Denver’s hire of Nathaniel Hackett and blockbuster Russell Wilson trade has not led to offensive improvement. The Broncos have run into consistent issues, particularly in second halves, offensively and rank last in scoring through six games. This has invited numerous questions about the team’s plan and produced speculation about the future of Hackett and certain players.
One of those players is Jerry Jeudy, who would be an attractive trade piece for teams seeking to upgrade their wide receiver talent level. Jeudy has not clicked with Wilson, and while he has struggled with drops, the former first-round pick is viewed as a plus route runner. A trade should not be considered out of the question, but Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets the Broncos are not looking to move Jeudy.
Wilson has shown more chemistry with Courtland Sutton (team-high 431 receiving yards) early in his Colorado tenure. Jeudy’s 290 yards, however, are easily the second-most on the team — one battling myriad issues on offense. Sutton signed a $15MM-per-year extension midway through last season and is signed through 2025. Jeudy can be controlled through 2024, via the fifth-year option, but remains tied to his rookie contract.
Beyond this season’s batch of Broncos oddities, Jeudy has not justified his draft slot yet nearly 2 1/2 seasons into his career. Chosen 15th overall in 2020, the Alabama product came off the board behind only ex-Crimson Tide teammate Henry Ruggs among receivers. Selected soon after: CeeDee Lamb, Justin Jefferson. Jeudy led the 2020 Broncos in receiving (856 yards), but the high ankle sprain he sustained in September 2021 led to a disappointing sophomore effort (467 yards, no touchdowns). But the 6-foot-1 pass catcher entered this season firmly entrenched as a cornerstone skill player.
Jeudy’s presence figures to be more important during the rest of this season and in 2023, as he undoubtedly was part of the reason Wilson waived his no-trade clause to be moved to Denver. The Broncos’ hopes of offensive improvement also will require more from Jeudy, with Tim Patrick lost for the season after a training camp ACL tear. But this situation could be one to monitor ahead of the Nov. 1 trade deadline.
The Broncos should be considered likely to move on from Albert Okwuegbunam, however, with Renck adding he would be surprised if the third-year tight end was still on the team after the deadline. Teams have called about the former fourth-round pick’s availability. Okwuegbunam’s blocking has not come around to the Broncos’ liking, and he was a healthy scratch Monday night. Denver drafted UCLA’s Greg Dulcich in Round 3 this year and has used lower-profile tight ends over Okwuegbunam in recent weeks.