Editor’s Note: NBC Sports Bay Area will preview the NFL Draft by looking at the needs of the top 49ers, prospect profiles that might be suitable, along with some hidden gems in the next round. In this installment, we profile Alabama wide recipient Jerry Jeudy.
The top draft NFL prospect Jerry Jeudy can be what 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is looking for.
Shanahan remains firm in his belief that you don’t have to be the biggest or fastest recipient to be the most effective and productive. There are several other qualities that remain higher on the Shanahan list, and it seems Jeudy is checking most, if not all, of the boxes.
Michael Locksley, Jeudy’s coach and offensive coordinator during the recipient’s first two seasons with Alabama Crimson Tide, spoke to the NBC Sports Bay Area about the recipient’s unique talents.
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“Can’t say enough about his ability as a route runner,” Locksley said. “I think with Jerry, it was his ability and his rush to get in and out of the break, whether it worked back towards the ball which was the toughest break the recipients did when they worked back to quarterback.
“He has the ability to be at full speed and lose his weight – or, as we say, sink his hips – to stop with a dime, and he always gives the illusion of speed always on the route but is able, without taking the small steps you see people usually have to take to put his feet on the ground and change direction. “
Leigh Steinberg from Steinberg Sports and Entertainment, who represents Jeudy, was equally impressed with the route his client ran.
“He is probably the best route runner I’ve seen in college in my 40 years,” Steinberg told the NBC Sport Bay Area. “He ran the most appropriate route. He is also very smart. ”
With the right route to walk and the ability to change directions on a dime, Jeudy was able to get separated, which Shanahan repeatedly said was one of the most important aspects of being a recipient.
Another trait sought by Shanahan is exemplified by All-Pro finally George Kittle and receiver of Deebo Samuel throughout 2019: Getting yards after capture.
“The ability to catch after running is amazing,” Locksley said of the Alabama receiver. “He is a loose man, a loose body. You are watching him and his ability to make people yearn for as well as I have ever seen.”
Steinberg noted that Jeudy had impressed him off the pitch too, especially when the Alabama star met Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice while in Miami for the Super Bowl LIV.
“The most impressive thing I saw from him was how he interacted with the recipient of the Hall of Fame while in Miami for the Super Bowl,” Steinberg said. “He asked Jerry Rice, Michael Irvin and Cris Carter what their secret was for longevity. He is smart enough to use his time with the best, to improve his own performance. “
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Jeudy was very productive in three seasons in Alabama, capturing 159 passes for 2,742 yards, 26 touchdowns, and an average of 17.2 yards per catch. It is inevitable that he is a player who will have an impact on team fouls. What will the 49ers do with the overall selection No. 13 in the draft, however, is far more uncertain.
NFL draft profile: Jerry Jeudy
Weight: 193 pounds
Career statistics: 159 catches for 2,742 yards and 26 touchdowns
40 yard dash 4.45 seconds (11 between wide receiver classes)
Vertical Leap: 35.0 inches
Broad Leap: 120.0 inches
20-yard shuttle: 4.53 seconds
What the experts say
Mel Goalkeeper, ESPN: “Jerry Jeudy is the right kid, running the route, first of his rest. Reminds me of a lot of Marvin Harrison.”
Todd McShay, ESPN: “I think he’s one of the five best players in all conscription.”
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Media: “Bama WR Jerry Jeudy = smooth operator. He’s an easy mobilizer. Reminds me of Robert Woods who came out of USC. Same frame, same understanding / instinct.”
Josh Norris, NBC Sports: “I know it’s easy to compare players from the same school, but it’s easy to see Calvin Ridley in Jerry Jeudy’s game.”
Projected rotation: First (overall top 15)