Name: Jerry Jeudy
Position: Wide Receiver
NFL Grade: 6.80 ("Year 1 Quality Starter")
Stats: Jeudy had some incredible production for the Crimson Tide during his last two seasons. His breakout year in 2018 saw him catch 68 passes for 1,315 yards and a whopping 14 touchdowns in 15 games played – including the national championship that Alabama won that year. His sophomore efforts earned him the 2018 Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation's best receiver and was a consensus first-team All-American. His 14 touchdowns are the second-most in a single season by an Alabama wideout, behind only Pro Bowler Amari Cooper.
He followed up a stellar 2018 campaign with another solid season in 2019. Though playing in two less games, Jeudy amassed 1,163 receiving yards and scored 10 touchdowns, doing so on 77 receptions, which was actually up from the previous year. His yards per reception average did take a hit as a result, going from 19.3 in 2018 to 15.1. Still, Jeudy was considered one of the best wideouts in college football, garnering an AFCA first-team All-America selection as well as earning All-SEC honors.
Comments: Jeudy is part of perhaps the deepest position group in this year's draft class and is almost the consensus top pick of the group, though Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb is also in that conversation. Jeudy isn't even the only Alabama receiver that could go in the first couple rounds with his teammate Henry Ruggs III also entering the draft. Ruggs shined at the Combine, nabbing the top time in the 40-yard dash with an astonishing 4.27 but Jeudy was no slouch himself, running a 4.45 in the event. He jumped an even 10 feet in the broad jump and had a vertical jump of 35.0 inches.
The truth of the matter with wide receivers is that while 4.27 speed is impressive, it may not be entirely practical. Get too fast and you can overrun routes and your timing can be off with a quarterback. Jeudy spent three seasons at Alabama in a pro-style offense and is an elite route runner. Highlight reels also give him the nickname, the 'Ankle Breaker' because of how shifty and agile he is.
His size may only be average but he's got sure hands and plays bigger than he is. "He's a linear route specialist with a great feel for leveraging and then stemming defenders away from his food on intermediate and deep passes," NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein writes. "Jeudy can play inside or outside but offers a unique ability to both widen or lengthen the field from the slot."
Though one thing about Jeudy that Zierlein says needs work are his hands and getting them on contested catches. In order to be a true NFL slot receiver, that will need to improve greatly as slot receivers are often used in underneath routes that require them to be physical and at times wrestle the ball – and their leverage – from defenders. Zierlein also says his short-area quickness underneath is just average. But Jeudy has the speed to be a deep threat and the varying skillset to be used all over the field.