ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — For months, we've heard about how wide receiver Jerry Jeudy could make an instant impact in the Broncos' offense.
On Friday, during Denver's first full-speed training camp practice, we got to see that impact firsthand.
In both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, Jeudy showed time and time again why the Broncos selected him the with the 15th-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Working largely with the second-team offense against the second-team defense, Jeudy created consistent separation from his defender and showed sure hands. After the catch, Jeudy was able to quickly turn upfield and accelerate to gain more yards.
And while most of his catches didn't require him to make acrobatic grabs, he did show that ability as he reached up with two hands and then thrust his feet down near the sideline on a deep pass late in practice.
Though Jeudy has been on the field for just one full-speed practice, he impressed veteran safety Kareem Jackson.
"He has this unorthodox way of running routes," Jackson said. "We were kind of talking about it today. He can get in and out of his breaks better than anybody I've ever seen before. For him to be a rookie, his tempo on his routes, the way he can change pace, the way he sells things, it's very rare."
Jeudy will need to prove his talent against the first-team defense before the Broncos' season-opener against the Titans, but Friday was a solid start.
"Jerry's come in here and he's got good polish as a receiver … comparing him to other rookie receivers coming out of college," Head Coach Vic Fangio said. "He runs good routes, he's got good change of direction. Good hands. It's nice to see him make a couple plays today."
DEFENSE STANDS STRONG
Jeudy shined during his opportunities, but the Broncos' secondary was likely the most impressive group of the morning.
Bryce Callahan, rookie Michael Ojemudia and safety Trey Marshall all recorded interceptions during team drills.
Callahan, who was back on the field after missing all of 2019 with a foot injury, picked off Drew Lock when Courtland Sutton slipped on a route. Callahan also stayed stride for stride with Diontae Spencer to force an incompletion as Lock looked deep to the end zone.
"Callahan had a good day today in his first action back," Fangio said. "He actually did have one day of the earlier practice [before Friday]. I haven't watched the whole tape of practice, but he did make some plays out there today. It's good to see him out there moving around. His foot feels fine. He's confident and ready to go."
Ojemudia picked off second-string quarterback Jeff Driskel on the last play of practice, and Marshall made a heads-up play to record an interception after a Driskel pass caromed off KJ Hamler's hands.
Alexander Johnson also added an interception, as he undercut Sutton to grab Lock's first pick of training camp.
THE COMPETITION BEGINS
Rookie Lloyd Cushenberry III may be the team's starting center for Week 1, but on Friday he took snaps exclusively with the second-team offense. Austin Schlottmann, a second-year player, took all of the first-team snaps with Lock.
Jake Rodgers, meanwhile, shared first-team reps at right tackle during 11-on-11 work with Elijah Wilkinson, who returned from the Physically Unable to Perform list earlier this month.
Fangio said both Schlottmann and Rodgers are both "in the hunt" to push for a roster spot and to start.
"Both of those guys got playing time at the end of the season last year," Fangio said. "Austin more than Jake, but Jake did get his chance to play in the last two games. Both did well. I think they both have had good offseasons as much as you can under the circumstances. I see improvement in both of them."
Demar Dotson, meanwhile, did not appear to take any team-period reps as the team acclimates him to practice.
"Well, right now, we've just got to get familiar with him," Fangio said of Dotson. "He's obviously behind as far as learning our offense. He had none of the offseason, virtual meetings. Today was his [second] day here with us. We need to get him caught up so he's knowing what to do so we can see how good he is and where he might fit. Certainly, he has the license and the permit to win a starting job if he can. That remains to be seen. It's going to take us a little while here to find out where he's at."
- Sutton caught three passes in quick succession from Lock to open the initial team periods. He later added a deep reception that he may have been able to power into the end zone under game conditions.
- Jeudy, Hamler, Trinity Benson and Kendall Hinton took reps at a simulated kick return during an early special teams period. All four players began with the ball in their hand, rather than catching the kick.
- Isaac Yiadom and De'Vante Bausby shared reps at the third cornerback position with the first-team defense. Marshall also received first-team reps at safety.
- Veteran defensive lineman Jurrell Casey showed his ability late in practice as he used a swim move to get past Graham Glasgow and put pressure on Lock.
- Hamler made the catch of the day as he laid out to make a deep diving catch of a Driskel throw.