It’s been six years since a wide receiver won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award, but Jerry Jeudy has the advanced skill set and ideal situation with the Denver Broncos, quarterbacked by Drew Lock, to take home that hardware this season. 

Speaking of awards, Jeudy won the Biletnikoff as college football’s top receiver as a 19-year-old sophomore in 2018 at Alabama. And while that accolade doesn’t guarantee NFL success, winning it at such a young age indicated that Jeudy was special. His final season with the Crimson Tide wasn’t as productive as expected — Tua Tagovailoa’s injury didn’t help matters — yet Jeudy still made 77 catches for 1,163 yards with 10 touchdowns. How about that for a down year?

As a draft analyst, I’m comfortable telling you — Jeudy is the most exceptional route runner to enter the NFL since at least Amari Cooper in 2015. He’s a perfectionist. From his phenomenal footwork and combative hands to beat press coverage to his ultra-persuasive salesmanship at the top of his route stem, Jeudy is a dynamic separator at any level of the field, and his 4.45 speed makes him a serious downfield threat on every play. 

Right now, at William Hill Sportsbook, Jeudy is +1600 to win Offensive Roookie of the Year, which represents the seventh-best odds. And he has the third-best odds among receivers, behind Henry Raiders of the Las Vegas Raiders and CeeDee Lamb of the Dallas Cowboys.

Hello, value. 

Sure, Jeudy will line up for a team that features a 1,000-yard receiver in Courtland Sutton, and while the big target from SMU is bound to draw plenty of targets away from the rookie, Sutton’s presence does come with benefits for Jeudy. Here’s a list of notable No. 1 cornerbacks Sutton is primed to face this season:

That’s nearly half of Jeudy’s rookie season in which he’ll skirt facing an high-caliber to elite cornerback thanks to Sutton emerging as a force in his second season last year. 

And if Pat Shumur’s recent history provides a tip as to how pass-happy the Broncos will be in 2020, they’re going to frequently take to the air. With Danny Dimes as his main passer in 2019, Shurmur’s New York Giants finished the season with the eighth-highest pass attempts per game figure in football. The year before that, with Eli Manning in the shotgun, the G-Men came in 10th in that volume category. 

What does that all add up to, you ask? Ample opportunities for Jeudy against the opposition’s second-best cornerback. Lock flashed as a starter during his rookie campaign, isn’t afraid to let it rip, and has the arm talent to stretch defenses to the max vertically. He averaged over 32 attempts per game in each of his final three seasons at Missouri and actually averaged just over 31 attempts per contest in his five-game audition last year. That number will be closer to 40 in 2020. 

So even if Jeudy was just a guy, who happened to fall into the Broncos’ No. 2 receiver role, the situation would be darn good. But it’s glorious for him — and those OROY odds — because of how squeaky clean Jeudy is at the most key facets of succeeding at the receiver position in the NFL. Beyond his route-running gifts — which will be his trademark in the NFL — the former five-star high school recruit forced 15 missed tackles on his 77 catches at Alabama in 2019 and another 17 on his 68 grabs during the Biletnikoff-winning campaign, per Pro Football Focus. High-caliber forced missed tackles rates. 

Let’s put this all together — Jeudy’s the complete package at receiver, he’s on a team with an established outside wideout who’ll draw major attention and an aggressive quarterback who’ll get play calls from a pass-happy offensive coordinator. 

Don’t overthink it.

Jeudy is the finest value selection on the Offensive Rookie of the Year betting front.


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