6: 00 AM ET
Jeff LegwoldESPN Senior Writer
- Covered Broncos for 2 years for Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News
- Formerly covered Steelers, Bills and Titans
- Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame Board
of Selectors since 1999
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — In an offseason in which Denver Broncos fans have had extra time to mine the wired universe for even the smallest of nuggets about the team’s offseason overhaul, rookie wide receiver Jerry Jeudy is now a ray of sunlight.
His workout videos, usually posted on his social networking accounts, have fueled lots of drive-time conversation in his brand new football house, making the Broncos’ first-round choice this past April the team’s retweet king within the previous two months.
When Jeudy posted a 43-second clip of some footwork drills every month, former six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Chad Johnson simply posted,”Moses parted the Red Sea for feet such as this.”
Another 29-second clip Jeudy posted before this month showcased his route-running function and forced Jeudy the face, along with the feet, which launched a thousand emojis.
“I love the way he performs,” is how Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton put it before this offseason.” … He’s going to add a good deal more pressure to guards with his pace, his route-running ability. I think it’s going to start up a lot for a lot of the men on the area.”
The Broncos say Jeudy was the best receiver in their draft board this past April when, in their attempts to rev up among the league’s most lowest-scoring offenses last season, they had been happy to gobble him up with the 15th pick overall. He had been the second recipient selected — his former teammate in Alabama Henry Ruggs III was the first wide receiver picked at No. 12 by the Las Vegas Raiders — and Jeudy is expected to be a walk-in starter for the Broncos if the team contributes to the area.
His appearances at workouts arranged by quarterback Drew Lock lately had teammates buzzing about his potential in a crime that needed upgrading. The Broncos finished 28th or worse last season in most of the major classes on offense, such as scoring, total offense, third-down conversions and red zone scoring. They scored 16 or fewer points nine times a year and went 2-7 in those matches.
Broncos coach Vic Fangio has summed up Jeudy’s potential by stating:”We believe he is hard to pay, and once he does grab it, he can run quite good with it afterwards. It is as simple as that. Can you cover him not?”
The Broncos want, and want, Jeudy to arrive — if the staff gets the green light to start training camp — with the aim of not just playing a fantastic deal but also having an effect from the offense.
He averaged a touchdown every six catches during his three seasons in Alabama. He snapped 4. 45-second speed in the 40-yard dash at the scouting combine. Nonetheless, it is route-running versatility and his footwork that has optimism swirling about him.
Broncos president of football operations/general director John Elway called it”the ability to plant a foot and also get from a break” And among those things Elway said he enjoyed most about Jeudy in the pre-draft windup –“the way he wishes to attack the game of the football” — is also one of the things some of his teammates have pointed out that this summer.
In the end, history has shown it’s been a bit of an uphill struggle initially for the group’s first-round picks at wide receiver. The past four wide receivers the Broncos chosen in the first round over the past 33 years — Ricky Nattiel, Marcus Nash, Ashley Lelie and Demaryius Thomas — finished their rookie seasons with four, four, 35 and 22 captures, respectively.
But those toes, those rapid feet, to go with a savvy nuance in his paths, provide Jeudy an opportunity to perform more.
“It’s that footwork, the capacity to separate, eliminate bulge, that means a guy can have some effect right away,” former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. “From what I’ve seen myself, what I have heard, [Jeudy] has .”