A top 2020 NFL wide receiver prospect, Jerry Jeudy is sure to be coveted in dynasty fantasy football rookie drafts, too. How does his profile measure up when considering RotoViz’s extensive work on indicators of future fantasy success? Let’s explore.
As a Recruit
Jeudy has been a household name in devy fantasy football circles since February 2017 when he signed with Alabama as a five-star recruit and consensus top-five wide receiver in the nation. A Florida native, die-hard college football fans will know that dating back to 2015 (his high school sophomore season) he began receiving offer letters from all over the country, a list that includes schools such as Ohio State, LSU, Florida State, Georgia, Oregon, Auburn, Florida, Michigan, USC, Notre Dame, and Penn State, among others. There were few players nationwide who were more desired than Jeudy on signing day in 2017.
According to Alabama’s official player page for Jeudy, he measures at 6 feet 1 inch and weighs 192 pounds. We don’t have an official NFL Combine forty yard dash time yet, of course, but we know that Jeudy ran a 4.40 at Alabama’s junior pro day last spring, as timed by NFL scouts. Using these inputs we can engineer a Freak Score (our scaled metric that uses height, weight, and speed to project the TD-scoring potential for NFL prospects) of 57, which is above the 50th percentile and on par with Juju Smith-Schuster. If Jeudy can post an official 4.40 at the Combine and weigh in closer to 200 pounds, he’ll raise his freak score to near D.J. Moore levels.
We’ll be able to draw more conclusions about Jeudy’s athletic metrics once he’s posted official measurements in Indianapolis using our NFL Combine Explorer.
Jeudy isn’t done in 2019 (Alabama has a bowl game remaining) but we’ve got data for 35 of what will end up being 36 career games for the star. His banner year came as a true sophomore in 2018, when he led the Crimson Tide in every receiving category. He was named first-team All-American and received the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top wide receiver. He followed with a strong 2019 season, though his numbers did fall off across the board as compared to 2018.
Market Share and Context
Long-time subscribers know that breakout age is a critical number for wide receiver prospects at RotoViz. Newer subscribers might not know that our Shawn Siegele originally defined it as a player’s age when first achieving a 0.30 Dominator Rating (which is the average of market share touchdowns and market share receiving yards). In the absence of context, any fantasy football prospect ranking system heavily reliant on breakout age as an input will penalize Jeudy for never breaking out. He peaked at a 0.27 Dominator Rating in 2018. Using Anthony Amico’s Weighted Dominator Rating (giving 80% weight to market share of yards and 20% weight to market share of touchdowns) doesn’t help here either, since Jeudy’s peak in each metric was 27% market share — weighting yards doesn’t inch Jeudy above the 0.30 threshold.
Contextually, Jeudy may have been competing with three other future Day 1 or Day 2 NFL Draft selections for targets: Henry Ruggs, Jaylen Waddle, and Devonta Smith. Playing for a true blue-chip school like Alabama, Ohio State, or Clemson can bring extreme exposure in a traditional sense, but it can also mean sharing looks with other talented players. I’m not so sure we should be penalizing Jeudy for failing to breakout, considering the quality of his peers in the Alabama wide receiver room — I know I won’t be. As good as breakout age is as a litmus test, it’s not completely fail-proof. I’m betting Jeudy is a player who will slip through the cracks.
NFL Draft Outlook, Comparable Prospects, and Age
Grinding the Mocks currently pegs Jeudy as a top-10 selection in the NFL Draft, with an average draft position of 7.1 through 790 mocks to-date. Using our Prospect Box Score Scout and adjusting for this draft position yields some encouraging comparable players. Given the context I discussed above, I excluded non-Power-5 Conference players from the query.
We find Smith-Schuster (another player who peaked before his final season) and Michael Thomas (a player who barely broke out and was old when he did) as two of Jeudy’s top three comps. They’re also players who went to school at NFL factory-type schools and would fit into a sort of contextual cohort with Jeudy, if you will.
Despite the lack of a breakout age, Jeudy does have several advantages because of his age. He declared early for the NFL Draft and will play his entire rookie season at age 21, both of which are strong signals of future success. This also means he’ll have a chance to fit into the elite 21 year-old “3 & 10 Rule” cohort, which has achieved a top-24 PPR season at a rate of 100%.
Jeudy Should Be Drafted in the Top _____ of Dynasty Rookie Drafts
If (like me) you can see all of the exciting things in his profile and overlook him narrowly missing a true breakout in college, pencil Jeudy into your 2020 top-five rookies list. He’ll be a serious threat to have the earliest average dynasty rookie draft position among wide receivers in this class. If you can’t look past his market share data even after considering context I think you’ll be in the minority, but you could play this to your advantage by attempting to trade back if he’s still available when you’re on the clock in your rookie draft.