Jerry Jeudy did not have the kind of season he wanted in 2020.
After being one of three star wideouts at Alabama, Jeudy’s NFL debut year featuring a catch percentage under 50% did not live up to his standards.
So he focused his offseason on improving that - “just concentration on the ball, my catching, hand strength—stuff like that,” he noted, adding that he “for sure” plans on a breakout sophomore season.
“I’ve been working hard this offseason just to have a great year this year,” Jeudy said last week. “So I feel comfortable in all the hard work I put in this offseason to be able to come this year and do what I do.”
And what he’s been doing in training camp so far will make Broncos Country anxious to get this season started.
Following the second joint practice with the Vikings on Thursday, Jeudy said his main focus the past few months has been on overall improvement.
“I just really want to focus on being better than I was last year - improving each and every day during practice and just learning from my coaches,” he added. “I have high expectations for myself, but I’m just excited to see how this year comes.”
His teammates have certainly noticed - especially the guys trying to cover him.
“I mean, these first two, three days, he’s been doing some great stuff,” safety Kareem Jackson noted the first week of training camp. “He just is a unique talent. I mean, it’s not a lot of guys that young able to run routes the way he [does]. Just concept-wise, the speed that he possesses to get in and out of his breaks. He’s doing some good things here early on in camp.”
Melvin Gordon on the Jerry Jeudy hype:— Aric DiLalla (@AricDiLalla) August 12, 2021
“He’s pretty talented. ... He’s got a mindset right now that he wants to be the greatest to ever do it.”
Cornerback Ronald Darby has also been impressed...and tested.
“He’s going to get you right. He’s a great route runner. He knows how to sell his routes. He has speed, quickness. He can get in and out of his breaks. He comes out here and competes every day,” Darby said, noting that Jeudy has been one of the first guys out to practice every day. “That wakes me up and has me ready to go. It helps me.”
Darby even noted that winning a one-on-one with Jeudy means he’s doing something right. Although Jeudy had an incomplete catch against Darby, the cornerback pointed out that Jeudy ran a great route.
“He sold it really well, and I just made a play on the ball,” Darby said, adding that Jeudy also “had him” on an earlier route. “It’s tough checking him, but that’s what you need out here. You don’t want everything to be easy. I love going up against him and 14 [Courtland Sutton].”
For fellow cornerback Bryce Callahan, the hype on Jeudy this year is real. Asked if the media might be “overreacting” to Jeudy hype this year, Callahan summed it up in one word.
“Overreacting? No,” Callahan said. “He’s an explosive player. He can change directions on a dime. He’s going to be special.”
Jeudy’s offensive teammates are pretty hyped about him too.
Veteran running back Melvin Gordon III is certainly buying into it.
“No, he’s pretty talented, man,” Gordon said about the hype. “He has a mindset right now that he wants to be the greatest to ever do it. He comes out here every day and he showcases it. That’s why you guys are talking to him right now about the plays he’s making. He has grit, man; he has the mindset, the focus. He’s going to make it happen. He’s going to open a lot of people’s eyes. I said that before, and I’m going to continue to say it.”
Both Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater are enjoying Jeudy’s talent at their disposal.
“That man—he’s something different. He is making big, big strides,” Lock said last week of his wide receiver. “I know Jerry doesn’t talk much about what it is he’s doing, and he wants it to be shown on the field. I’ll let that speak for itself—his work and his play on the field. He is coming along, to say the least.”
Bridgewater joked that Jeudy is so fast, he can’t possibly have any knees.
“Jerry Jeudy—he scares me, man. The way he’s in and out of breaks, he can’t have any ACLs or knees. I wish I had his knees,” Bridgewater laughed. “That guy—the way he’s able to change directions, he makes all of his routes look the same. He’s doing a great job of attacking the ball when we throw it to him across the middle and making plays after the catch. He’s having fun. That’s what you love to see.”
What Broncos Country really loves to see, however, is catches that lead to scores - which Bridgewater and Jeudy managed to take care of nicely on Wednesday.
“He just did a good job of understanding the coverage. We ran a play where I just had to read the safety and what the safety did. I was able to hold the safety a little bit with my eyes, and Jerry did the rest,” Bridgewater said. “I threw it in a tight window and Jerry made the catch. He went down and five seconds later he goes into the end zone like it’s a fire drill and he’s on fire.”