The Alabama Crimson Tide is dangerously close to earning the label ‘Wide Receiver U’. After seeing the recent success from former Tide pass-catchers in the NFL, that development shouldn’t surprise anyone, especially those who take the time to properly evaluate the position.
In 2018 alone, here’s how several former Alabama receivers performed on the highest level:
- Julio Jones, Falcons: 113 rec, 1,677 yards, 8 TDs
- Amari Cooper, Cowboys: 75 rec, 1,005 yards, 7 TDs
- Calvin Ridley, Falcons: 64 rec, 821 yards, 10 TDs
- Robert Foster, Bills: 27 rec, 541 yards, 3 TDs
Surprisingly, that list doesn't include the depth players such as Gehrig Dieter, Cam Sims, ArDarius Stewart and DeAndrew White.
Sure, other teams like Clemson, Ohio State, and LSU have an argument to being labeled ‘WYU’. But could you imagine what it will look like once some of these current Alabama receivers make it to the NFL?
Speaking of which, here’s our No. 3 draft-eligible prospect for the Crimson Tide in 2019.
No. 3 — Jerry Jeudy, Wide Receiver
2018 stats: 68 rec, 1,315 yards (19.34 YPC), 14 TDs
Why Jeudy is a special prospect:
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a wide receiver like Jeudy. At 6-foot-1, 192 pounds, the Pompano Beach (Fla.) native isn’t blessed with elite size, but he maximizes every inch and pound.
At this point, there are very few weaknesses to Jeudy’s game. He’s as good of a route-runner as I’ve ever scouted on the collegiate level. The explosion that he uses in and out of his breaks is elite, even though that word is thrown around too often when describe a player’s talents or attributes.
Jeudy’s ability to separate consistently allows him to win at all levels of the field. Combine that with his skills after the catch, it’s easy to see why defensive coordinators have such a hard time game-planning against the former five-star prospect.
Jeudy doesn’t have to display it often, but he also has tremendous leaping ability that allows him to climb up and over defenders to make acrobatic catches. Below is a perfect example from his first spring game as a member of the Crimson Tide:
This is all true freshman WR Jerry Jeudy. Robinson had solid coverage. Wow. pic.twitter.com/LUX1EoTtj8— Clint Lamb (@ClintRLamb) April 22, 2017
One word that you’re going to hear associated with Jeudy a lot is “polished”. It’s a simple, yet effective summary of Alabama’s No. 1 option in the passing game.
Is there anything holding him back?
Like it was mentioned before, it’s really tough to find weaknesses in Jeudy’s game. The 20-year-old does everything extremely well. If there was one thing he could stand to improve, it would be his blocking in the run game. He’s certainly willing to mix things up and does a good job getting his man blocked most of the time, but there’s room for improvement.
That’s where we’re at with Jeudy’s evaluation, though. We’re having to nitpick his run blocking — which is more than good enough — in order to identify any sort of weakness.
Outside of that, you won’t find much other than the occasional mental lapse when trying to bring in the football.
If Jeudy ends up hearing his name called in the top 10 of the 2020 NFL Draft, he won’t be the first Alabama receiver to achieve such a status during the Saban era. Amari Cooper went No. 4 to the Oakland Raiders in 2015 and Julio Jones was the No. 7 overall pick in 2011.
With that being said, Jeudy’s ceiling could end up matching — or maybe even exceeding — both of those guys before it’s all said and done. Either way, expect one lucky NFL team to add a sure-fire No. 1 receiver out the gate come the start of the 2020 season.