In week six of the NFL regular season the Miami Dolphins travel to the mile-high city to take on the Denver Broncos. Both teams have young wideouts that are looking to make an early impact for their respective teams and we’ll get to see Miami’s Preston Williams in action against Denver’s rookie Jerry Jeudy.
Preston Williams Rookie Season Cut Short With Torn ACL
Williams is coming off his first NFL season after going undrafted. It ended early after a torn ACL in a November game against division-rival New York. He was arguably having his best game of the season before his departure, securing two of his three touchdowns on the season paired with 72 yards. Williams would end up finishing his rookie season with 32 receptions, 428 receiving yards and those three scores.
Jerry Jeudy Fresh Out of Bama
With this being Jeudy’s rookie season, we’ll take a look back at his time with Nick Saban at the University of Alabama. Jeudy played for the Crimson Tide for three seasons and produced some big numbers while on the roster. He ended his collegiate career with 159 receptions for 2,742 receiving yards and added 26 TDs.
What Roles Will Williams, Jeudy Play in 2020?
Williams will be in a battle with teammates Albert Wilson, Allen Hurns, Isaiah Ford and Jakeem Grant for field time, but should have success holding down the No. 2 WR role once recovered. Not only will he provide a distraction from No. 1 WR DeVante Parker, but he should build upon his shortened rookie season.
On the flip side, Jeudy should become one of quarterback Drew Lock’s favorite weapons to throw to. Jeudy will go in and compete for the number one spot which is currently occupied by No. 1 WR Courtland Sutton. He’ll be used in the team’s play-calling as a speed threat that should have success across the field.
A Pair of First-Year Head Coaches Pushing to Ascend Their Teams
Coming off a 5-11 record under first-year head coach Brian Flores, the Dolphins are hoping to build off last season and push for a better 2020 outcome. Miami is missing some pieces to complete the team as a whole and will struggle at times in the season to maintain consistency, but getting Williams back will add much-needed depth in a mediocre receiving corps.
The Broncos are coming off a 7-9 season under first-year head coach Vic Fangio and hope to build off what promise Lock showed in spurts through his starts last season. Jeudy will without question be thrust into Denver’s game plan early and often.
Both Miami and Denver had one real WR threat in 2019, but it looks as though the Broncos have taken more steps to address their need, as it drafted two WRs with their first two picks in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Where Williams, Jeudy Need to Improve to Help Teams
Besides the ACL injury that Williams is stool recovering from, he’ll need to work on his ball tracking skills and consistency in order to help the ball find his hands. If Williams can recover in time from his knee injury and work on his game with workouts, he should have little competition to secure the No. 2 role.
For Jeudy, there aren’t too many glaring holes for him coming out of college. It’ll be intriguing to monitor his transition from college to professional ball and revisit this topic in the next offseason. But for now, Jeudy could focus on his play-strength. He carries a skinny frame and his dominance in space isn’t entirely matched when he’s in press-man coverage with a physical cornerback. Jeudy’s still very good when battling press, but bulking up a little bit would diversify his releases in those situations.
Williams’ Impact Against Denver
With so much uncertainty surrounding Williams’ knee injury, he could see a slower comeback to the NFL. However, he should be in the game in some capacity in week six. Even if he’s forced to a limited role, Williams should easily provide distraction away from Parker, which in turn could leave Parker with coverages in his favor against a young Denver secondary that would help Miami overall.
Jeudy’s Impact Against Miami
Jeudy’s speed alone will help the Broncos against a veteran secondary in Miami that has added many new top-notch players. He’ll have to watch out for Xavien Howard and Byron Jones especially and it’ll be a true test to his in-game adjustments. In order to have an impact, he’ll have to use his quick feet and shifty moves to force openings in tight coverage.
Jeudy Should Shine Over Williams
Williams doesn’t have elite speed on the outside and his inconsistency to catch the ball could make for a long day down in mile-high city, so Jeudy could slip in and have the better game out of the two if he can adjust to coverage. Jeudy comes into the season labeled as rookie, but teams shouldn’t overlook the skills he’ll bring to the game. He has better hands and better route-running over Williams at this time that will make for a successful day against the Dolphins.
Kayla Morton contributed to this article.