Jerry Jeudy is getting worse. Not just in production, but also in spirit. If he’s not careful, the freshman receiver might fall off the map.
The first round pick of The Broncos in 2020 was the fifth option in the late match, behind Noah Fant, Tim Patrick, Melvin Gordon and fellow rookie KJ Hamler. So what gives?
He has talent. He flashed it a few times this season. And the Broncos clearly love him – they’ve lined him up 15th overall. So why doesn’t he get the ball?
It is important not to compare Jeudy with other novice receivers. Each team faces its own challenges. This Broncos team has been hit with a host of issues, with an inconsistent quarterback game being one of the biggest. Four different QBs started for Denver this year, with four separate challenges for receivers trying to find a rhythm as offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and his staff match each game plan to the man below center. And anyone who’s watched the Broncos this year has seen a weekly rearrangement of the deck when it comes to offensive strategy. But in recent weeks – minus the throwaway game against New Orleans – there has finally been a semblance of consistency. But where is Jerry?
First, he’s been cornered on the injury report of the past few weeks and missed practice time. He’s been on the field every Sunday, but for a rookie receiver, practice is invaluable. If you can’t practice, and by that I mean practice hard and fast, you can’t play.
Jeudy is not an eight-year veteran who knows the system. Jeudy is a rookie who has not proven anything. Nobody cares about his college band. Nobody cares how high he was summoned. All his teammates care about how he can help them win. So how are you going to help, Jerry? You want to get passes, right? Who not? Do you want to know how to catch passes in games? Catch them in practice first. If you can’t, you don’t have a chance.
Second, if you haven’t noticed yet, the run game will start clicking. The Broncos have found that ever-elusive balance and are eager to keep this going. So what do you do during run plays, Jerry? Do you throw a block or do you smell? Do you stick your nose in and get dirty? If receivers don’t make an effort in the run game, they quickly fall out of favor. Not only with the coaches, but also with teammates. If you don’t want to block for me, why should I block for you?
So combine the fact that Jeudy is a rookie who has to pay his dues and misses practice time with his tendency to play as a matador when a block has to be made, and you can see why Drew Lock isn’t looking his way. You want to get passes, right? Who not? Do you want to know another good way to make sure you don’t pass? Tweet about it after a loss.
Not all broad receivers are divas. There’s a reason Tim Patrick took the most snaps from any receiver against the Chiefs. He blocks. He rushes off the field. He practices hurt. That’s what pros do. As soon as your coaches see that you are willing to risk everything, you will be rewarded.
Patrick was not called up, is in his fourth season and is finally getting his money’s worth. He only had two touchdowns from the Broncos on Sunday.
If Jeudy wants any of that action, he has to earn it.