It wouldn't be the day before the NFL Draft without a little last-second speculation and intrigue.
Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy has been a consensus Top 15 pick in the 2020 draft since the college football season ended in January.
But his stock received a bit of a shake-up Tuesday night, when 97.5 The Fanatic's Natalie Egenolf and NBC Sports Philadelphia's Derrick Gunn both reported that a few teams were concerned with Jeudy's knees:
Source is telling me Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy‘s draft stock may drop due to reported knee issues that haven’t been disclosed yet. Jeudy underwent surgery for a meniscus injury in 2018. #NFLDraft2020— Natalie Egenolf (@NatalieEgenolf) April 21, 2020
She’s telling the truth.... some teams have even taken him off their first round board because of it..— Derrick Gunn (@RealDGunnNBCS) April 21, 2020
That's pretty interesting!
Jeudy underwent surgery for a meniscus issue in the spring of 2018, but was believed to have fully recovered from the injury. Of course, with limited contact ahead of the draft because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many wondered if medical reports and analyses on players might not be as rigorous as in years past.
Then Adam Schefter joined NBC Sports Philadelphia's Marc Farzetta on 97.5 The Fanatic on Wednesday morning to talk about Jeudy, and whether the issues are causing his draft stock to fall:
I am aware of those kinds of issues, and there are various issues with various players. Look, losing stock might be strong. So, instead of 13 does he go 17? Maybe. But I think a team is going to like him, or not like him. Period. And so it's a situation where, I don't think it's going to have a dramatic effect on his stock. Now, if all of a sudden we look up in the first round, and he's available at 27, 28? Well, that might be a contributing factor.
Schefter went on to call it "a lingering knee issue" for Jeudy.
Then, later Wednesday morning, Jeudy's agent took to Twitter to defend his client's health:
No issue here. The knee is fine. Jerry never missed a practice or a game in two years after the surgery. He never even needed treatment on the knee. Every team examined him at the Combine. No team saw anything that even required him to participate in the Combine recheck.— Chris Cabott (@chriscabott) April 22, 2020
Again, this rumor was spread days before the draft by a team that is looking to cause a stir and hoping for Jerry to fall to him. Not happening.— Chris Cabott (@chriscabott) April 22, 2020
So, what's going on here? It's likely more nuanced than "Jeudy is perfectly fine" or "Jeudy is falling dramatically."
Teams whisper plenty in the days leading up to the draft, with the hopes of nudging other teams in certain directions. It sounds like some teams could have legit concerns about Jeudy's knees. It also seems like, in this case, there could be some interest from a team in having Jeudy slip a few spots, as Schefter suggested could happen, by mentioning this information right before draft night.
Is it the Eagles? That's also possible. Jeudy falling from the 10-13 range into the 14-17 range would certainly make a trade up far more enticing to general manager Howie Roseman, who has limited capital in this year's draft compared to years past.
Will Jeudy still be drafted in the first round? Absolutely. He's a stud who checks all the boxes for receiver-needy teams, the Eagles included. But his draft night will now have a little more intrigue.
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