CFF Sig Stats: Wide Receivers, Part 1
We continue our look through the College Football Focus database as Gordon McGuinness shares some Signature Statistics for this year's wide receiver draft class.
CFF Sig Stats: Wide Receivers, Part 1
After a year of digging into the college game for the first time, we’re now beginning to unveil our findings. As you’ll have seen we’ve started to bring you some content including player profiles, rankings, and some interesting Signature Stats from each position.
As always, it’s important to note that stats don’t always tell the whole story, but these go a little deeper than regular stats, and make for some interesting reading. In this first part we’ll look at Yards Per Route Run and Drop Rate while the next installment later today will highlight performances on deep passes and from WRs lined up in the slot.
Yards Per Route Run
While this group has some familiar names, including the top receiver in the draft in Amari Cooper, it’s worth noting that it is one of our sleeper candidates that leads the way. Georgia Tech’s DeAndre Smelter was the most productive player in this year’s draft class on a per-route basis, impressing even in the run first Georgia Tech offense.
Elsewhere in the Top 10, Louisville’s DeVante Parker had the highest score of the top prospects, with West Virginia’s Kevin White back in 16th place at 2.59 YPRR. Amari Cooper had a ridiculous amount of receiving yards, but he was on the field so much that he couldn’t quite crack the 4.00 barrier like Parker and Smelter.
Yards Per Route Run vs. Power 5 Teams
Level of competition is important when looking at college prospects too, and it’s interesting to see that the top two remain the same but flip spots, with Parker leading the way in games against teams from the Power 5 conferences. Showing off the skills that make him one of the best receivers in this draft class, he did his best work against the best competition.
If you’ve been following our wide receiver content over the past couple of days, you’ll have seen almost all of these players mentioned, with all of them having at least one aspect of their game that make them a sought after prospect even as a sleeper or someone who has something that you can work with.
Drop Rate – The Top 10
Having a safe pair of hands is something that is always going to impress and nobody did a better job at that than Geremy Davis, Nick Jones and Darren Waller, with all three going the whole year without dropping a pass. Of the three, Waller looks to be the best prospect, with the big Georgia Tech target also cracking the Top 10 in terms of YPRR against Power 5 teams.
The speedy Phillip Dorsett is tied in 10th place, dropping just one pass all year. That will impress anyone who’s interested in the big-play threat, who may not have the size and strength you look for, but has the speed to give plenty of defensive backs problems.
Drop Rate – The Bottom 10
This is the list that you don’t want to be on. The who’s who of stone-handed receivers, who just couldn’t hold onto the ball in 2014. Speed and strength will only get you so far, and if you can’t hang onto the ball it’s going to be hard to cut it in the NFL. Deonte Welch and Quinton Dunbar were by far the worst here, dropping an incredibly high number of passes given how little they were targetted.
It’s interesting to note that Vince Mayle doesn’t quite make the list. He was the 11th-worst, so it wasn’t by much, but perhaps everyone has been slightly harsh on him. Yes, his 19 drops were the most in the country, and it’s a stat nobody wants to lead the country in, but he also saw a massive amount of targets, with his Drop Rate not quite as bad as the total number suggests.
Follow Gordon on Twitter: @PFF_Gordon
Gordon McGuinness | Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst
Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.