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Why the Broncos are a playoff contender after Jerry Jeudy pick

Vincent Frank
Jerry Jeudy Broncos NFL Draft
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

General manager John Elway and the Denver Broncos were looking to trade up from the 15th selection of the first round Thursday night.

That’s when everything changed. Once the Las Vegas Raiders selected Henry Ruggs and the San Francisco 49ers traded down one spot for a defensive tackle, Denver was sitting pretty.

It was not a well-kept secret throughout the pre-draft process that Elway wanted to add another young receiver to go with Courtland Sutton. The target was Ruggs’ former teammate with Alabama, Jerry Jeudy.

Everything worked out to perfection for Denver. It nabbed Jeudy with the 15th selection and did not look back.

The steal of Day 1: In no uncertain terms, Denver picked up the best player available at a position of need in Jeudy. His body of work and the tape speaks for itself.

The measurements are just absolutely absurd, too.

  • Height: 6-foot-1
  • Weight: 193 pounds
  • 40-yard: 4.45 seconds
  • Vertical: 35.0 inches
  • Broad: 120 inches
  • 20-yard: 4.53 seconds

Specifics: More than anything, Jeudy already boasts a polished skill set for the NFL game.

  • Most experts conclude that the electric receiver owns the best route-running ability among all receivers in the 2020 NFL Draft. It’s not necessarily that close.
  • More than anything, Jeudy has an ability to create separation at the line and off the break. It gives quarterbacks huge windows to throw through on intermediate routes.
  • Here’s a dude that caught a combined 145 passes for nearly 2,500 yards and 24 touchdowns in his final two seasons with Alabama. That came against elite SEC competition. A total of 15 of 32 first-round picks on Thursday came from this conference. Think about that!

The fit: Denver already has a young Pro Bowl receiver in Courtland Sutton. Jeudy complements what he does well.

  • At 6-foot-4 and 216 pounds, Sutton is more of your go up and get it type of receiver. He boasts a huge catch radius, which helps on the outside.
  • Jeudy has an ability to play both on the outside and in the slot. He should earn his keep from the slot early on due to an ability to create the above-mentioned separation early in the route.
  • Elway and Co. could not have asked for a better fit to go with Sutton. Jeudy landed right on their laps.

The Drew Lock dynamic: Denver did not envision Lock being able to start as a rookie. Hence, the team trading for a washed Joe Flacco.

  • With that said, Lock took over with five games left in the season and played some tremendous football. He posted a 4-1 record while throwing seven touchdowns compared to three interceptions.
  • Not even Broncos head coach Vic Fangio thought Lock was anywhere near ready to play as a rookie after the Broncos made him a second-round pick last April.
  • Now that the youngster has two elite receiving threats in that of Sutton and Jeudy, watch out.

Bottom line

I have been quick to criticize what Elway has done as general manager in recent years. If I am going to go about said criticism, it’s only fair to prop Elway up when he does well. He did just that Thursday night, and has been darn solid throughout the offseason.

Adding Jeudy to go with a skill-position group that already includes Sutton and fellow Pro Bowler, running back Melvin Gordon, was absolutely tremendous.

It might not be enough for Denver to compete with the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West next season. But the team is going to be a wild-card contender. From there, these rebuilt Broncos are only going to get better.