Rookie Impact: 2014 WRs

Comparing the 2014 rookie wide reciver seasons to what we've seen from rookies in past years.

| 2 years ago

Rookie Impact: 2014 WRs

The wide receiver position has always been one of the more hit-and-miss selections in the course of NFL history and the variance at the position has continued in recent seasons.

Production can be found as often down the draft as seemingly sure-fire first-round selections contrive to confound their teams, fans and observers.

The ever-expanding use of three- and four-wide receiver sets has seen an increase in playing time for rookie receivers in recent seasons, with an increase in quality performances coming with that production. Some think that the 2015 class is set to continue the upward trend at the position.

Rookie WRs - Click to Enlarge

Rookie WRs – Click to Enlarge


2014 Class Review

•  Twelve of the 34 receivers selected last season played more than 500 snaps, all of those 12 were taken in the first three rounds of the draft.
•  Odell Beckham Jr. (+20.4) led the class but Mike Evans (+9.3) also produced one of the best rookie seasons we have seen in the last eight years.
•  Success however was not universal with second round picks Marqise Lee (-6.8) and Davante Adams (-8.0) struggling to hit the ground running.
•  Outside of the top three rounds, Martavis Bryant (+2.2) was among the most impressive performers producing some impressive late season displays.

Best Class

•  Highest Combined Grade: 2014 (-5.6 receiving grade)
•  In the shape of Odell Beckham Jr., Mike Evans and Jarvis Landry three of the 10 highest-graded rookie seasons from the last eight years came in 2014.
•  Most Snaps Played: 2014 (10,762 snaps)
•  As highly as the 2015 receiver class is being held by the draft community it has an extremely tough act to follow. Per player drafted 2014’s rookie receiver class played nearly twice as many snaps as 2007’s class.

First Round Outlook

•  Average Playing Time: 602 snaps
•  Average Receiving Grade: -0.4
•  500+ Snap Seasons: 20/29 selections
•  Best Rookie Season: Odell Beckham Jr. (2014), 793 snaps, +20.4 receiving
•  Worst Rookie Season: Darrius Heyward-Bey (2009), 581 snaps, -17.0 receiving

Mid Round (2nd and 3rd) Outlook

•  Average Playing Time: 353 snaps
•  Average Receiving Grade: -2.3
•  500+ Snap Seasons: 26/81 selections
•  Best Rookie Season: Keenan Allen (2013), 971 snaps, +12.1 receiving
•  Worst Rookie Season: Greg Little (2011), 983 snaps, -16.6 receiving

Late Round (4th to 7th) Outlook

•  Average Playing Time: 117 snaps
•  Average Receiving Grade: -0.8
•  500+ Snap Seasons: 10/142 selections
•  Best Rookie Season: Mike Williams (2010), 604 snaps, +4.9 receiving
•  Worst Rookie Season: Keshawn Martin (2012), 268 snaps, -8.7 receiving


Follow Ben on Twitter: @PFF_Ben


| Director of Analysis

Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.

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