The 2020 NFL draft will feature several first-round worthy wide receivers, the most special of which is Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy.
Alabama junior wide receiver Jerry Jeudy is one of the most exciting prospects likely to declare for
the 2020 NFL draft, drawing comparisons to electrifying playmakers like Odell Beckham, Jr. Had he been eligible for the 2019 draft, he would’ve been the first pass-catcher selected and a probable top-10 pick.
It doesn’t take long to see why there’s so much excitement around Jeudy, who was once a five-star recruit and one of the most coveted high school receivers in the nation. He’s lived up to the billing during his first two seasons at Alabama and is expected to have an even bigger year in 2019.
Jeudy finished 2018 with 68 catches for 1,315 yards and 14 touchdowns (19.3 yards per catch), proving to be QB Tua Tagovailoa’s favorite target when a big play was needed. Jeudy’s 14 touchdowns rank as the second-best season total in school history and he’s already fifth on the Crimson Tide’s all-time touchdown receptions list.
Physically, Jeudy compares favorably to Beckham, Jr. Unofficially listed at 6-1, 198 pounds, he’s the same weight and two inches taller than the Browns’ star wideout. Jeudy presents with a narrower frame — especially through the legs — but at just 20 years old, he should be able to add some bulk without sacrificing any speed.
Athletically, Jeudy possesses rare traits. He has more juice than any receiver who’s entered the NFL in many, many years and will be able to challenge even the most schooled defensive backs because of his unbelievable speed and agility. Jeudy gets to full speed instantly, changes directions effortlessly, and has the kind of body control unique to the game’s best wide receivers.
He’s also a reliable catcher of the football, which is oftentimes taken for granted. He has soft mitts and does a nice job securing the ball before turning upfield. His contested-catch ability is somewhat unknown; he’s usually created so much separation in his routes that he’s rarely in contested situations.
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As a route-runner, Jeudy flashes an uncoverable double move and a very effective jab step. He presses the stem hard and can snap into his breaks to create separation on intermediate routes. But his bread and butter is down the field, where he wins with those double moves and flat out juice. He glides away from defensive backs in such effortless fashion. It’s fun to watch.
Jeudy is a slippery player after the catch. He can start and stop on a dime and does a nice job avoiding any big hits. He’s pretty strong, too; he’s not the kind of receiver who will catch and fall. He wants to get as many yards as he can out of every touch.
In the run game, Jeudy is tougher than expected. He’s not the kind of run blocker who will pancake defenders, but don’t underestimate the pop behind his pads, either. He won’t let himself get pushed around.
Overall, Jeudy is carrying a first-round grade into the 2019 college football season. Barring injury, he’ll be in the conversation as the top non-quarterback in next year’s class. With such an emphasis placed on the passing game in today’s NFL, teams will be lining up for a weapon like him.