Jerry Jeudy is absolutely worth the hype
Long before he became draft-eligible, the center of the college football WR landscape was Jerry Jeudy. The allure for a guy that made highlight-reel plays every time he stepped out under those lights was as clear as day. Jerry Jeudy was one of those guys that drew attention away from everyone else you were watching and put it directly onto himself. The surface-level evaluation was that this guy was a special receiver and had the potential to be a future star.
All of that, when taken into account, created an absolute hype monster for one guy coming out of the NFL and star producing factory known as Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide. Some analysts, whether fantasy or NFL draft in general, have said to slow down with this hype. While others are going full steam ahead on the Jerry Jeudy. At this point in this Summer, everyone seems to have Jerry Jeudy up near the top of their rankings, regardless of format.
I decided to dive fully into Jerry Jeudy’s advanced statistics and tape to see if he was really worth every bit of the hype he is garnering.
Name: Jerry Jeudy
Position: Wide Receiver
Weight: 192 lbs
Jerry Jeudy came out of Deerfield Beach High School in Florida, which has a rich history, especially recently, of producing NFL talent. Riley Ridley, Denard Robinson, and Jason Pierre-Paul all come from the high school.
Jeudy was a five-star recruit and the third overall receiver in the 2017 recruiting class. He went off in his senior year of high school for 76 receptions, 1,054 yards receiving, and 15 touchdowns, all of which ranked top 5 in the state of Florida for that year. Still, as he came onto campus his Freshman year, he would have to fight for reps. Jeudy had himself a solid season, amassing 264 yards in 14 receptions and 2 touchdowns.
However, his Sophomore campaign was incredibly impressive. With a loaded weapons group that included Irv Smith, Henry Ruggs, Devonta Smith, Damien Harris, Josh Jacobs, Jaylon Waddle, and Najee Harris, Jeudy outshined them all well on his way to a Biletnikoff Award and a Consensus All-American season after amassing 1,315 yards and 14 touchdowns in 68 receptions.
There is something to be said about a guy that can rise above an entire crop of NFL talent and show that he truly is the best option and player among those weapons. Jeudy led his team in receptions, receiving yards, yards per reception, and touchdowns. When the game was on the line, Jerry Jeudy was the guy that the Crimson Tide went to, and he delivered.
His exceptional Sophomore season gives him a breakout age of 19, which is very, very good. Jeudy is in a bit of a weird situation in terms of his analytics since usual benchmarks that he should are largely inflated for him. The Alabama offense was largely unstoppable and Jeudy’s analytics took a hit. But, breakout age is one of the main things I look at analytically, and he passes that test with flying colors. Plus, he has room to grow.
The Tale of the Tape
Jerry Jeudy’s tape is one of the most entertaining tape grinding experiences I have done during my time scouting draft prospects. There is very little to nitpick with Jeudy technically, the real knock on him is a slightly lean frame that you would like to see strengthened for durability sake, but that can be fixed in the weight room. Jeudy is a football guy, so that can be fixed just fine.
Route Running and Releases
Jerry Jeudy makes route running look so easy. Look at how that inside release gets the DB biting. Jeudy is a stud. pic.twitter.com/OcKVFJNqTJ
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) July 5, 2019
The most impressive aspect of Jeudy’s route running is just how easily he does it. The subtlety and effortlessness has to be commented on because all the elite wide receivers and route runners do it. Antonio Brown, Keenan Allen, and Tyler Lockett all don’t have to do much since they can separate so easily and efficiently. Jeudy fits into that same vein. His natural quickness and understanding of leverage and how to manipulate DBs are far beyond his years. It is something special to have at the stage he is at right now.
The simple jab step on this release is all he needs to get this DB to bite on this flag route. His feet are quick, and in order to be a great route runner, you need those quick feet. It helps make your cuts sharper and can help in manipulating the DB due to the efficiency in which you can change direction. Whether that is selling stems or releases, Jeudy has that all in droves. Everything about the nuance Jeudy has is incredibly impressive.
Jerry Jeudy after the catch >>> pic.twitter.com/vqPcxVP5ih
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) June 13, 2019
The YAC ability of Jerry Jeudy is sometimes insane because he is legitimately more elusive than some Running Backs in space. That thought alone should be horrifying to any defense that he faces this upcoming season and beyond.
Part of it is absurd body control. His ability to stop on a dime and change direction is uncanny in his film. That is also a great trait to have on the sidelines when he needs to toe-tap, and he does that extremely well, too. That change of direction also comes up when it pertains to his cutting ability. His cuts are sharp, quick, and effective. Jeudy will juke a guy right out of his shoes and he has done so multiple times over his football career.
The last of them is vision and contact balance. Two things that are important. Jeudy, despite his build, has surprisingly muscular legs and an iron man core and just does not go down. His ability to break tackles is on display every time he gets the football in his hands. His vision and ability to manipulate defenders’ angles are also a top trait of his. All in all, Jeudy’s YAC ability is top tier.
Jerry Jeudy is definitely running in the 4.3s good lord pic.twitter.com/2qsdj2pgtS
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) June 2, 2019
Something we don’t have yet is combine testing numbers. There have been some reports that Jeudy can run up to a 4.33. However, there is no identifiable proof of that yet and we will not get those numbers until the combine. However, the tape shows fantastic athleticism in all areas. On this streak, Jeudy outruns 4.29 40 safety Zedrick Woods to the house on his way to a touchdown. His long speed is not a question, Jeudy has it in droves.
His quickness and explosiveness are great as well. You can see that in his cuts, breaks, and route running. The explosiveness on his routes and out of his breaks. The quickness and shiftiness he has bode well for those as well. I have no concerns athletically for Jeudy.
Jeudy’s overall market share of his team’s receiving yards is only 27.1% currently. That is still above the threshold for regression and all, but Tylan Wallace’s is pushing 40% and Laviska Shenault nearly has a 47% market share of receiving yards. Jeudy failed to break 30% on his dominator rating as well but hovered around that mark the entire season. Each of those metrics is somewhat misleading given who he was playing with and what he would have had to do in order to get an elite Market Share (>35%).
Jeudy had a 26% market share of his team’s receiving touchdowns, that is a fantastic benchmark to hit there. Still, when looking at how he could have even challenged guys like Wallace or Shenault, Jeudy would have had to break the NCAA record for receiving yards in order to get even up near them. The elite supporting cast that he played with dropped down all of the metrics he had, especially that dominator rating.
For those that don’t know what dominator rating is, it is a combination of the team’s total touchdowns and receiving yards. It is quantified into that metric. Jeudy has yet to break the 30% threshold, and this is somewhat the reason why I am not a huge fan of dominator rating. Alabama had 52 passing touchdowns in 2018, while a team like Minnesota, only had 20 passing touchdowns. Jerry Jeudy had 14 touchdown receptions. It is easy to see why Tyler Johnson had a dominator rating of over 50 while Jeudy sunk below 30 once it is put into context.
Thus, as much as I want to take the metrics into account heavily here, his supporting cast hurt him in that regard. I am concerned with breakout age most anyways, and he had an excellent breakout age at 19. If you look deeper into these metrics, outside of dominator rating, Jeudy hit all the thresholds and passes these tests given context. Plus, you have to factor in elite tape.
You want a great devy receiver to invest in? Jeudy is your guy. This is a top prospect that is worth every bit of the hype he is garnering. Jeudy can be an elite addition to any dynasty squad that you have. Do not discount that. He has a very high likelihood of being the next big thing in this league.
In general terms, an NFL team is going to be getting an absolute dynamic receiver that can open up the entire field schematically. It is rare for a guy to be coming into a league like this so polished and ready to have an impact so early. There are so many fun combinations that Jeudy could be in, but this is a guy who can change the shape of your offense. I look forward to seeing Jeudy light it up on Sundays.
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