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For year two, Jeudy seeks to drop the hands criticism

First-round rookie was among the NFL drop leaders last year but his final game breakout may have been first sign of maturity.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — If we’re going to put our hands on Jerry Jeudy’s inconsistent rookie year last season, let us first understand drops are subjective.

What may be a flat Charlie Brown miss to one set of eyes may be a should’ve-had-it, but-not-really-a-drop to another observer.

Sports Info Solutions put 14 drops on Jeudy last year, second-most in the NFL to Pittsburgh’s Diontae Johnson, who had 16.

Pro Football Reference, though, dropped Jeudy’s drop total to 10, third behind Johnson’s 13 and the 11 by Giants tight end Evan Engram.

What’s nearly unanimous is Jeudy, the Broncos’ first-round draft pick last year, had a terrible case of the drops in the Broncos’ 19-16 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in Game 15. The only argument about Jeudy dropping five in that game is he might have had six.

>>Vide above: Klis & Tell: Jeudy needs to bounce back, should Broncos stick with Lock at QB?

Credit: AP Photo/Ashley Landis
Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (10) misses a pass in the end zone during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif.

"Mostly concentration and focusing on the ball. I’m so quick to catch and run to hurry up and make a play instead of catching first, then run," Jeudy said in a Zoom call with the Denver media Tuesday. "That’s mostly what is. Just trying to make a play too fast and not focusing on the bigger picture which is catching the ball first."

In a twist, Jeudy believes the Broncos’ quarterback competition this offseason between incumbent Drew Lock and newcomer Teddy Bridgewater will help his concentration.

"Because both of the guys have a different type of spiral and air to the ball," Jeudy said. "Drew has more of a hard drill and Teddy is more of a floater. You just have to adjust to the certain way they throw the ball. You have to focus on each person and catching the ball when it comes out of their hands."

For what it’s worth, Jeudy was impressive during the 7 on 7 passing drills Tuesday when the Broncos began their second week of OTA practices. Broncos head coach Vic Fangio was not surprised, not after Jeudy rebounded from his game 15 disaster last year by catching five passes, with no drops, for 140 yards and a touchdown in the season finale against the Raiders.

"I think he’s in a far better place than he was last year at this time," Fangio said in his Zoom press conference Tuesday. "I think a big thing that happened with Jerry—like I told you guys back when it happened—in the 15th game last year when he had some drops in that game, I thought it was going to be a defining moment in his career and how he played the following week.

"Then in our last game, he had a very good game and caught a bunch of balls for a bunch of yards. I think that was a very defining moment in his career. I see a more focused and more diligent receiver on the details. He knows he can’t slack. I see a much more mature guy right now."

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