What We Saw: Round 1 of the NFL Draft
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Broncos
The 15th pick in the draft and the second wide receiver off the board, Jerry Jeudy is a versatile receiver that should make an immediate impact. Jeudy is known as an excellent route runner, and his 4.45 40-yard dash should be plenty fast enough for the transition to the pros. At 6’1″ and 193 pounds, Jeudy has the ability to make plays all over the field and can be deployed in the deep passing game as well as close to the line of scrimmage. Jeudy was consistently ranked as the first or second-best receiver throughout the draft process and was battle-tested in the SEC at Alabama. Jeudy is a relatively safe wide receiver prospect and should be able to contribute day one.
Jeudy finds himself in a suddenly crowded Broncos pass-catching corps. Courtland Sutton established himself as a number one receiver last year, rookie tight end Noah Fant impressed, and Melvin Gordon was added to an already stocked backfield. Jeudy should still find plenty of targets as a top-15 draft pick, but the true question of his fantasy value will be the development of second-year quarterback Drew Lock. Jeudy could be talented enough to be the 1A receiver and push Sutton to the role of 1B, or Jeudy could be hindered by a shortened off-season and settle into a secondary role behind Sutton. Jeudy’s long term outlook is excellent, but for redraft leagues in 2020, Jeudy will be very dependent on Lock’s play. In an offense flush with talent, evaluating Lock will be one of the keys to the offseason for fantasy owners. Jeudy is likely a WR3 at this point in the offseason for fantasy purposes.
Effect on New Team
Jeudy will have a bit of a dampening effect on the other pass-catchers unless Lock truly elevates his game and takes this offense to the next level. Sutton now has a major threat to his targets, and while I don’t expect Lock to forget about Sutton, Jeudy’s presence could hold back a massive leap for Sutton in 2020. Fant now has two receivers to battle for targets, as well as a new pass-catching back in Gordon. If everything clicks, this offense could become more efficient and make up for the extra competition for targets through increased scoring. But suddenly there is a battle for targets in Denver across all positions of the offense.