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Mile High Morning: Maturing Jerry Jeudy ready to move past rookie-year trials as second NFL season approaches

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The Lead

When the Broncos' 2020 first-round pick went to run sprints down the streets in his neighborhood earlier in the spring, all he had on his mind was getting in some extra conditioning.

But it also turned into an opportunity to meet some of his neighbors, as receiver Jerry Jeudy continues to settle into his role as an evolving star wideout for the Broncos.

"Jerry Jeudy of the Denver Broncos is just your friendly neighborhood wide receiver trying to go about the business of turning his flash-of-brilliance, flash-of-struggles rookie season into much, much more," as Jeff Legwold wrote for ESPN.

In his first season, Jeudy was placed firmly in the spotlight after Pro Bowler Courtland Sutton suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2. More often than not, he played well; in Broncos history, only Eddie Royal recorded more receiving yards in the first eight games of a player's career.

"Jeudy finished with 52 catches for 856 yards and three touchdowns last season," Legwold wrote. "His yardage total was fourth among a historical rookie class of receivers, behind Justin Jefferson (1,400 yards), Tee Higgins (908) and Chase Claypool (873). And his yards per catch average -- 16.5 -- was second among rookies, behind only Gabriel Davis (17.1)."

However, Jeudy also faced some struggles in his adjustment to the NFL with drops, and as Year 2 approaches for the young receiver, improving in that facet is clearly his focal point.

"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," Head Coach Vic Fangio said recently. "… 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."

After that first year under his belt — warts and all — Jeudy said he feels the same way.

"I feel like I've matured," Jeudy said. "You don't know what you're getting yourself into [during] your first year of doing something. This is my second year and I feel like I have learned a lot from my first year. I know how to overcome whatever I had in past years to make this year better."

Below the Fold

On the fourth episode of Shelby Harris' "Shel-Shocked" podcast, Dre'Mont Jones hops on to discuss, among other topics, the expectations he faces as a likely starter in Year 3 and the goals he has as a leader after emerging as a promising young player in 2020. "You got thrown into the fire a lot last year," as Harris said.

The Unclassifieds

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