Alabama in the Pros

NFL Network analyst sees Jerry Jeudy as the top rookie fantasy performer for 2020

Jerry Jeudy catches a pass and scores a touchdown for Alabama in 2020 Citrus Bowl versus Michigan
Jasen Vinlove - USA TODAY Sports

As we draw closer to the start of the NFL season, people are setting alarms for fantasy football.

In a friendly competition, fantasy football allows those to put their knowledge of matchups, drafting quality players and overall decision making to the test. Names such as Kyler Murray (Arizona Cardinals), Gardner Minshew II (Jacksonville Jaguars), Miles Sanders (Philadelphia Eagles), A.J. Brown (Tennessee Titans) and Daniel Jones (New York Giants) were among the top rookie performers last season.

After another successful NFL Draft, David Carr (former NFL quarterback) and Willie McGinest (former NFL linebacker) of NFL Network, each picked one rookie of whom they feel will be the No. 1 performer in fantasy football this year.

RELATED: Former Alabama RB Josh Jacobs said Henry Ruggs will have a ‘big year’ for the Raiders

While Carr took Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts, McGinest chose Jerry Jeudy of the Denver Broncos.

Jeudy, a native of Deerfield Beach, Fla., was selected at No. 15 overall in the draft.

He arrived at the University of Alabama as a five-star in 2017 and was one of the most electrifying talents of the Nick Saban era. The 6-foot-1, 193-pounder had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2018 and 2019, while his performance of 1,315 yards with 14 touchdowns in 2018 won him the Fred Biletnikoff Award.

Jeudy was twice named first-team All-SEC (2018-19) and picked up consensus All-American honors in 2018. He helped the Crimson Tide win a College Football Playoff National Championship as a true freshman in 2017.

When it comes to where he stands all-time in school history, Jeudy ranks fifth in receptions (159), fourth in receiving yards (2,742) and second in touchdown catches (26). He was regarded as the most complete receiver in this year’s draft class and per McGinest, he said it will be ‘easy pickings’ for Jeudy once he and Drew Lock start connecting for the Broncos.

“Here’s a guy who runs great routes,” McGinest said. “He’s explosive once he gets the ball in his hands and he has a lot of talent around him. You have to isolate him and get him one-on-one’s now. Look at this man in open field when he gets the ball; he is electric.”

Jeudy will have the likes of Courtland Sutton, KJ Hamler, Noah Fant, Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon around him.

He is projected to total 139.36 fantasy points, which is third among rookie wide receivers.

For those itching to play fantasy football, drafting Jeudy may be a very smart option.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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