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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
Dalvin Cook Aug 14 5:00pm ET

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook plans to be a full participant at training camp while he seeks a long-term contract extension. "I'm out there full go, 1,000 percent," Cook said. The RB1 in fantasy should be present for workouts on Monday for the start of camp. The 25-year-old second-rounder was a top-five running back last year despite missing two games due to injury. With the Vikings passing game less of a certainty now that Stefon Diggs is in Buffalo, Minnesota could lean even more on Cook, both on the ground and through the air. Fantasy managers probably won't view the former Florida State running back as elite because of injury concerns, but he's been pretty money in his short career when he's on the field.

From RotoBaller

Marcus Mariota Aug 14 4:50pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said that quarterback Marcus Mariota "really fired me up today" at training camp on Friday. He has turned a corner with his ankle (injury) and he is a dazzling playmaker. He had a very nice day. It might just be coach speak, and we all know that Gruden typically loves almost every player he's laid eyes on in the NFL, but it's worth noting nonetheless. Incumbent Derek Carr could easily be on the hot seat early in 2020 if he doesn't impress the coaching staff with his production, and Mariota, despite his failures in Tennessee, remains athletic and is one of the highest-paid backup QBs in the league. If Mariota winds up making starts this year, he'd be a low-ceiling, low-end QB2.

From RotoBaller

Trevor Siemian Aug 14 4:43pm ET

Free-agent QB Trevor Siemian (Jets) worked out for the Detroit Lions Friday, Aug. 14.

From TheHuddle

Bronson Kaufusi Aug 14 4:33pm ET

New York Jets RB Kenneth Dixon (hip), DE Bronson Kaufusi (hamstring) and LB Jabari Zuniga (quadriceps) did not participate in practice Friday, Aug. 14.

From TheHuddle

Cordarrelle Patterson Aug 14 4:30pm ET

Chicago Bears wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson has been meeting with the running backs at camp, instead of the wide receivers. This could be an indication that head coach Matt Nagy is planning to use the speedy receiver out of the backfield more this year. This is Patterson's second year with the Bears. Last year, he caught 11 passes for 83 yards while adding 17 rushes for 103 yards. It's certainly an intriguing development, but we'll need to see it play out quite a bit more before we start to get excited about Patterson for fantasy purposes.

From RotoBaller

Mychal Kendricks Aug 14 4:03pm ET

Free-agent LB Mychal Kendricks (Seahawks) received interest from the Las Vegas Raiders, but the two sides were not able to reach a contract agreement, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

Romeo Okwara Aug 14 4:03pm ET

Detroit Lions DE Romeo Okwara (undisclosed) was activated from the Active/Non-Football Injury list Friday, Aug. 14. The team also waived S Jeremiah Dinson.

From TheHuddle

Jahleel Addae Aug 14 3:53pm ET

Free-agent S Jahleel Addae (Texans) is scheduled to work out for the Minnesota Vikings, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

Kevin Stefanski Aug 14 3:50pm ET

Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter underwent knee surgery on Thursday according to head coach Kevin Stefanski. The veteran lineman reportedly had the surgery to remove loose bodies from the knee. Stefanski would not elaborate on how long Tretter would be out but the NFL Network reported that he will probably only miss a couple weeks. In Tretters absence, rookie center Nick Harris will get a chance to show what he can do. Tretter is a key piece to a revamped Cleveland offensive line this year.

From RotoBaller

Leonard Williams Aug 14 3:33pm ET

New York Giants DT Leonard Williams (undisclosed) was activated from the Active/Non-Football Injury list Friday, Aug. 14.

From TheHuddle

Frank Gore Aug 14 3:23pm ET

New York Jets RB Frank Gore (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Aug. 14, because of a hamstring injury. Head coach Adam Gase said Gore was held out as a precaution.

Fantasy Spin: Gore likely will be the No. 2 running back for the Jets and see a handful of carries each game. He could be a handcuff to Le'Veon Bell in fantasy leagues but probably will not have a big fantasy impact.

From TheHuddle

Pierre Desir Aug 14 3:23pm ET

New York Jets CB Pierre Desir (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Aug. 14.

From TheHuddle

Baker Mayfield Aug 14 3:13pm ET

Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield said Friday, Aug. 14, he 'lost myself' in 2019 and started doubting himself after a couple of sub-par performances. Mayfield, though, said Friday that's in the past. 'In a much better state, mentally, physically. Just ready to roll,' Mayfield told reporters at training camp. 'Back to where I need to be to be the leader.'

Fantasy Spin: Drafted as a breakout No. 1 QB last season, Mayfield stumbled badly, throwing for five fewer touchdowns and seven more interceptions than he did as a rookie in 2018. He should bounce back the other way some in 2020, but he's still figures to wind up as a QB2 when all's said and done.

From TheHuddle

Lamar Miller Aug 14 2:53pm ET

Updating previous report, New England Patriots RB Lamar Miller received a one-year, $1.05 million contract that includes $200,000 in guarantees with $1.5 million also available in 'achievable' incentives.

From TheHuddle

Jordan Reed Aug 14 2:53pm ET

Updating a previous report, San Francisco TE Jordan Reed signed a one-year, $1.05 million contract. The deal also includes up to $750,000 in playing-time incentives.

From TheHuddle

Aaron Rodgers Aug 14 2:50pm ET

Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre told the 'Load Management' podcast that he would "love to see" Aaron Rodgers on the Chicago Bears one day. History could be repeating itself after the Packers traded up to draft quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of this year's draft. Many have speculated and assumed that this was not happy news for Rodgers, prompting many to wonder how much longer Rodgers will be in a Packers uniform. Despite a dip in production in the second half of 2019, Rodgers still passed for 4,002 yards with 26 touchdowns and only four interceptions. The 36-year-old still has plenty of ability but currently finds himself towards the end of many fantasy top-10 QB lists. The former MVP will be a reliable option but will be drafted in the later rounds for the first time in his career.

From RotoBaller

Myles Garrett Aug 14 1:53pm ET

Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett (hamstring) and C JC Tretter (knee) both missed practice in training camp Friday, Aug. 14. Garrett is dealing with a 'tweaked' hamstring, but head coach Kevin Stefanski said he's not seriously concerned about the injury and doesn't expect Garrett to miss much time. Tretter, meanwhile, is out after undergoing an unspecified knee procedure, and Stefanski did not have a timeline on his return.

From TheHuddle

Tavon Austin Aug 14 1:43pm ET

Free agents WRs Tavon Austin (Cowboys) and JJ Nelson (Raiders) are expected to sign Friday, Aug. 14, with the San Francisco 49ers, pending results of physicals, per a league source.

From TheHuddle

Leonard Williams Aug 14 1:43pm ET

New York Giants DT Leonard Williams (hamstring) was removed from the Active/Non-Football Injury list Fridau, Aug. 14, and took part in practice.

From TheHuddle

Chris Carson Aug 14 1:00pm ET

Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson is yet to take part in training camp with the team. He is currently away from the Seahawks as he is dealing with a death in his family. The specifics of what Carson is dealing with have not been provided, but head coach Pete Carroll suggested that Carson could remain away from the team for awhile still. Meanwhile, Carlos Hyde has been taking snaps as the first-team running back and could stand to gain with the extra reps prior to the season. The team's other primary running back, Rashaad Penny, is currently on the PUP list.

From RotoBaller