The key to unlocking Broncos offense has nothing to do with QB

Sports

According to former NFL star Chris Sanders, Jerry Jeudy will be a name on the rise for the 2021 season. 

Jerry Jeudy could have asked for better results in 2020 with the Denver Broncos. Instead, he’ll take the season as a lesson for what not to do at wide receiver.

The former No. 15 selection posted overall strong numbers for the Broncos’ offense in his first season. Recording 52 catches for 856 yards and three touchdowns, most fans would consider that a strong start for a career on the outside.

Then again, most receivers aren’t coming out of Alabama compared to names like Julio Jones and Amari Cooper.

As the 2021 season begins, Jeudy is one of five first-rounder receivers drafted in 2020 that will be banking on a breakout year. Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson, a fellow first-rounder, already has solidified himself as the next great pass-catcher following his All-Pro season with the Vikings.

According to former NFL receiver Chris Sanders, Jeudy has the best bet to join Jefferson in that next category.

“I was watching some of his film the other day and he’s killing them in OTAs,” Sanders told FanSided’s Matt Lombardo on the Matt Lombardo Show. “I think coming in as a rookie, there’s a lot of pressure on him, so he thought he had make the big catch, which he should, but he’s understand this game.”

Broncos: Can Jerry Jeudy be the star wideout Denver expected?

Denver’s offense took a toll early in the season when Courtland Sutton suffered a torn ACL in Week 2. Jeudy, who still was learning Pat Shumur’s offense, was asked to expand his role for Drew Lock in the passing game.

The numbers posted were strong for any No. 2 target in today’s game, but Jeudy struggled with drops. According to Pro Football Focus, the rookie finished second with the most drops last year with 12, two less than Pittsburgh Steelers’ Diontae Johnson.

Sanders believes that any receiver can have the yips and drop an easy reception. For today’s game, it’s important to be a suave route-runner instead, something Jeudy has possessed since his day in Tuscaloosa.

“Look at Jerry Rice, the reason Jerry Rice stayed in the league for so long is because he understood how to run routes,” Sanders said. “He understood how to beat double coverages, he understood what the quarterback was doing, he understood what the defense was going to do if they’re shading inside as a cornerback.

“If I can understand that and master that skillset, then my longevity in the league will last a long time.”

The Broncos offensive attack is expected to achieve new heights despite questions under center. Sutton will return in a contract year. Second-year target KJ Hamler’s speed will help contribute. Both Tim Patrick and Noah Fant are quality targets across the field.

Jeudy though will be the name under the microscope. Sanders is certain if OTAs is a sign of regular season play, he’ll be the one from 2020 ready to explode.

“He’s a dog man,” Sanders said. “He can run some great routes, he’s nasty, he’s got an edge and he can stop on his routes on the dime. Jerry Jeudy is going to be huge.”

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