy is when he absolutely torched Clemson (and now Raiders) safety Tanner Muse in the National Championship in 2018 for a touchdown. He completely embarrasses the guy. (About the 5:20 mark on the video.) This is quintessential Jerry Jeudy. Going up against the best competition on the biggest of stages, and he simply balls out. He’s a big play waiting to happen. I can’t tell you how many times he used his elite separating abilities and speed to score 70+ yard TDs with ease.
The other play is just an artistic ability to make the guys around him look foolish. (About the 4:07 mark of the same video.) It also showcases all of what makes Jeudy so special, his ability to get open, the speed to turn on the jets, and the shiftiness to make guys miss badly. That’s not exactly a team full of scrubs he’s playing against, either.
Are you happy the Broncos drafted Jerry Jeudy?
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