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Mile High Morning: What would it take for Jerry Jeudy to be Offensive Rookie of the Year?


The Lead

Though a wide receiver has won AP Offensive Rookie of the Year only once in the past 10 years, you might want to keep an eye on Jerry Jeudy.

In Lance Zierlein’s ranking of the top 10 candidates for the honor, Jeudy comes in fifth behind Bengals QB Joe Burrow, Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Lions RB D'Andre Swift and Colts RB Jonathan Taylor.

"He can break ankles with his crisp routes and instant directional change," Zierlein wrote. "He also has the speed to hit it big over the top or as a catch-and-run option on slants, shallow crossers and screens. While he could become the second-most targeted pass catcher on the squad behind Courtland Sutton, it's worth noting that Noah Fant is an emerging pass-catching tight end, and second-year quarterback Drew Lock is still very green."

It's worth noting, as Zierlein does, that history is not particularly on Jeudy's side here. Since the award began in 1967, only nine receivers have won the award. Of the three receivers who have done it since 2000 (Anquan Boldin, Percy Harvin and Odell Beckham), two recorded at least 1,300 receiving yards.

Would Jeudy need to have a season with at least that much production? Possibly. Jeudy would probably need several games with at least 100 yards and a touchdown about every other game; Boldin, Harvin and Beckham each scored at least eight touchdowns as rookies.

But perhaps if Jeudy manages to rack up, say, 800 yards receiving and eight touchdowns, and if his presence clearly transforms the offense, his chances could be good. He should have the opportunity to succeed with Pro Bowl receiver Courtland Sutton next to him, a rising star in tight end Noah Fant and two Pro Bowl running backs in Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon III.

Below the Fold

This offseason, obviously, has been unlike any in NFL history. But if there's one that players can most look to for some semblance of guidance, it's the one the NFL had in 2011 during the lockout. "I]t's kind of like my rookie year, a lot like that year," Von Miller said [in a recent article by Jeff Legwold for ESPN. "... Coming in for camp, getting on the field for the first time, it will be something like that year this year."

Denver's offensive line placed 14th in Pro Football Focus’ recent ranking of every team’s O-line position group. "The Broncos were quietly solid up front last season, though things will look much different in 2020 with two starters moving on and right tackle Ja'Wuan James returning after playing only 63 snaps," Steve Palazzolo wrote.

The Unclassifieds

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