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2012 Catch Rate Analysis: Wide Receivers

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Published, 3/21/13
By Joe Dolan and Tom Brolley, Senior Writers 

TE I RB

This is an article we’ve publish for
a couple of years now, and this year we have a new addition to the charts with the “yards gained per target” statistic, a simple way of evaluating how effective a player was, in general, when a pass was thrown his way.
 
In 2012, we noticed some interesting trends. Overall, NFL receivers caught 62.5% of the passes thrown their way, nearly a full percent increase over 2011. But, as you might suspect, “yards-per-target” fell across the league to 7.28 YPT, down from 7.39 in 2011. Crudely, we can see that NFL offenses increased their focus on shorter, higher-percentage passes in 2012, something that might well continue if the read option trend continues to permeate the league.
 
Obviously, as with any stat or scouting report, this is only one way to look at a receiver, and it should not be taken as gospel one way or the other. The system a receiver plays in, the quarterback he plays with, and his role in the offense are all going to affect his overall numbers.
 
But this is a passing league, and being the first to notice an emerging stud or to pass up a guy who could fall off a cliff could be key for success in 2013. What we’re doing here is trying to notice trends, red flags, or signals for potential breakout players. We’re also going to try to explain what might have gone well or wrong for a player in targets. It’s up to you to decide how to look at the data, but there are a lot of interesting tidbits one can find.
 
You’ll notice we have each player broken down by multiple categories, including the standard catches, targets, yards, TDs, etc. But we’ve also included “first half catch rate” (meaning his first eight games) and “second half catch rate” (meaning his final eight games), and we’ve broken that down even further into “quarters” of the season, so we can see which players were the most or least consistent. We’ve done the same with the “yards-per-target” stat, a new addition to the article.
 
Wide Receivers
 
The chart below details each of the NFL WRs who saw at least 20 targets in 2012. The file is sorted by the number of targets and then the catch rate.

Note: To download this chart in excel, with a lot more information in them, click here.
 

Rank
Player
Team
G
Rec
Tgt
2012 Full Season
 
1st Half
2nd Half
1
Calvin Johnson
DET
16
122
201
60.7%
 
55.4%
63.8%
2
Reggie Wayne
IND
16
106
193
54.9%
 
60.0%
50.5%
3
Brandon Marshall
CHI
16
118
191
61.8%
 
63.3%
60.7%
4
Wes Welker
NE
16
118
173
68.2%
 
72.3%
64.4%
5
Andre Johnson
HOU
16
112
162
69.1%
 
65.4%
70.9%
6
A.J. Green
CIN
16
97
160
60.6%
 
62.0%
59.6%
7
Larry Fitzgerald
ARI
16
71
153
46.4%
 
54.2%
37.1%
8
Vincent Jackson
TB
16
72
147
49.0%
 
43.9%
53.1%
9
Stevie Johnson
BUF
16
79
146
54.1%
 
50.8%
56.6%
10
Roddy White
ATL
16
92
143
64.3%
 
70.2%
60.5%
11
Victor Cruz
NYG
16
86
142
60.6%
 
59.1%
63.0%
12
Demaryius Thomas
DEN
16
94
138
68.1%
 
70.9%
66.3%
13
Dez Bryant
DAL
16
92
137
67.2%
 
67.2%
67.1%
14
Steve Smith
CAR
16
73
137
53.3%
 
56.5%
50.7%
15
Brian Hartline
MIA
16
74
130
56.9%
 
55.9%
57.7%
16
Brandon Lloyd
NE
16
74
130
56.9%
 
53.6%
60.7%
17
Marques Colston
NO
16
83
129
64.3%
 
58.0%
71.7%
18
Justin Blackmon
JAC
16
64
129
49.6%
 
41.9%
53.5%
19
Julio Jones
ATL
16
79
126
62.7%
 
60.3%
64.7%
20
Mike Williams
TB
16
63
126
50.0%
 
53.2%
48.1%
21
Michael Crabtree
SF
16
85
125
68.0%
 
73.6%
63.9%
22
Eric Decker
DEN
16
85
121
70.2%
 
65.5%
74.6%
23
Jeremy Maclin
PHI
15
69
121
57.0%
 
57.8%
56.6%
24
Donnie Avery
IND
15
60
121
49.6%
 
49.2%
50.0%
25
Mike Wallace
PIT
15
64
116
55.2%
 
63.2%
47.5%
26
Miles Austin
DAL
15
66
115
57.4%
 
58.6%
56.1%
27
Andre Roberts
ARI
15
64
114
56.1%
 
59.0%
52.8%
28
Dwayne Bowe
KC
13
59
113
52.2%
 
51.4%
53.7%
29
Denarius Moore
OAK
15
51
112
45.5%
 
51.0%
41.0%
30
Anquan Boldin
BAL
15
65
111
58.6%
 
60.8%
56.7%
31
Torrey Smith
BAL
16
49
109
45.0%
 
51.0%
40.0%
32
Antonio Brown
PIT
13
66
105
62.9%
 
64.5%
60.5%
33
Randall Cobb
GB
15
80
104
76.9%
 
84.0%
70.4%
34
Kendall Wright
TEN
15
64
104
61.5%
 
66.7%
54.5%
35
Lance Moore
NO
15
65
103
63.1%
 
58.5%
68.0%
36
Davone Bess
MIA
13
61
103
59.2%
 
58.2%
60.4%
37
Cecil Shorts
JAC
14
55
103
53.4%
 
51.3%
54.7%
38
Danny Amendola
STL
11
63
99
63.6%
 
66.7%
60.8%
39
Hakeem Nicks
NYG
12
53
99
53.5%
 
60.5%
48.2%
40
James Jones
GB
15
64
97
66.0%
 
65.5%
66.7%
41
Jeremy Kerley
NYJ
16
56
95
58.9%
 
58.8%
59.1%
42
Josh Gordon
CLE
16
50
94
53.2%
 
42.5%
61.1%
43
Greg Little
CLE
16
53
92
57.6%
 
50.0%
64.6%
44
Kenny Britt
TEN
14
45
90
50.0%
 
50.0%
50.0%
45
T.Y. Hilton
IND
15
50
88
56.8%
 
54.5%
58.2%
46
DeSean Jackson
PHI
11
45
87
51.7%
 
54.8%
44.0%
47
Nate Washington
TEN
16
45
87
51.7%
 
56.3%
46.2%
48
Percy Harvin
MIN
9
62
85
72.9%
 
75.9%
33.3%
49
Michael Floyd
ARI
16
45
85
52.9%
 
46.4%
56.1%
50
Malcom Floyd
SD
14
56
83
67.5%
 
64.4%
71.1%
51
Brandon Gibson
STL
16
51
82
62.2%
 
66.7%
57.5%
52
Sidney Rice
SEA
15
50
80
62.5%
 
62.2%
62.9%
53
Chris Givens
STL
15
42
80
52.5%
 
41.9%
59.2%
54
Andrew Hawkins
CIN
14
51
79
64.6%
 
65.9%
63.2%
55
Dexter McCluster
KC
16
52
76
68.4%
 
71.1%
65.8%
56
Brandon LaFell
CAR
14
44
76
57.9%
 
55.6%
60.0%
57
Jason Avant
PHI
14
53
75
70.7%
 
76.9%
67.3%
58
Darrius Heyward-Bey
OAK
14
41
74
55.4%
 
48.3%
60.0%
59
Rod Streater
OAK
16
39
74
52.7%
 
46.7%
56.8%
60
Emmanuel Sanders
PIT
16
44
73
60.3%
 
62.9%
57.9%
61
Jordy Nelson
GB
12
49
72
68.1%
 
71.4%
56.3%
62
Michael Jenkins
MIN
16
40
72
55.6%
 
53.3%
59.3%
63
Josh Morgan
WAS
15
48
70
68.6%
 
74.2%
64.1%
64
Pierre Garcon
WAS
10
45
68
66.2%
 
66.7%
66.1%
65
Golden Tate
SEA
15
45
66
68.2%
 
58.8%
78.1%
66
Donald Jones
BUF
12
41
66
62.1%
 
64.5%
60.0%
67
Kevin Walter
HOU
15
41
65
63.1%
 
63.3%
62.9%
68
Santana Moss
WAS
16
41
62
66.1%
 
62.2%
72.0%
69
Greg Jennings
GB
8
36
62
58.1%
 
54.5%
60.0%
70
Danario Alexander
SD
10
37
61
60.7%
 
0.0%
61.7%
71
Louis Murphy
CAR
16
25
61
41.0%
 
37.5%
43.2%
72
Domenik Hixon
NYG
13
39
59
66.1%
 
65.8%
66.7%
73
Harry Douglas
ATL
15
38
59
64.4%
 
69.6%
61.1%
74
Brandon Stokley
DEN
15
45
57
78.9%
 
84.0%
75.0%
75
Mario Manningham
SF
12
42
57
73.7%
 
75.7%
70.0%
76
Leonard Hankerson
WAS
16
38
57
66.7%
 
62.2%
75.0%
77
Titus Young
DET
10
33
55
60.0%
 
70.3%
38.9%
78
T.J. Graham
BUF
15
31
55
56.4%
 
63.2%
52.8%
79
Jacoby Jones
BAL
16
30
55
54.5%
 
56.5%
53.1%
80
Kevin Ogletree
DAL
15
32
54
59.3%
 
58.3%
61.1%
81
Tiquan Underwood
TB
14
28
54
51.9%
 
61.1%
47.2%
82
Early Doucet
ARI
12
28
53
52.8%
 
54.3%
50.0%
83
Jerome Simpson
MIN
12
26
51
51.0%
 
46.7%
52.8%
84
Earl Bennett
CHI
12
29
49
59.2%
 
50.0%
68.0%
85
Doug Baldwin
SEA
14
29
49
59.2%
 
57.9%
60.0%
86
Randy Moss
SF
16
28
49
57.1%
 
61.9%
53.6%
87
Austin Pettis
STL
14
30
47
63.8%
 
60.0%
65.6%
88
Alshon Jeffery
CHI
10
24
47
51.1%
 
60.9%
41.7%
89
Riley Cooper
PHI
11
23
47
48.9%
 
50.0%
48.8%
90
Devery Henderson
NO
15
22
46
47.8%
 
63.0%
26.3%
91
Stephen Hill
NYJ
11
21
46
45.7%
 
45.2%
46.7%
92
Damian Williams
TEN
13
30
45
66.7%
 
67.9%
64.7%
93
Jonathan Baldwin
KC
14
20
45
44.4%
 
56.0%
30.0%
94
Eddie Royal
SD
10
23
44
52.3%
 
56.5%
47.6%
95
Laurent Robinson
JAC
7
24
43
55.8%
 
52.9%
57.7%
96
Nate Burleson
DET
6
27
42
64.3%
 
64.3%
0.0%
97
Chaz Schilens
NYJ
14
28
41
68.3%
 
66.7%
70.6%
98
Santonio Holmes
NYJ
4
20
41
48.8%
 
48.8%
0.0%
99
Armon Binns
CIN
10
24
40
60.0%
 
62.1%
54.5%
100
Devin Hester
CHI
15
23
40
57.5%
 
52.4%
63.2%
101
Mike Thomas
JAC
16
18
40
45.0%
 
48.1%
38.5%
102
Jordan Shipley
TB
7
23
39
59.0%
 
0.0%
59.0%
103
Jarius Wright
MIN
7
22
36
61.1%
 
0.0%
61.1%
104
Derek Hagan
OAK
13
20
35
57.1%
 
66.7%
42.9%
105
Travis Benjamin
CLE
14
18
35
51.4%
 
44.4%
58.8%
106
Braylon Edwards
SEA
12
18
34
52.9%
 
53.3%
52.6%
107
Ryan Broyles
DET
10
22
32
68.8%
 
60.0%
72.7%
108
Julian Edelman
NE
9
21
32
65.6%
 
68.4%
61.5%
109
Rueben Randle
NYG
16
19
32
59.4%
 
60.0%
58.8%
110
Marvin Jones
CIN
10
18
32
56.3%
 
75.0%
53.6%
111
Juron Criner
OAK
11
16
32
50.0%
 
33.3%
53.8%
112
Robert Meachem
SD
14
14
32
43.8%
 
41.4%
66.7%
113
Mohamed Massaquoi
CLE
9
17
31
54.8%
 
52.9%
57.1%
114
Clyde Gates
NYJ
8
16
31
51.6%
 
60.0%
43.8%
115
Kevin Elliott
JAC
13
10
31
32.3%
 
38.5%
27.8%
116
Damaris Johnson
PHI
14
19
30
63.3%
 
50.0%
78.6%
117
Dwayne Harris
DAL
16
17
30
56.7%
 
0.0%
58.6%
118
Micheal Spurlock
SD
13
23
29
79.3%
 
50.0%
81.5%
119
Jerricho Cotchery
PIT
13
17
27
63.0%
 
66.7%
61.9%
120
Deion Branch
NE
10
16
27
59.3%
 
50.0%
64.7%
121
Keshawn Martin
HOU
16
10
26
38.5%
 
37.5%
40.0%
122
Mohamed Sanu
CIN
8
16
25
64.0%
 
100.0%
59.1%
123
Steven Smith
STL
9
14
25
56.0%
 
55.0%
60.0%
124
Brandon Tate
CIN
16
13
25
52.0%
 
66.7%
43.8%
125
Brian Quick
STL
13
11
25
44.0%
 
33.3%
60.0%
126
Cole Beasley
DAL
9
15
23
65.2%
 
100.0%
61.9%
127
Brad Smith
BUF
15
14
22
63.6%
 
100.0%
52.9%
128
LaVon Brazill
IND
14
11
22
50.0%
 
100.0%
42.1%
129
Devin Aromashodu
MIN
14
11
22
50.0%
 
71.4%
12.5%
130
Kyle Williams
SF
11
14
21
66.7%
 
66.7%
66.7%
131
Joe Morgan
NO
14
10
21
47.6%
 
30.0%
63.6%
132
Kris Durham
DET
4
8
21
38.1%
 
0.0%
38.1%
133
Ramses Barden
NYG
12
14
20
70.0%
 
75.0%
50.0%
134
Rishard Matthews
MIA
8
11
20
55.0%
 
0.0%
55.0%

 
Wide Receiver yards per target
 
The following chart shows all WRs with at least 20 targets in 2012. It’s sorted first by full season yards per target and then by targets.
 
 

Rank
Player
Team
G
Rec
Yds
Tgt
2012 Full Season
1st Half
2nd Half
1
Calvin Johnson
DET
16
122
1964
201
9.77
8.62
10.44
2
Reggie Wayne
IND
16
106
1355
193
7.02
8.41
5.81
3
Brandon Marshall
CHI
16
118
1508
191
7.90
8.54
7.44
4
Wes Welker
NE
16
118
1354
173
7.83
8.87
6.87
5
Andre Johnson
HOU
16
112
1598
162
9.86
8.54
10.49
6
A.J. Green
CIN
16
97
1350
160
8.44
8.96
8.02
7
Larry Fitzgerald
ARI
16
71
798
153
5.22
6.16
4.10
8
Vincent Jackson
TB
16
72
1384
147
9.41
9.48
9.36
9
Stevie Johnson
BUF
16
79
1046
146
7.16
6.14
7.94
10
Roddy White
ATL
16
92
1351
143
9.45
10.37
8.84
11
Victor Cruz
NYG
16
86
1092
142
7.69
7.39
8.19
12
Demaryius Thomas
DEN
16
94
1442
138
10.45
12.49
9.10
13
Dez Bryant
DAL
16
92
1382
137
10.09
8.00
11.76
14
Steve Smith
CAR
16
73
1174
137
8.57
9.50
7.80
15
Brian Hartline
MIA
16
74
1083
130
8.33
9.41
7.44
16
Brandon Lloyd
NE
16
74
911
130
7.01
6.30
7.80
17
Marques Colston
NO
16
83
1154
129
8.95
8.41
9.57
18
Justin Blackmon
JAC
16
64
865
129
6.71
4.49
7.81
19
Julio Jones
ATL
16
79
1198
126
9.51
8.60
10.28
20
Mike Williams
TB
16
63
996
126
7.90
9.28
7.09
21
Michael Crabtree
SF
16
85
1105
125
8.84
8.30
9.24
22
Eric Decker
DEN
16
85
1064
121
8.79
8.34
9.21
23
Jeremy Maclin
PHI
15
69
857
121
7.08
7.29
6.96
24
Donnie Avery
IND
15
60
781
121
6.45
5.86
7.02
25
Mike Wallace
PIT
15
64
838
116
7.22
8.05
6.42
26
Miles Austin
DAL
15
66
943
115
8.20
9.67
6.70
27
Andre Roberts
ARI
15
64
759
114
6.66
7.44
5.75
28
Dwayne Bowe
KC
13
59
797
113
7.05
6.78
7.54
29
Denarius Moore
OAK
15
51
741
112
6.62
8.22
5.28
30
Anquan Boldin
BAL
15
65
921
111
8.30
8.88
7.80
31
Torrey Smith
BAL
16
49
855
109
7.84
8.88
7.00
32
Antonio Brown
PIT
13
66
787
105
7.50
7.74
7.14
33
Randall Cobb
GB
15
80
954
104
9.17
9.26
9.09
34
Kendall Wright
TEN
15
64
626
104
6.02
5.85
6.25
35
Lance Moore
NO
15
65
1041
103
10.11
8.17
12.16
36
Cecil Shorts
JAC
14
55
979
103
9.50
10.26
9.05
37
Davone Bess
MIA
13
61
778
103
7.55
7.56
7.54
38
Hakeem Nicks
NYG
12
53
692
99
6.99
8.84
5.57
39
Danny Amendola
STL
11
63
666
99
6.73
8.23
5.31
40
James Jones
GB
15
64
784
97
8.08
7.29
9.12
41
Jeremy Kerley
NYJ
16
56
827
95
8.71
9.37
7.93
42
Josh Gordon
CLE
16
50
805
94
8.56
9.48
7.89
43
Greg Little
CLE
16
53
647
92
7.03
5.66
8.29
44
Kenny Britt
TEN
14
45
589
90
6.54
5.23
7.60
45
T.Y. Hilton
IND
15
50
861
88
9.78
7.67
11.05
46
Nate Washington
TEN
16
45
729
87
8.38
8.88
7.77
47
DeSean Jackson
PHI
11
45
700
87
8.05
8.45
7.04
48
Percy Harvin
MIN
9
62
677
85
7.96
8.44
1.67
49
Michael Floyd
ARI
16
45
562
85
6.61
4.54
7.63
50
Malcom Floyd
SD
14
56
814
83
9.81
10.24
9.29
51
Brandon Gibson
STL
16
51
691
82
8.43
9.07
7.75
52
Sidney Rice
SEA
15
50
748
80
9.35
8.16
10.89
53
Chris Givens
STL
15
42
698
80
8.73
10.74
7.45
54
Andrew Hawkins
CIN
14
51
533
79
6.75
8.44
4.92
55
Brandon LaFell
CAR
14
44
677
76
8.91
10.19
7.75
56
Dexter McCluster
KC
16
52
452
76
5.95
6.34
5.55
57
Jason Avant
PHI
14
53
648
75
8.64
8.77
8.57
58
Darrius Heyward-Bey
OAK
14
41
606
74
8.19
7.41
8.69
59
Rod Streater
OAK
16
39
584
74
7.89
4.73
10.05
60
Emmanuel Sanders
PIT
16
44
626
73
8.58
8.06
9.05
61
Jordy Nelson
GB
12
49
745
72
10.35
9.50
13.31
62
Michael Jenkins
MIN
16
40
449
72
6.24
6.38
6.00
63
Josh Morgan
WAS
15
48
510
70
7.29
8.48
6.33
64
Pierre Garcon
WAS
10
45
644
68
9.47
12.75
8.77
65
Golden Tate
SEA
15
45
688
66
10.42
7.50
13.53
66
Donald Jones
BUF
12
41
443
66
6.71
7.77
5.77
67
Kevin Walter
HOU
15
41
518
65
7.97
9.30