FiveThirtyEight's Receiver Rankings

Magooch

Cheesehead
Joined
Dec 15, 2021
Messages
455
Reaction score
398
FiveThirtyEight recently published a new feature (I think it's new, at least...new to me, anyways...) using ESPN's analytics and NFL Next Gen Stats to rank pass catchers. They're graded on three metrics (Getting open, making the catch, and yards after catch) and also given an aggregate/overall score. All measures on a scale of 1-100.

Stats are updated weekly; as of posting (11/1/22) the top-5 overall pass-catchers by their measure are AJ Brown, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs, and Tyler Lockett.

Running backs are not included, and only WRs/TEs with at least 24 targets are eligible for ranking.

According to Pro Football Focus, we have four passcatchers with at least 24 targets: Doubs (49), Tonyan (42), Lazard (41), and Cobb (26). FiveThirtyEight doesn't have Cobb ranked however, so either they are operating with a different set of data that has Cobb credited with less than 24, or maybe one is just updated ahead of the other.

In whatever case, here's where those three passcatchers land in the overall rankings right now:

#77. Tonyan - Overall grade of 44 (58 "getting open," 51 "making the catch," 23 "yards after catch")
#82. Lazard - Overall grade of 43 (50 "getting open," 50 "making the catch," 34 "yards after catch")
#92 Doubs - Overall grade of 38 (50 "getting open," 30 "making the catch," 45 "yards after catch")

And just for some context, some names who were mentioned as potential trade targets:

#24. Chase Claypool - Overall grade of 63 (55/66/54)
#39. Elijah Moore - Overall grade of 57 (60/51/50)
#61. Jerry Jeudy - Overall grade of 49 (67/27/50)
#86. DJ Moore - Overall grade of 40 (43/49/39)
#94. Brandin Cooks - Overall grade of 35 (54/37/25)
#98. AJ Green - Overall grade of 18 (16/36/42)

You can find the current full rankings here and a bit more on the methodology here.
https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id...-how-new-nfl-stats-work-open-catch-yac-scores
 

captainWIMM

Cheesehead
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
28,673
Reaction score
3,078
It's not surprising the Packers' pass catchers are all ranked near the bottom of this list. FYI you can take a look at the running backs by choosing them from the position drop down menu.
 

kevans74

Cheesehead
Joined
Feb 16, 2017
Messages
1,122
Reaction score
273
Location
USA
Thanks for sharing, seems like drops or "making the catch" have been an issue around.

2 good stats
Claypool - 66 of "making the catch"
Jeudy - 67 of "getting open", seems he may have some drops though?
 

Schultz

Cheesehead
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Messages
1,489
Reaction score
729
Jeudy was dropping the ball early in the year but has been playing really well lately.
 

captainWIMM

Cheesehead
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
28,673
Reaction score
3,078
Jeudy - 67 of "getting open", seems he may have some drops though?

According to PFF Jeudy has four drops so far this season. His drop percentage of 11.8% ranks only 74th among 80 wide receivers with at least 24 targets.
 
OP
OP
M

Magooch

Cheesehead
Joined
Dec 15, 2021
Messages
455
Reaction score
398
Circling back around to this now that the season is over. It’s last been updated Jan 2 so wouldn’t have this last week factored yet but…

On a positive note Watson actually sneaks into the top 5 WR in the NFL for YAC. Overall he also comes in tied for 20th which I think is respectable. I think there’s only 3 or 4 rookies ahead of him overall so that’s not too bad imo.

On a less positive note however the rest of the WR corps does not grade out so great. Next best is Lazard with an overall grade of 43, good for 85th overall in the league. Then is Tonyan with an overall grade of 40, that’s good for 94th. Finally there is Doubs with an overall of 37, good for 103rd.

Interestingly MVS graded dead last out of qualified WRs with an overall grade of 22 (109) while Davante Adams actually finished behind Watson with an overall score of 66, good for 24th.
 

captainWIMM

Cheesehead
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
28,673
Reaction score
3,078
Circling back around to this now that the season is over. It’s last been updated Jan 2 so wouldn’t have this last week factored yet but…

On a positive note Watson actually sneaks into the top 5 WR in the NFL for YAC. Overall he also comes in tied for 20th which I think is respectable. I think there’s only 3 or 4 rookies ahead of him overall so that’s not too bad imo.

On a less positive note however the rest of the WR corps does not grade out so great. Next best is Lazard with an overall grade of 43, good for 85th overall in the league. Then is Tonyan with an overall grade of 40, that’s good for 94th. Finally there is Doubs with an overall of 37, good for 103rd.

Interestingly MVS graded dead last out of qualified WRs with an overall grade of 22 (109) while Davante Adams actually finished behind Watson with an overall score of 66, good for 24th.

They have updated it through week 18 now. Not surprisingly with little movement for the Packers receivers based on their performance in week 18. Cobb actually finished the season as the second best receiver on the team with a score of 49, tied for 68th.

Overall it serves as evidence that the team lacks talent at pass catchers.
 

Sunshinepacker

Cheesehead
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
Messages
5,517
Reaction score
685
They have updated it through week 18 now. Not surprisingly with little movement for the Packers receivers based on their performance in week 18. Cobb actually finished the season as the second best receiver on the team with a score of 49, tied for 68th.

Overall it serves as evidence that the team lacks talent at pass catchers.

I have hope that Doubs will come back much stronger next season and won't get outmuscled as often as he was this season. If he can just improve his ability to fight off contact and improve his hand strength, he could be a really good underneath receiver. Watson, obviously, looked very good. Hopefully Gute doesn't go back to his philosophy of "we only need one above average receiver on the roster at any time" and focuses on improving at TE/receiver in the upcoming draft (not Mayer, I'm not excited about adding a TJ Hockensen-lite player at TE)
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Messages
11,023
Reaction score
3,410
I have hope that Doubs will come back much stronger next season and won't get outmuscled as often as he was this season. If he can just improve his ability to fight off contact and improve his hand strength, he could be a really good underneath receiver. Watson, obviously, looked very good. Hopefully Gute doesn't go back to his philosophy of "we only need one above average receiver on the roster at any time" and focuses on improving at TE/receiver in the upcoming draft (not Mayer, I'm not excited about adding a TJ Hockensen-lite player at TE)
The WR position needs a serious upgrade. After review we currently have a lower end WR2 in Lazard and several good WR3 options.

We need a bonafide WR1 (1100+ yards) as it’s very obvious Lazard isn’t that guy. That’s also assuming Doubs or Watson elevate their game to the next level.
 
OP
OP
M

Magooch

Cheesehead
Joined
Dec 15, 2021
Messages
455
Reaction score
398
The WR position needs a serious upgrade. After review we currently have a lower end WR2 in Lazard and several good WR3 options.

We need a bonafide WR1 (1100+ yards) as it’s very obvious Lazard isn’t that guy. That’s also assuming Doubs or Watson elevate their game to the next level.
I might've already posted it but Lazard's numbers for this season as our "#1" were more or less in-line with what you would expect from a slightly-above-average #2 option in the league - the "average" #2 option in the league posted a line of 90 targets/60 rec/725 yards/4TD this year and Lazard came in at 100 targets/60 rec/790 yards/6TD. Beyond that, Doubs and Tonyan posted numbers that would be a slightly below-average #3 option on the whole, and the rest are considerably off that pace. And of course Lazard and Tonyan are probably gone, anyways. So you have Watson who is IMO able to be a legit #1 next year, Doubs who was a low-end #3 this year, and...???
 

Sunshinepacker

Cheesehead
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
Messages
5,517
Reaction score
685
The WR position needs a serious upgrade. After review we currently have a lower end WR2 in Lazard and several good WR3 options.

We need a bonafide WR1 (1100+ yards) as it’s very obvious Lazard isn’t that guy. That’s also assuming Doubs or Watson elevate their game to the next level.

I've seen nothing to indicate that Watson can't be that guy. He was extremely raw as a receiver coming out of college and still managed to put up 611 yards on only 66 targets. If he can improve as a short-to-intermediate route runner even a moderate amount and work on drops (PFF has him with a drop percentage of 10.9) I could see him getting 110+ targets next season which, considering his yards/target was 9.3 this year, would put him over 1,000 yards on the season.
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Messages
11,023
Reaction score
3,410
I might've already posted it but Lazard's numbers for this season as our "#1" were more or less in-line with what you would expect from a slightly-above-average #2 option in the league
I can see that. I amend Lazard to a solid WR2. Over the last 5 seasons an average of 39 Receivers put up 800+ yards. Lazard finished with 788 and would come into that 40-42nd best producer on average. The problem I have With that is he had no real top end competition in GB.
For me, a “high-end” WR2 on a team WITHOUT a WR1 should produce 850+ ala DJ Moore.
Jerry Jeudy is a High End WR2 for me bordering on Low end WR1.
I've seen nothing to indicate that Watson can't be that guy. He was extremely raw as a receiver coming out of college and still managed to put up 611 yards on only 66 targets. If he can improve as a short-to-intermediate route runner even a moderate amount and work on drops (PFF has him with a drop percentage of 10.9) I could see him getting 110+ targets next season which, considering his yards/target was 9.3 this year, would put him over 1,000 yards on the season.
Good point he looked great.

That said, I just wouldn’t recommend going into 2023 expecting Watson to be a solid WR1 and getting over 110 targets. I think it’s asking too much too soon.

We can function with TWO WR2’s
but we don’t even know if Lazard will be here next season and we need a contingency plan if 1 injured.
I also don’t want to continue skimping at WR, I’d rather be heavy at the position than light after watching us struggle much of this season. I can’t stand much more of this 17pts per game stuff. We’ve got a near elite QB and we’re 17th in passing yards. We’re 1 more great OL and 1 Great WR from being really good on Offense.
 
Last edited:

captainWIMM

Cheesehead
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
28,673
Reaction score
3,078
Watson can develop into a legit #1 receiver but there's concern he can stay healthy for an entire season. While Doubs showed some promise I'm not convinced he's capable of producing like as #2 WR on a consistent basis. With a lack of talent at tight end the Packers once again need to improve the talent level at pass catchers this offseason.
 

Sanguine camper

Cheesehead
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
1,518
Reaction score
356
Given the lack of talent at WR, I was very disapponted that the Packers didn't make better use of their RB's in the passing game. Another coaching blunder IMO. Besides Jones and Watson, there's nobody on this roster that worries a DC. Gute has to draft a top end TE or WR in rounds 1 or 2 in addition to signing a veteren pass catcher. Even with those possible additions, the RB's need to be utilized much better.
 

Pokerbrat2000

Opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.
Joined
Oct 30, 2012
Messages
28,399
Reaction score
5,742
Location
Madison, WI
I liked what I saw out of Watson this year as a rookie. Mainly, progression of improvement and a whole lot of speed and talent. This kid is going to be good. I read that he is going to work ******* his conditioning in the offseason, in the hopes that it keeps him healthier next season. I think we have a guy that is dedicated to his craft and in 3 years, he won't look like the same player physically or on the field.

I would love to think Doubs is eventually going to be our solid #2 WR, but he did the opposite of Watson, he regressed. Hopefully, he will bounce back with some confidence and have a better second year, but not something the Packers should rely on.

So depending on what happens with Cobb and Lazard, the Packers once again could find themselves in desperate need of finding legit starting WR's, as well as a quality TE. How they do it, will depend on Rodgers. If Rodgers is back, they may aggressively try to resign both Cobb and Lazard and then use a relatively high draft pick on a TE and/or WR. I could see them going after a top FA WR as well, if Rodgers is in for another year. If Rodgers is out, I think they let both Cobb and Lazard walk and retool the positions with only draft picks.
 

Pokerbrat2000

Opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.
Joined
Oct 30, 2012
Messages
28,399
Reaction score
5,742
Location
Madison, WI
I read that he is going to work ******* his conditioning in the offseason, in the hopes that it keeps him healthier next season.
Took me a bit of time to figure out why this was being censored, seems that using these two words together is bad: "hard on". :roflmao:
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Messages
11,023
Reaction score
3,410
Given the lack of talent at WR, I was very disapponted that the Packers didn't make better use of their RB's in the passing game. Another coaching blunder IMO. Besides Jones and Watson, there's nobody on this roster that worries a DC. Gute has to draft a top end TE or WR in rounds 1 or 2 in addition to signing a veteren pass catcher. Even with those possible additions, the RB's need to be utilized much better.
That was exactly what MM failed at also. He ignored the TE’s and underutilized the RB’s in the passing game more towards the end of his Packers tenure

Our veteran, established TE and RB group was underutilized through the 1st two Quarters of the season. To me it appeared we were trying too hard to mold our young and newer WR group by force. It should’ve been a more gradual increase towards WR as the season progressed. We ignored our strengths while trying to force our own will upon ourselves. Yes I said that “real-time” and I was vehemently opposed. Then after a 3-4 game losing stretch, every professional sports analyst realized and spoke up by mid season.

Had we been successful ignoring our RB’s? I would’ve gladly conceded. An early season Offense scoring 18pts/Game tells a large portion of the story that what we were doing wasn’t working.
 
Last edited:

Pokerbrat2000

Opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.
Joined
Oct 30, 2012
Messages
28,399
Reaction score
5,742
Location
Madison, WI
I’m glad you posted this follow up because I had NO IDEA what word could’ve went there and left me very confused hahaha
It is interesting that if you highlight one letter, say in the word "ass", it gets through the censor. However, if you just type ***...that guy sitting at his computer 24/7, with his only job being the Packer forum censor, catches it!


You must be logged in to see this image or video!
 

captainWIMM

Cheesehead
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
28,673
Reaction score
3,078
If Rodgers is back, they may aggressively try to resign both Cobb and Lazard and then use a relatively high draft pick on a TE and/or WR. I could see them going after a top FA WR as well, if Rodgers is in for another year. If Rodgers is out, I think they let both Cobb and Lazard walk and retool the positions with only draft picks.

I don't believe the Packers should address the wide receiver position any differently no matter what happens with Rodgers. If Love is the starter next season he needs to be surrounded with talent at the position as well.
 

captainWIMM

Cheesehead
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
28,673
Reaction score
3,078
Given the lack of talent at WR, I was very disapponted that the Packers didn't make better use of their RB's in the passing game. Another coaching blunder IMO.

It's interesting to note that Rodgers targeted running backs on 55.6% of his throws in the seven games Adams missed from 2019-21. The offense was very successful in those games.

For some reason that number dropped to only 21.4% this season.
 

Sanguine camper

Cheesehead
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
1,518
Reaction score
356
It's interesting to note that Rodgers targeted running backs on 55.6% of his throws in the seven games Adams missed from 2019-21. The offense was very successful in those games.

For some reason that number dropped to only 21.4% this season.
Thanks for putting numbers on what appeared to be a big change from previous seasons. While I don't think the RB's should get anywhere near 50% of the throws over the course of a season, 21% is too low when both RB's have shown the ability to make big plays in the passing game. Just another indicator that MFL also had a bad season.
 

Pokerbrat2000

Opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.
Joined
Oct 30, 2012
Messages
28,399
Reaction score
5,742
Location
Madison, WI
I don't believe the Packers should address the wide receiver position any differently no matter what happens with Rodgers. If Love is the starter next season he needs to be surrounded with talent at the position as well.
I would disagree.

I see no reason to resign Cobb or Lazard if Rodgers isn't playing for the Packers next season. Whereas if he does play, I can see him wanting those 2 guys for familiarity.

Let's face it, if Love is handed the starting job in 2023, we are in full rebuild mode and trying to get the cap number down as quick as we can. No sense keeping expensive vets at WR or TE, let Jordan build on things with Watson, Doubs, Toure and rookies.
 
Top