Breaking down 2020 NFL Draft prospect Jerry Jeudy’s game trait-by-trait. Is he the top wide receiver in the class?
Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy is extremely talented and is likely to go in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Let’s break down his game trait-by-trait and see how he stacks up with the rest of the wide receiver class. Hint: the answer is pretty darn well.
Name: Jerry Jeudy
Position: Wide Receiver
Weight: 192 pounds
Games Watched: LSU (2019), Michigan (2019), Auburn (2019), Ole Miss (2019), South Carolina (2019), Tennessee (2018), Clemson (2018), Ole Miss (2018), Texas A&M (2018), Louisville (2018)
2019 Stats: 77 catches, 1,163 yards, 10 TDs
Let’s go through each trait to look for in a receiver and how Jerry Jeudy stacks up in each area.
Route Running: Jeudy has a very advanced route tree, with his best routes being out routes, slant routes, and routes breaking back toward the football. He can snap off routes with his quickness and fluid hips and explodes off his plant foot with very good short-area burst, especially on in and out routes. Jeudy never really has extra steps working through his route.
Jeudy understands how to gain separation and leverage and is great and selling an inside or outside stem and breaking the other way. He sells the deep routes well with his speed and can eat up cushion, which helps out his hitch and comeback routes, where he can stop on a dime with outstanding separation. It’s also great to watch him use a hesitation move in his stem to create more initial separation in his stem.
Release: Jeudy looks like a veteran receiver out there with his release. He works through many releases on tape, including the in-out-in release, the out-in-out release, and a speed release, where he uses hand swipes well to keep receivers from gaining control at the start of his route. Jeudy has the quickness and burst to get off the line of scrimmage with ease and immediately gets defenders off balance and out of position.
Ball Skills: This area really isn’t Jeudy’s game. He isn’t the “go up and get the football” type of player as far as contested catches go, but that is just one area in this category. Jeudy does track the ball well down the field and holds on to the ball in traffic over the middle of the field.
Hands: Jeudy didn’t really have any issues with drops in 2018, but out of nowhere, dropped seven passes during the 2019 season. On the 2018 film, there are examples of Jeudy making some tough catches away from his frame and making it look easy. In 2019, he’s let the ball into his frame a lot more. It’s not a major issue at this point, but it’s certainly something to monitor. I’ll be keeping an eye on Jeudy during the gauntlet drill at the combine.
Blocking: Sometimes Jeudy will just throw his shoulder at defenders while other times he will engage them well with a good base and good hand placement. Something great to note in this area is that Jeudy will give that extra effort downfield to find a defender to block to help his teammates, and a couple of those blocks resulted in touchdowns.
YAC/RAC Ability: Jeudy is excellent after the catch for a couple of reasons. He has the speed to outrun defenders and turn short completions into long touchdowns when he gets in space. Jeudy also has that lethal quickness to make defenders miss which shows up on every game you watch him play. Making defenders miss in the open field is always beneficial at the next level. Jeudy also shows a little more strength than expected to pick up a couple of extra yards through arm tackles.
Speed: Jeudy’s speed is very underrated, probably because he plays with Henry Ruggs and Jaylen Waddle. His speed can eat up cushion when there’s off coverage. He can win with speed off the line of scrimmage and can create separation with it vertically.
Versatility: With his ability to create quick initial separation and his speed, Jeudy can play on the perimeter or in the slot, and teams who have bigger receivers will likely move him around a lot, where he can exploit matchups.
Play Strength: Play strength isn’t his strong suit because of his smaller frame, but he can work through contact near the line of scrimmage and down the field. He can also work through arm tackles after the catch.
Film Grade: 8.65/10 (First Round Grade)
Jerry Jeudy gets a first-round film grade for me and will be a top-three receiver in the 2020 NFL Draft. He likely will go in the first 12 picks of the draft and should make an instant impact in any offense. Two of his best fits in the top half of the first round would be Arizona and Las Vegas, where he can be the primary guy with good offensive minds.