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Breakdown of top Wide Receiver Prospects
I found his first article a few weeks back but wanted to wait for his second to be posted before i posted them here. His first was "Tier 1" and his 2nd was "Tier 2". You can tell by the graphs that they come from separate articles and the first graph is his tier 1 and the second is his tier 2. I combined the Information so that i wouldnt have to make multiple threads(though would have been easier).
I know stats can be deceiving, and if the wr's were in different systems and with different qb's and different coaches, things could be a lot different. But regardless, i think this was some great work and a great breakdown on the wide receivers.
Allen, Patterson, Hopkins, Bailey, Wheaton, Williams, Patton, and Hunter: A Metrics Breakdown
Where Are They Catching the Ball?
This represents what zones they caught the ball in, before yards after the catch. Unfortunately, I don’t have the exact routes or what side of the field they caught it on. That will have to wait until the next iteration of this.
- Keenan Allen lives on the short passes. 63.3% of Allen’s passes were caught within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. Only 3.33% of his passes were past 20 yards. A low for all WRs I looked at. This may not be a bad thing if his yards after the catch are good.
- Stedman Bailey’s game consisted of a lot of screens. Unlike Keenan Allen though, we see a much more distributed catching range. 18% of his passes were caught in the 11-20 yard range with 10.5% deep catches.
- Surprisingly, Hopkins was a major deep threat. This surprised me because I thought of Hopkins as a guy who ran a lot of curls and mid-range outside routes. We see that 70% of his catches were past 6 yards. The highest in the major WRs for this class, excepting Terrance Williams
- Patterson’s numbers are just interesting. We don’t see many passes caught past 20 yards, but 33% of his passes were caught in the 11-20 yard range. It’s like he decided to ignore catching the ball in the screen and 20+ yard game and just catch intermediate passes.
- Terrance Williams is the ultimate deep threat of this class. Around 39% of his catches were past 10 yards and over 79% of his passes were past 5 yards. Of course this shows up on tape, but it’s good to confirm it. We then have to wonder if he can translate that deep threat to the NFL or if he’ll get jammed at the line of scrimmage.
- Wheaton is another deep threat in this class. He’s of a completely different build than Williams, but 41% of his passes were past 10 yards. Interestingly, 55% of his passes were within 5 yards. Most of the time he was catching short or deep passes, nothing in the middle.
- Quinton Patton is well distributed across all zones. He doesn’t show a tendency to get past 20 yards, but there’s no zone in which he is simply not catching the ball. That tells us he’s a pretty versatile wide receiver who wasn’t pigeon holed in the offense.
- Hunter seems to work the intermediate zones the most. We don’t see a whole lot of completions in the screen or deep game, but the majority (78%) of his completions coming between 1 and 20 yards. Only8.3% of Patterson’s catches were screens, so the screen game wasn’t a big part of the Tennessee offense, for whatever reason.
What’s Happening After the Catch?
This chart represents the yards from the LOS that they caught the ball before YAC and then the yardage after the catch in the second bar.
- DeAndre Hopkins shows us how much deeper he caught the ball than the others. On average he caught the ball 12 yards from the LOS, before YAC.
- Stedman Bailey’s yards after the catch is great. In this class, most WRs YAC hovers around 5.3-5.5 yards. Bailey’s is the highest at 6.24. Even though 33% of his catches were screens, having good yard after the catch skills makes it worthwhile.
- Allen’s numbers are not so superb. On average he caught the ball 4.57 yards from the LOS. This is 3 yards lower than the next wide receiver (Quinton Patton). Plus his yards after the catch is simply average
- Averaging around 19 yards per catch, Williams got most of his yardage before YAC. His yards after the catch are average at 5.2, but he caught the ball on average 14 yards past the line of scrimmage. That’s extremely high, the highest of this class by 3 yards
- Quinton Patton is excellent after the catch. At 6.15 yards after the catch, Patton’s YAC is second best in this class behind Stedman Bailey. He also averages 6.3 yards/ screen catch. The fact that these numbers are close indicate he’s adept at getting similar amount of yardage on all types of catches.
- Markus Wheaton’s yards after catch is a paltry 3.48. This is a little scary, this is more than two yards below the average for all wide receivers in this class. Why is it so low? Did he fall down as soon as he caught the ball? Did his size limit him from garnering more yards? It’s possible the sub-par QB rotation at Oregon State limited him.
- Justin Hunter is still running backwards trying to get more yards after the catch. Hunter owns the second worst yards after the catch in this class. However, he was catching the ball relatively deep at 9.2 yards. Your evaluation is going to depend on if you value a deeper catcher or someone with better YAC.
How Did Their Systems Help/Hurt Them?
This one is going to require a little explaining. I didn’t just chart their catches, I charted every pass thrown to each wide receiver. In that, I was able to derive how often a QB targets his number one wide receiver and how often QBs miss their wide receiver. Thus I averaged out the percentage of targets, miss percentage, and average amount of throws per game, to give each WR the same amount of targets. Then I adjusted to see how their season numbers would have been, had they been in an average system
- Patterson is helped by this the most, by far. First off, Tyler Bray was just bad in terms of missing his wide receivers. However, Patterson was also targeted far less than a normal number 1. Had he been targeted at the same rate, he would have gained 549 yards, for a season total of 1327 yards. There were certainly be no questions about his production with those numbers.
- Bailey incidentally is hurt by this. This of course is due to the high powered passing offense of West Virginia. I don’t think this drops Bailey’s value at all, because he’d still have 1378 yards, but it shows you the influence of WV’s offense.
- Hopkins numbers would be obscene with more targets. He’s looking at north of 1600 yards with more targets, this of course is due to his high average catch distance.
- Tyler Bray didn’t do Justin Hunter many favors. While Hunter was targeted often enough, Bray missed him extremely often, taking away some yardage he may have gained.
- Patton’s case is similar to Stedman Bailey’s. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that they played in a pass happy offense, especially because his overall production was still very high at 1281 yards. Had it dropped down to a “non-elite” level, then we would be more concerned.
- Wheaton and Williams’ QBs were about average in terms of misses and targets. This doesn’t mean their QBs were good, but rather compared to the QBs in this system, they were average. I don’t think many people would call Sean Mannion a world beater. The new system will adjust for this better.
*One final note on all of this. I realize this is imperfect. Would Hopkins have been as much of a deep threat without Tajh Boyd? Thus if he had a different QB, would he have caught as many deep passes with more targets? Possibly. I’m trying to work on a way to solve this, but this is my first pass at the WRs.
I didn't want to make it too long (people stop reading after 1000 words and multiple charts), so there is more data/ charts on the site, like red zone yardage, yardage by down, yardage by quarter and drop percentage. You can find that here:Tier 1 WRs: Allen, Patterson, Bailey and Hopkins, A Metrics Breakdown « Second Round Stats
**I’m going to try out a new system to account for system, but to keep this post consistent with the previous post, I’ll keep the same system. I’ll do a separate post on that statistic.
I’m going to present a few more charts without comment. You’ll find average yardage/ screen, drop percentage, yardage by quarter, yardage by down, red zone yardage. I highly recommend you check out the first one, if you look at any.
**If you’ve liked this, you can follow me at Since I just started this up, I’m working to get the info out to people. I do work pretty much every day breaking down prospects and I’ll be tweeting out interesting stats that I come across (Nassib’s deep ball completion % is 62.5%), future articles/breakdowns (Dysert, Nassib, Manuel post upcoming), or let you know when I post new things (a specific post on Tavon Austin, for instance) . Thanks a lot!
**Thanks to @CKParrot for inspiring this stat, it’s extremely interesting as a testament to each WRs ability to create on their own
*He only did these last charts in his "tier 2" post.
*If anything is out of order, its my fault from when i combined the two articles.
Hope you enjoyed the information as much as i did. Big props to NUGap for his time and effort.
Re: Breakdown of top Wide Receiver Prospects
Unreal thread. This changes nothing in my perspective, DeAndre Nuk Hopkins is still my #1!
Re: Breakdown of top Wide Receiver Prospects
Read he might be making a tier 3 one as well. i hope he will.
Re: Breakdown of top Wide Receiver Prospects
Whoever did all those metrics needs to get a job on "Sports Science" asap lol
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