The NFL is littered with some elite receivers but the last time we’ve had an elite receiver taken in the first round was the 2014 NFL Draft where Mike Evans and Odell Beckham Jr. were selected. Since then we’ve had 17 receivers drafted in the first round and even then only a couple were truly thought to be potential elite receivers. We’ve even got two straight drafts without a receiver being drafted in the top 20. That likely changes in 2020 as Jerry Jeudy is now NFL Draft eligible and has all the makings of an elite NFL receiver. Here is a look at 3 reasons why.
One of Jeudy’s best traits is is his speed and explosiveness. Jeudy is able to win off the line of scrimmage using explosive burst to get defenders on their heels initially and then has the ability to accelerate to another gear running past defensive backs. Averaging 19.3 yards per catch Juedy has not only been a downfield weapon but has the ability to make defenders miss and produce yards after the catch.
When you think of big receivers most thoughts go to the 6’4 basketball style receivers like AJ Green and Julio Jones but a 6’1 receiver like Jerry Jeudy is far from “small” and he has good length and combined with his leaping ability and body control he’s able to go up and win contested catches just like someone who is a couple of inches taller than him.
If you want to be an elite receiver in the NFL you have to be able to create some form of separation running routes. Jerry Jeudy is able to utilize his physical traits of speed, quickness and agility that allow him to beat defensive backs. But he’s far from just out athleting defensive backs.
Jerry Jeudy does a great job of setting up the cornerbacks allowing himself to make a cut to get open. Because he has the speed to win deep he’s can push the defensive back deep making it seem like he is going to go over the top but then has the body control and footwork to sink his hips and quickly stop as the cornerback’s momentum is still carrying them downfield. Jeudy is also adapt at using body leans, hesitation or even just sudden changes of directions to get defenders to take wrong steps, turn around or just have to guess where he is going.
The main job of any receiver is to catch the ball and Jerry Jeudy is able to do that with some of the best. Whether the ball is right to him, low or high as long as it’s in his area he’s going to be able to make the catch. With soft hands Jeudy is able to make effortless hands catches while also being able to pluck the ball out of the air on higher throws. What helps Jeudy the most is he has good body control which allows him to alter his body while either running at full speed or even going up in the air to adjust to off target or tough throws. Jeudy has been a big play threat for the Crimson Tide because of his speed, but he couldn’t make some of those plays if he didn’t track the ball down the field adjusting and putting himself in the right position to make the plays.