ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Jerry Jeudy, the 15th-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, admitted he doesn't know much yet about his new team.
But he does know this: He believes he is the best wide receiver in this year's draft — and he's ready to get open.
"I feel like I'm the best wide receiver because I've got the ability to separate," Jeudy said Thursday after the Broncos selected him. "… You need to find a way to get open and I feel like that's what I can do. … I feel like if I'm getting open and creating 5, 6 yards of separation every time, that means more yards and yards after catch. I feel like once I've created that separation, I get 10, 12 more yards. It's just good to be able to be one of the top route-runners."
Jeudy, a two-time first-team All-American and the 2018 Biletnikoff Award winner, fell to the Broncos at No. 15 after a run on quarterbacks and offensive tackles pushed the wide receiver crop down. Henry Ruggs III, Jeudy's college teammate, went to the Raiders at No. 12. The Buccaneers then traded up to get tackle Tristan Wirfs, and the 49ers followed that up by picking defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw.
That left the Broncos to choose between Jeudy, Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb and a host of other talented players.
John Elway, Vic Fangio and Co. went with Jeudy, who tallied 159 catches, 2,742 yards and 26 touchdowns during his career in Tuscaloosa. Jeudy did not miss a game over his final two seasons with the Crimson Tide.
"I expected to be a little bit higher, but at the same time, every year the draft is crazy," Jeudy said. "You never know what's going to happen in the draft."
Elway and Fangio were also uncertain how the draft would unfold. Fangio told BroncosTV that the first seven, eight or nine picks unfolded as expected. Then, the foreseen run on wide receivers never came.
"We were hoping he was going to be there," Elway told BroncosTV. "It was a long couple [of] hours."
Elway said Jeudy would play opposite Pro Bowl wide receiver Courtland Sutton, but Jeudy said he's comfortable no matter where the Broncos choose to put him.
"I feel like I'm a wide receiver," Jeudy said. "I can play inside, outside — wherever they put me at to get the ball. … I don't feel like I'm a better inside receiver than I'm an outside receiver. I'm a receiver overall. I know how to get open — against press [coverage], against off [coverage], against whoever guards me. I know how to get open. That's it."
Sutton, who carved out his spot as the Broncos' top receiving option in 2019, said he was "really excited" when he saw the team's selection. Jeudy, he said, reminds him of another former Alabama product.
"One of the biggest things that I see from seeing his film is he reminds me a little bit of Calvin Ridley," Sutton said.
Ridley, a third-year player, recorded 64 catches for 821 yards and 10 touchdowns as a rookie.
Jeudy said he's excited to learn from both Sutton and quarterback Drew Lock.
"They're a great group of guys that I've seen over their college careers and this past season, so they're great players that I'd like to learn from and play next to and compete with," Jeudy said.
As for Lock, there may be no one happier with the Broncos' first-round selection.
"As a fellow SEC guy, I've been watching you make plays for years," Lock said in a video posted to the Broncos' social media channels. "I'm just happy you're on my team now. We've got something rolling here in Denver. … Call me whenever you need me. I'm ready to go through the playbook tonight, tomorrow — whenever you're ready."
No matter the play, it's clear Jeudy plans to get open.