Inside the Stats: Wide Receivers

Inside the Stats: Wide Receivers


Inside the Stats: Wide Receivers


Wide receivers are impacted by the offensive scheme they play in and of course, the quality of their quarterback. Their total numbers are greatly aided playing in an offense that has to (or at least wants to) throw the ball a lot. Michael Thomas on the Ravens would still be very good. But he probably would not be catching 149 passes if he played for the Ravens. These metrics are very interesting in assessing player talent and value since they measure characteristics outside of just catches and yards. Particularly when a receiver is young and still improving. Having a great quarterback is a tremendous advantage for generating stats, but that doesn’t matter much when considering yards after catch, broken tackles and drops.

Notable Wide Receivers

A.J. Brown – The rookie came on strong for the Titans with Ryan Tannehill as the starter and his measurables attest to just how good he was. His 20.1 yards per catch was tops and he ranked among the best at almost every category. Barring some unforeseen change to their offense, Brown looks like everyone’s sleeper pick for 2020.

Chris Godwin – He was a delightful surprise last year taking advantage of not being Mike Evans but he clearly did plenty on his own – not just enjoying lesser coverage. He was sure-handed with top marks in all areas and was more reliable than almost any other receiver.

Amari Cooper – He’s angling for a big payday and he had several nice showings. But compared to other wideouts, Cooper’s only top mark was how far down the field he caught the ball – not what he did with it after the catch.

Curtis Samuel – Another receiver that some expect to be a sleeper. But he did not rank highly in anything and troublesome were his drops and low yards after the catch. His 51% catch rate ranked dead last among 50-catch receivers.

Deebo Samuel – The rookie had a promising season that started slowly and his lower marks came from the short passing scheme and a higher number of dropped passes. But Samuel improved during the season and ended up with a 70% catch rate and rated great in yards after catch (8.3) and broken tackles (7).

Julian Edelman –  He contended with injuries during the season but it was still disappointing to see him with the highest drops and one of the lowest yards after the catch. Maybe Edelman is getting old. Maybe Tom Brady is not throwing the same ball.

Mohamed Sanu – Bad marks across the board. Are we sure Tom Brady still has it?

Terry McLaurin – The rookie was effective on a bad offense and even ranked highly in yards per catch.

Tyler Lockett – His 75% catch rate was second only to the pass sponge Michael Thomas. And he only dropped two passes all year.


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