The Denver Broncos have had some very good wide receivers in their history, led by Rod Smith – holds franchise records in receptions (849), yards (11,389) and touchdowns (68) – and Demaryius Thomas. However, no Broncos wideout has ever won NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Former Alabama star Jerry Jeudy is a +1600 seventh-favorite on the William Hill moneyline odds to be the first in 2020.
On the CBS Sports Big Board entering the NFL Draft, Jeudy was ranked as the No. 2 receiver in the class – and he was the second off the board in going No. 15 overall to Denver. What was a bit unusual is that Jeudy went before the top-ranked CeeDee Lamb (No. 17 to Dallas) and behind third-rated Henry Ruggs (No. 12 to the Raiders).
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Jeudy was arguably the second-best receiver in Alabama history behind Amari Cooper. Jeudy's 26 receiving touchdowns were second in school history behind Cooper's 31. Both won the Biletnikoff Award, with Cooper doing so in 2014 and Jeudy in 2018. Both also, ironically, are from south Florida.
It could be tough for Jeudy to see enough targets from Drew Lock in Denver to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, though. He will slot in as the No. 2 wideout behind Courtland Sutton, who was targeted 124 times and had 72 catches for 1,112 yards and six scores last year. In addition, the Broncos doubled-down on a wideout in Round 2 of this year's draft in Penn State's KJ Hamler, who is +2800 on the ROY prop. It was the first time in franchise history the team drafted receivers with its first two selections.
Also expect Denver to run the ball more than league average after adding former Pro Bowl tailback Melvin Gordon to a stable that includes two-time 1,000-yard rusher Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. Last year without Gordon, the Broncos ranked 14th in rushing attempts. Lastly, it can be rather tough to throw the ball in that Denver weather in November and December.
Jeudy could be an excellent player eventually, but his numbers might be rather pedestrian in 2020 for all those reasons listed above.
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