Narrative Street: Does a flashy new teammate really help?
Brandon Marshall joined the New York Giants this offseason, which has to mean good things for Odell Beckham Jr., right? And the Buccaneers just added DeSean Jackson to complement Mike Evans. Surely that will take the pressure off Evans and lead to a better season, no?
The narrative: WRs without a strong running mate get a boost with a legit secondary weapon
The narrative revolves around the concept of defenses “focusing” on certain players. And the addition of a new, legitimate threat as a teammate will force defenses to spread out their focus, which opens up new opportunities for the elite wideout.
The research and findings
To qualify for this study, one good wide receiver had to join forces with another good wide receiver — either via the draft or via free agency — since 2010. If they joined via the draft, the rookie didn’t necessarily have to turn out to have a good career, but I still counted highly drafted wideouts for this study (for example: Michael Floyd being drafted by Arizona in 2012).
Some other examples include Julio Jones being drafted by Atlanta in 2011 (to join with Roddy White), Mike Evans being drafted by Tampa Bay in 2014 (to join with Vincent Jackson), Emmanuel Sanders joining Denver in 2012 (to join with Demaryius Thomas), and others.
- Yards per reception