The addition of Sean Payton to the Denver Broncos means growth for a few players, but one, in particular, stands out above the rest.
There are a lot of areas that make Jerry Jeudy special, but his ability to be used in open spaces should have new head coach Sean Payton drooling. Back with the New Orleans Saints, Payton had a wide receiver who was also drafted from a popular wide receiver university in Ohio State: Michael Thomas. The moment Thomas entered the league he became one of the more stat-stuffing wideouts in the NFL before suffering injury after injury in 2019.
Thomas averaged around 150 targets for those first four seasons. Jeudy on average has around 90 targets a year with one season resulting in zero touchdowns. Let that sink in. For a player who is shifty and creative in the open field like Jeudy, it is easy to see why he is at the top of the list of players who will benefit the most due to the Sean Payton hire. Jeudy has shown throughout his young career he is a dynamic weapon and player in the open field. Not to mention Jeudy has a speed that people may tend to ignore. Cue the 92-yard touchdown versus the Raiders at the end of the 2021 season. This is just the tip of the iceberg with Jeudy and what he can be in Payton’s offense.
Ever since Jeudy entered the league he’s been very well regarded as already one of the better route runners in the entire NFL. Frankly, this even dates back to his days in High School as well. Rumor has it some college players had their eye on Jeudy and his ability to create the separation. His elite route running will create so many advantages for him in this offense by Payton. This is such a breath of fresh air to see since Jeudy was used in jet sweeps or misdirection and never be given a look by the quarterback. Payton has always made it a priority to get playmakers the ball in space. Michael Thomas (as mentioned above) and Alvin Kamara are the main reference points here.
Jeudy has momentum on his side heading into 2023 as well. He finished the year on an incredibly productive high note almost coming near his first 1,000-yard season. Not to be outdone, Jeudy also caught close to 90 percent of the passes thrown to him. For people that want to dog on him for his “bad hands,” you might want to watch his tape again. He is proving to be worthy of that first-round pick now and more importantly in 2022 became the Denver Broncos’ best all-around offensive player. This is just another example where Payton has to be licking his chops with what to do with Jeudy.
Furthermore, with Jeudy’s momentum, he took another leap as a leader in the locker room and a vocal leader speaking up for his quarterback. This is one of the first open forum signs on social media where Jeudy was heated for the commentary on Russell Wilson. This is just the next step in the evolution of Jeudy as a player. We saw another sign of how on-field emotion can raise all boats for the offense. I certainly do not condone bumping into the official and taking the helmet which should have warranted a flag at least. However, that moment where Jeudy was frustrated with the lack of calls helped jump-start an offense against the Kansas City Chiefs resulting in a career day versus the top-tier divisional opponent.
The Denver Broncos hired Sean Payton as their next head coach, and it's obviously been met with some pushback. Which arguments are lame?
It will be very interesting to see how things unfold this upcoming season with Jeudy, Payton, and the Denver Broncos in 2023 and I think it’s fair to see why Jeudy is one of the top players to buy stock in as part of the new Broncos offense.