Broncos top draft pick Jeudy makes great first impression

Fri Aug 14 3:39pm ET
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Pro Football Writer

Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy takes part in drills at the team's NFL football training camp Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson takes part in drills at the team's NFL football training camp Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Denver Broncos linebacker Bradley Chubb, left, takes part in a drill with linebacker Justin Hollins at the team's NFL football training camp Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock, right, confers with guard Austin Schlottmann as they take part in drills at the team's NFL football training camp Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


A Denver Broncos employee puts up a cutout of Fred Fleming, the team's long-time handler of players, before drills at the team's NFL football training camp Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, in Englewood, Colo. Fleming is not allowed at practices this year because of the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller takes part in drills at the team's NFL football training camp Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller takes part in drills at the team's NFL football training camp Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant takes part in drills at the team's NFL football training camp Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons, right, listens to defensive backs coach Renaldo Hill during a break in drills at the team's NFL football training camp Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Rookie receiver Jerry Jeudy went right to work dropping jaws Friday when the Denver Broncos gathered for their first full practice of 2020 under smoky skies from wildfires burning in the Rocky Mountains.

General manager John Elway, who spent his offseason buttressing Denver's offense, sat on the sideline smiling every time his top draft pick plucked another pass out of the haze, especially the one he cradled in the back of the end zone.

''I think he did some great things today, he ran some hella routes,'' safety and fellow Alabama alum Kareem Jackson said. ''He's that type of player. I've had a chance to watch him since he was a freshman, obviously with him going to my alma mater, that's one of the teams I watch every Saturday. So ... now having him as a teammate it's exciting.''

Jackson said Denver's D-backs were talking all about Jeudy, considered the best pure route runner in this year's deep class of talented rookie receivers.

''He can get in and out of his breaks better than anyone I've ever seen before,'' Jackson said. ''For him to be a rookie, his tempo and his routes, the way he can change his pace, the way he sells things, it's very rare.''

Rarer still is the rookie who can garner praise from veterans who say his presence will hone their own skills.

''To be able to see him on a day-to-day basis is definitely going to help us,'' Jackson said. ''But he's going to pose a challenge for other defenses.''

Jeudy has also made a good early impression on head coach Vic Fangio.

''He's got good polish as a receiver ... He runs good routes, he's got a good change of direction, good hands,'' Fangio said. ''And it was nice to see him make a couple of plays today.''

Jeudy gives second-year quarterback Drew Lock another top-flight target to team with No. 1 receiver Courtland Sutton and last year's first-round draft pick, tight end Noah Fant, in an offense being designed by former Giants head coach Pat Shurmur.

With coronavirus protocols, the league isn't allowing fans to attend training camp, so there wasn't the usual 2,000 fans on the berm overlooking the practice fields for the first time since the Broncos held their entire 2014 training camp minus fans because of construction projects at team headquarters.

''The fans are a very, very important part of pro sports and we all knew that. I knew that. But to me, it's very obvious when you watch sporting events without the fans, you miss them,'' Fangio said. ''Not just because of the support, but they're part of the action. And we miss them and can't wait to get them back, whenever that will be.''

The Broncos are still in talks with the governor's office about hosting upwards of 20,000 fans at their games this season.

NOT 100 PERCENT

For the second straight summer, tight end Austin Fort went down with a knee injury. After missing all last season, Fort ''tweaked his knee in one of the earlier workouts,'' Fangio said, adding he'll be out at least a couple more weeks.

Fort was the only player absent from Friday's practice.

Participating in his first practice since September was linebacker Bradley Chubb (knee).

''I like where he's at physically and mentally,'' Fangio said.

Also back was cornerback Bryce Callahan, who missed last year with a foot injury.

''Callahan had a good day today. It's good to see him out there moving around. His foot feels fine. He's confident and ready to go.''

HERE IN SPIRIT

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Broncos mainstay Fred Flemming, the team's 77-year-old director of special services, wasn't on hand at training camp. But his likeness was.

The Broncos put a life-size cardboard cutout of Flemming on the grassy knoll overlooking the football fields. You could almost hear him yelling at you to take a couple of steps back.

Notes: C Austin Schlottmann and RT Jake Rodgers ''are in the hunt, both for starting jobs and making the team,'' Fangio said. ... Teams weren't allowed to bring in free agents until a few days ago, so 12th-year tackle Demar Dotson is way behind in the playbook. ''Certainly he has the license and the permit to win a starting job if he can. But that remains to be seen. It's going to take us a little while here to find out where he's at.''

Player Notes
Saquon Barkley Sep 21 8:50am ET

Free-agent running back Devonta Freeman will work out for the New York Giants on Tuesday of this week, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The Giants fear they lost starting running back Saquon Barkley to a season-ending ACL tear during Week 2's loss to the Chicago Bears. Freeman's name has been linked to a few teams since the offseason, most recently the Philadelphia Eagles. The former Atlanta Falcons All-Pro could help to replace Barkley in New York if his workout this week goes well. Currently, the Giants have Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman as the next two men up in their running back room. Freeman is worth a waiver add this week, especially if he does come to terms with New York before waivers run in your league. Just don't go crazy with your FAB money as he could only have an early-down role running behind a poor offensive line in New York.

From RotoBaller

Logan Thomas Sep 21 8:20am ET

Washington Football Team tight end Logan Thomas had a quiet afternoon with just 26 yards on four receptions in a loss to the Cardinals on Sunday. Despite the unflattering stat-line, Thomas was targeted nine times, second-most on the team. The Washington offense lacks true playmakers so Thomas has been heavily-involved in back-to-back weeks. His high target-floor make him a solid tight end to roster in fantasy and he can be considered a startable streamer in a solid Week 3 matchup with Cleveland.

From RotoBaller

Devonta Freeman Sep 21 8:13am ET

Free-agent RB Devonta Freeman (Falcons) will visit the New York Giants this week.

From TheHuddle

Terry McLaurin Sep 21 8:10am ET

Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin had a big game in a loss to the Cardinals on Sunday. McLaurin caught seven passes for 125 yards and his first touchdown of the season. McLaurin led the team with 10 targets as the Washington offense lacks playmakers behind the second-year Ohio State Buckeye. As a result, McLaurin is an attractive option in fantasy as his target floor is very high. He has another good matchup lined up in Week 3 at Cleveland.

From RotoBaller

J.D. McKissic Sep 21 8:00am ET

Washington Football Team running back J.D. McKissic ran for 53 yards on eight carries in a loss to the Cardinals on Sunday. McKissic was the number two back on the afternoon behind Antonio Gibson who had 13 carries. Peyton Barber, who led the backfield in Week 1, had just one carry. McKissic is known as a passing-downs back so it's no surprise he played a lot of snaps with Washington trailing big most of the afternoon. McKissic doesn't have fantasy appeal except in the deepest PPR formats.

From RotoBaller

Courtland Sutton Sep 21 4:33am ET

Denver Broncos WR Courtland Sutton caught three of his six targets for 66 yards in Week 2 versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Fantasy Spin: Sutton missed the opener with a shoulder injury and showed a lot of intestinal fortitude playing in this one only to get derailed by cramping in the third quarter. It's been a rough start for the third-year pro, but he should be good to go next week assuming he doesn't experience some kind of setback with his shoulder between now and then. He should be considered a WR3 with WR2 upside in Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

From TheHuddle

De'Vondre Campbell Sep 21 4:03am ET

Arizona Cardinals LB De'Vondre Campbell recorded 10 tackles against the Washington Football Team in Week 2. Eight of those tackles were solo, and he added two passes defensed.

From TheHuddle

Melvin Gordon Sep 21 3:53am ET

Denver Broncos RB Melvin Gordon ran for 70 yards on 19 carries and added two catches on three targets for 14 yards and a touchdown in Week 2 versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Fantasy Spin: Gordon was featured with Philip Lindsay (toe) sidelined and found much more success early on than Saquon Barkley did against this same defense in Week 1. The Broncos figure to continue riding Gordon hard for however long Lindsay needs to recover, but his path to fantasy success is unlikely to get much easier in Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Consider Gordon a low-end RB2 at best in that matchup.

From TheHuddle

Christian Kirk Sep 21 3:53am ET

Arizona Cardinals WR Christian Kirk caught two passes (on four targets) for 57 yards against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Sept. 20.

Fantasy Spin: Through two weeks, Kirk has been an afterthought offensively, catching just three passes combined. It's too soon to cut bait on a talented receiver in a high-upside offense, but he's better left on the bench for the time being.

From TheHuddle

Jordan Hicks Sep 21 3:53am ET

Arizona Cardinals LB Jordan Hicks had 10 tackles (eight solo) against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Sept. 21.

From TheHuddle

Larry Fitzgerald Sep 21 3:43am ET

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald had seven receptions for 50 yards in a Week 2 victory over the Washington Football Team.

Fantasy Spin: The one-time fantasy stud's best days are well in the past now, but Fitzgerald can still generate flex value in point-per-reception leagues.

From TheHuddle

James Conner Sep 21 3:33am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and added two catches on as many targets for 15 more yards in Week 2 against the Denver Broncos.

Fantasy Spin: Conner did the bulk of his damage on a 59-yard carry late in the game as Denver was selling out to stop Pittsburgh from trying to chew clock. But one thing was clear before that: Conner is still the man in this backfield, logging 13 more carries than Benny Snell. Conner's durability - he left early in Week 1 with an ankle sprain - has been his biggest bugaboo for a while now, and it might be the only thing that keeps him from having a field day in Week 3 against the Houston Texans' weak run defense.

From TheHuddle

Kenyan Drake Sep 21 3:33am ET

Arizona Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake carried the ball 20 times for 86 yards against the Washington Football Team in Week 2. He added two receptions for nine yards.

Fantasy Spin: Drake hasn't been the explosive playmaker he was after being acquired from Miami last year, but the season is still young and he's getting the majority of the work in the backfield on an emerging offense. Stay the course with Drake as an RB2.

From TheHuddle

DeAndre Hopkins Sep 21 3:33am ET

Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins caught eight passes for 68 yards and a touchdown against the Washington Football Team in Week 2.

Fantasy Spin: It was a step back statistically after a huge Week 1 performance, but Hopkins' first TD in a Cardinals uniform helped offset some of that. He's a must-start WR1 that could be in for a big week against a shaky Lions secondary.

From TheHuddle

Jeff Driskel Sep 21 3:23am ET

Denver Broncos QB Jeff Driskel came on in relief of an injured Drew Lock (shoulder) and finished 18-of-34 for 256 yards and two touchdowns with one interception in Week 2 versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Fantasy Spin: Driskel has turned himself into a capable backup NFL quarterback and flashed at times when called upon, and it's no small feat to do what he did in this game against such a quality defense. Given that Lock was seen in a sling after his exit, it's likely Driskel will need to start multiple games for the Broncos. He should be a decent superflex option for however long he is needed, but he shouldn't be starting in most fantasy leagues in Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

From TheHuddle

Ben Roethlisberger Sep 21 3:13am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger finished 29-of-41 for 311 yards and two touchdowns to go along with one interception in Week 2 against the Denver Broncos.

Fantasy Spin: Roethlisberger threw an unforgivable interception early in the third quarter but was otherwise sharp, connecting on long strikes to rookie Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson. The Steelers' defense is so good that Roethlisberger may not need to carry the offense very often, but he possesses a solid fantasy floor with huge upside should the defense has an off-day or two along the way. Consider him a strong starting option in Week 3 against the vulnerable Houston Texans' defense.

From TheHuddle

Kevin Pierre-Louis Sep 21 3:13am ET

Washington Football Team LB Kevin Pierre-Louis was credited with 15 tackles, including 10 solo, against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2.

From TheHuddle

Brandin Cooks Sep 21 2:53am ET

Houston Texans WR Brandin Cooks hauled in five of his eight targets for 95 yards in Week 2 versus the Baltimore Ravens.

Fantasy Spin: Cooks' performance was one of the few bright spots for Houston in this one. His 38-yard catch in the second quarter helped set up the Texans' lone TD. Will Fuller dealt with an undisclosed injury throughout this contest, which explains a bit why Cooks played such a prominent role. Regardless of whether Fuller can play next week or not, Cooks figures to be a weak flex option in a brutal matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

From TheHuddle

Jamal Adams Sep 21 2:53am ET

Seattle Seahawks S Jamal Adams recorded 10 tackles (six solo), a sack and two QB hits against the New England Patriots in Week 2.

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Tyrod Taylor Sep 21 2:53am ET

Los Angeles Chargers QB Tyrod Taylor (chest) will remain the team's starting quarterback, according to head coach Anthony Lynn, provided that Taylor is '100 percent, ready to go.'

Fantasy Spin: Despite what Lynn said, it sure feels like Taylor's days as QB1 is numbered. Taylor didn't look good in Week 1 against a Bengals defense that got rolled over by the Browns just a few days later, while Justin Herbert threw for 300-plus yards against the defending Super Bowl champions.

From TheHuddle