NFL Draft scouting profile: Smooth Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy
The Arizona Cardinals have more pressing needs to address at No. 8 in the 2020 NFL Draft, but what if they say screw it and stack up their skill positions even more?
The dynamic elements of Kliff Kingsbury’s offense through Kyler Murray, Larry Fitzgerald’s age and a strong wideout class add up to an outside chance they swing big and take a wide receiver.
There are three names to watch in the top-half of the first round: Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb and the Alabama duo of Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III.
While Lamb is the most talked about of the three to potentially land in Arizona, Jeudy is actually ranked the highest of the group. ESPN, Bleacher Report and The Draft Network all have him above Lamb, and Jeudy was evaluated by those experts as one of the best wide receivers to come out in the last few years.
Here’s more on what those analysts are saying about Jeudy.
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Measurables: 6-foot-1, 193 pounds
2019 statistics: 77 receptions, 1,163 yards, 10 touchdowns
Combine numbers: 4.45 40-yard dash, 35-inch vertical
Jeudy is considered the best prototypical wide receiver in this class. Jeudy is graded highly for his route running ability, which is endlessly praised in draft circles.
“He’s really a guy you can count on,” ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. said in March on Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf. “They call that route running.”
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has Jeudy as the best “Day 1 Starter” and the best route runner of the wideouts.
“Then you got Jerry Jeudy who is so smooth and accelerates in and out of breaks and is sort of like a Gumby doll,” Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said on Doug & Wolf in February. “He’s got no stiffness.”
Again, it’s all about the way Jeudy moves.
“He’s the best route runner I’ve ever seen,” ESPN’s Todd McShay said.
The Draft Network’s Drae Harris sees a collection of skills that reminds him of one of the top wideouts this past decade.
His wiry frame, route running prowess, dynamic ability in the open field, tracking ability while the ball is in the air and playmaking ability in clutch situations is reminiscent of AJ Green of the Cincinnati Bengals.
As far as weaknesses, The Draft Network and SB Nation’s Stephen White note that concentration drops are a slight struggle for Jeudy, where he is prone to taking his eyes off the ball too early and dropping uncontested opportunities.
Analysts also spotlight Jeudy’s physical profile as an area where the aforementioned “wiry frame” is not something he will overwhelm defenses with.
A “super leggy frame” is something The Draft Network’s Benjamin Solak notes as a reason why Jeudy was pushed off some routes by more physical defenders, and he wasn’t tested all that much with it because of a dominant Crimson Tide offense.
“He was never really pressed at that spot,” Kiper said. “It gave Jeudy a free run. You don’t get a free run in the NFL.”
Even with those slight concerns in mind, Jeudy’s ability to create space and explosiveness in the open field has him as a potential option for the Cardinals, who did meet with him at the combine.