Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy Declares for 2020 NFL Draft

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2020

Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (4) runs the ball against Arkansas during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy announced that he will forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the 2020 draft.

JJ⁴ @jerryjeudy

4ever a Crimson Tide ✌🏾 https://t.co/YSGihoPnfe

Jeudy is widely considered one of the top pass-catchers in this year's draft class. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller ranked him as the third-best player overall behind Ohio State defensive end Chase Young and LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.

The Crimson Tide star finished with 77 receptions for 1,163 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2019, which came following a breakout sophomore season.

Jeudy was the third-best receiver in the country, per 247Sports' composite rankings, when he arrived at Alabama in 2017. With Calvin Ridley getting the majority of targets and the backfield duo of Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough shouldering a big workload, he was pushed to the periphery as a true freshman.

After Riddle and Scarbrough left, Jeudy was able to play a bigger role in the offense in 2018. He responded with 68 receptions for 1,315 yards and 14 touchdowns.

With the exception of his frame (6'1", 192 pounds), Jeudy basically checks all of the boxes in terms of what NFL scouts and executives look for in a college receiver. 

He's a home run threat down the field, and he has the speed to turn shorter routes into big plays. Route running might be his most transferrable skill. His footwork and array of moves are at an NFL-level already.

CBS Sports @CBSSports

BEAUTIFUL route by Jerry Jeudy https://t.co/4ZHg78OQzN

Ryan Clark @Realrclark25

Jerry Jeudy is a routestician!! Period. Dude uses everything. Stems, leverage, head fakes, eyes, dead legs, sticks! My goodness

On the eve of the 2019 season, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. appeared on Get Up! and explained why he listed Jeudy as the No. 1 player on his big board at the time. Kiper described Jeudy as a receiver "who could've played in the '60s, '70s and '80s" and compared him to Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison:

In recent years, the first round hasn't exactly been fertile ground for receivers.

Corey Davis, Mike Williams and John Ross were all top-10 picks in 2017 and none of the three has panned out. The same goes for 2016 first-rounders Corey Coleman, Will Fuller, Josh Doctson and Laquon Treadwell. The jury is still out on D.J. Moore, Calvin Ridley, Marquise Brown and N'Keal Harry.

Despite any fears that historical trend might create among NFL personnel, Jeudy will almost certainly be the first wideout off the board and a top-five pick in the spring.

For Alabama, this is the first of what could be a massive exodus of skill position players. Henry Ruggs III, DeVonta Smith, Tua Tagovailoa and Najee Harris are all eligible for the draft. Any number of that group moving on to the NFL would create a massive hole in the Tide offense for 2020.