Incumbent quarterback Drew Lock and second-year wide receiver Jerry Jeudy could both play predominant roles in the 2021 Denver Broncos season. That said, how is the chemistry between the ankle-breaking wide receiver and rocket-armed quarterback?
Chemistry, what is chemistry? It can be defined as the study of matter and how it evolves during change. This term, like a football, gets tossed around a lot.
In relation to football, chemistry is referred to as a natural bond that has the ability to grow with proper attention brought to a particular matter.
How much can the chemistry between a quarterback and wide receiver actually grow?
Ideally, the chemistry between Drew Lock and Jerry Jeudy takes a massive leap in the upcoming season. While it certainly isn’t time to hit the panic button on the chemistry between the two, it may be time to take a deeper look into it.
During the 2020 NFL season, Jerry Jeudy was targeted 110 times, totaling just 52 receptions. Some of these targets came from backup quarterbacks Jeff Driskel, Brett Rypien, and even Kendall Hinton, but the majority came from the right arm of Drew Lock.
What is staggering about Jeudy’s rookie season is that with multiple quarterbacks and with 12 drops, enough for a second-place finish in the NFL, he still finished with 856 yards with three touchdowns.
Jeudy didn’t always have the most accurate passes thrown his way, having just 76.5% of his targets to be considered catchable. In retrospect, Jerry Jeudy also dropped 17.6% of his targets, so it was a street that went both ways.
Throughout the 2020 season, it seemed like the connection between Lock & Jeudy never quite materialized. From overthrows across the middle of the field on the road vs the Atlanta Falcons to overthrows in the back of the endzone, it just has yet to find that bonding agent.
This lack of chemistry isn’t just Lock’s inaccuracies, but Jeudy’s drops too. Looking back to the game against the Los Angeles Chargers during Week 16, Jeudy had five major drops that may have cost the Denver Broncos a victory.
While one player or play very rarely determines the outcomes of a game, Jeudy had many moments that could have altered the outcome of this game. Rookies have rookie moments, but when all said and done, I think Jeudy will be a fine player for many years to come.
One thing that I have noticed with Jeudy, sometimes he lets the ball hit him in his chest plate. When you have buzz lightyear slinging the ball, it gets on you quickly. Earlier during OTAs, Jeudy commented on the differences between last year’s starter Drew Lock and the newest Denver Broncos quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater.
Reading between the lines here, I can’t help but wonder if Jerry Jeudy prefers Teddy Bridgewater’s style of throwing the football in comparison to Lock. Dating back to his days at Alabama, Jeudy never had a quarterback with the velocity that Drew Lock has.
Are Lock’s velocity and arm strength something that contributor to Jeudy’s drops, or was it just rookie mistakes? That’s something we will not have the answer for until the season gets rolling, but Jeudy has been on a tear up to this point in the offseason.
Frustration seemed to be present for Jeudy at times during the 2020 season.
This isn’t a hot-take article stating “Drew Lock and Jerry Jeudy will never work out,” but from a personal perspective, everything that crosses my mind goes through a panic scale, naturally. On a scale of 1-10 right now, the Jeudy and Lock chemistry isn’t in danger territory, but it may be around a 3-4 on the panic meter.
Basically, it is something I will continue to monitor and pay close attention to moving forward. Jerry Jeudy was the 15th overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft for a reason. He is expected to play a major role in the Denver Broncos’ success for years to come.
If Drew Lock and Jerry Jeudy can’t get on the same page, would one of the two be moved?
What concerns me the most, Courtland Sutton will more so thrive with Drew Lock instead of Teddy Bridgewater; Jerry Jeudy seems like he will thrive with Teddy Bridgewater, but not as much with Drew Lock.
Could this be a potential issue in the locker room if Sutton lobbies for Lock and Jeudy lobbies for Bridgewater? It will be interesting to see how it all breaks down, I just hope it does not create division going forward.
This team is very young and can’t afford to have these sorts of distractions in the upcoming season. With the way this roster is constructed, the Denver Broncos are ready to compete now.
These concerns obviously go out of the window if Aaron Rodgers is traded to the beloved Mile High, but as it stands, he is still with the Green Bay Packers.
Chemistry can be improved, but the chemistry that I think is absolutely beautiful is natural chemistry. That seems to be present in Bridgewater and Jeudy’s connection, but I have yet to see that with Lock and Jeudy.
With practice, anything can improve, even if it’s slightly. Jeudy is just an incredibly gifted individual, and so is Lock. If the two can find a meshing point through training camp, the offense could be quite dangerous considering all of the other weapons this Denver Broncos roster already has.
The Denver Broncos need Drew Lock and Jerry Jeudy to get on the same page.
Again, I am not saying Lock and Jeudy’s chemistry will never unfold, but I will be paying close attention to the body language between the two. Will there be apparent frustration or head shaking if Jeudy is overthrown, or missed while open?
Will Lock shake his head, Peyton Manning Esque, when walking off the field if Jeudy was to drop a potential chain moving pass? It’s little things like this that I pay close attention to, detail and context matter in just about every situation.
While Drew Lock and Jerry Jeudy haven’t had an eternity to gel, Jeudy and Bridgewater have actually had less time and seem to be further ahead in chemistry. They seem to have the natural chemistry that I would love to see between Lock and Jeudy.
Training camp begins July 28th, if Aaron Rodgers is still a Green Bay Packer on this date, the Lock and Jeudy connection is something that will draw my attention. If these two players can develop their chemistry, it will take this offense to new heights.
The Denver Broncos could make a blockbuster trade for QB Aaron Rodgers if he's made available. If not, there are other trades they should make anyway.
Maybe things just need to go right for a couple of games and that gets the ball rolling. If Jeudy can come out against the New York Giants and have a game that consists of 100+ yards, a touchdown, and zero drops, maybe this builds the much-needed camaraderie between the two for the Denver Broncos.