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Mile High Morning: Breaking down Jerry Jeudy's and KJ Hamler's best routes

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The Lead

Drew Lock's arm might get tired this year with Jerry Jeudy in the lineup.

In an analysis of the 2020 rookie wide receivers' top routes, ESPN Analytics' Seth Walder dissected why go routes were where Jeudy was best.

"There was not a single player more productive running a go route — which encapsulates a bunch of straight vertical routes in this case — than Jeudy over the past two seasons," Walder wrote. "His 6.2 yards per route run bested everyone."

Walder's final analysis breaks down how Jeudy's skill set might fit in with the Broncos' offense. With the addition of Pat Shurmur as offensive coordinator, it should put Jeudy in position to succeed.

"The Broncos actually ran vertical routes, like gos and posts, at a below-average rate and targeted them at an average rate last season," Walder wrote. "But former New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur is now the offensive coordinator in Denver, and the Giants ran over 200 more vertical routes than the Broncos last season."

As for second-round pick KJ Hamler, Walder highlighted his slant routes, on which Hamler gained 8.1 yards per route run. Like Jeudy's go routes, Hamler's slant routes were college football's best.

"He made the most of his 33 slant routes over the past two seasons, averaging 8.1 yards per route run, tops among all qualified wideouts," Walder wrote. "Even if his 58-yard touchdown against Maryland -- which included some run-after-the-catch theatrics that forced a defender to eat turf -- were removed, he still would have been in the top 10 in yards per slant run."

Below the Fold

As reporter Nicki Jhabvala departs the Broncos beat to join the Washington Post, The Athletic's Nick Kosmider is taking the reins. In the first edition of his "Broncos on the Brain" column, he shared his perspective on four key storylines, including questions raised by the spread of COVID-19: "The start of training camp should provide at least some answers. The NFL is expecting a number of positives to show up when players are tested ahead of camp. How the league handles that initial group could go a long way toward determining whether the league can operate in a safe way as games approach."

With that in mind, the NFL unveiled a new mouth shield designed in conjunction with Oakley to reduce the chance of spreading the disease on the field. "[Chair of the NFL's engineering committee, Dr. Jeff] Crandall said that Oakley has conducted internal testing in which it has sprayed particles of fluid to represent droplets expelled by players and has seen a high success rate of blocked transmission," ESPN's Tim McManus wrote.

The Unclassifieds

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