Tier 2 WRs: Wheaton, Williams, Patton, and Hunter, A Metrics Breakdown

Posted on February 6, 2013


To see the breakdown of Patterson, Bailey, Hopkins and Allen:

Tier 1

I had a few people question why I chose the tier 1 of wide receivers like I did. To answer that question, when I initially did the film study, those were the first four I picked as the top. To be honest, after doing the analysis I don’t think those are the top 4 anymore, but I’ll let you decide for yourselves based on the stats. This grouping consists of some intriguing prospects that could be as high as first rounders or go as low as the third round. Let’s call this group the boom or bust group.

Similar to the quarterbacks, I went through these player’s games and marked down a variety of factors. I noted where they caught the ball, how many yards they picked up after the catch and more. Statistics don’t tell the whole story, but now when someone tells you that a certain wide receiver has bad hands, you’ll know the truth. Let’s get to it.

Where Are They Catching the Ball?

This represents what zones they caught the ball in, before yards after the catch. Unfortunately, I don’t have the exact routes or what side of the field they caught it on. That will have to wait until the next iteration of this.


  • Terrance Williams is the ultimate deep threat of this class. Around 39% of his catches were past 10 yards and over 79% of his passes were past 5 yards. Of course this shows up on tape, but it’s good to confirm it. We then have to wonder if he can translate that deep threat to the NFL or if he’ll get jammed at the line of scrimmage.
  • Wheaton is another deep threat in this class. He’s of a completely different build than Williams, but 41% of his passes were past 10 yards. Interestingly, 55% of his passes were within 5 yards. Most of the time he was catching short or deep passes, nothing in the middle.
  • Quinton Patton is well distributed across all zones. He doesn’t show a tendency to get past 20 yards, but there’s no zone in which he is simply not catching the ball. That tells us he’s a pretty versatile wide receiver who wasn’t pigeon holed in the offense.
  • Hunter seems to work the intermediate zones the most. We don’t see a whole lot of completions in the screen or deep game, but the majority (78%) of his completions coming between 1 and 20 yards. Only8.3% of Patterson’s catches were screens, so the screen game wasn’t a big part of the Tennessee offense, for whatever reason.

What’s Happening After the Catch?


  • Averaging around 19 yards per catch, Williams got most of his yardage before YAC. His yards after the catch are average at 5.2, but he caught the ball on average 14 yards past the line of scrimmage. That’s extremely high, the highest of this class by 3 yards
  • Quinton Patton is excellent after the catch. At 6.15 yards after the catch, Patton’s YAC is second best in this class behind Stedman Bailey. He also averages 6.3 yards/ screen catch. The fact that these numbers are close indicate he’s adept at getting similar amount of yardage on all types of catches.
  • Markus Wheaton’s yards after catch is a paltry 3.48. This is a little scary, this is more than two yards below the average for all wide receivers in this class. Why is it so low? Did he fall down as soon as he caught the ball? Did his size limit him from garnering more yards? It’s possible the sub-par QB rotation at Oregon State limited him.
  • Justin Hunter is still running backwards trying to get more yards after the catch. Hunter owns the second worst yards after the catch in this class. However, he was catching the ball relatively deep at 9.2 yards. Your evaluation is going to depend on if you value a deeper catcher or someone with better YAC.

***In the chart section below, there is a chart detailing how much YAC each receiver gained on average on screen passes. I highly recommend you check that out to complement this chart.

How Did Their Systems Help/Hurt Them?

This one is going to require a little explaining.  I was able to derive how often a QB targets his number one wide receiver and how often QBs miss their wide receiver. Thus I averaged out the percentage of targets, miss percentage, and average amount of throws per game, to give each WR the same amount of targets. Then I adjusted to see how their season numbers would have been, had they been in an average system.

**I’m going to try out a new system to account for system, but to keep this post consistent with the previous post, I’ll keep the same system. I’ll do a separate post on that statistic.


  • Tyler Bray didn’t do Justin Hunter many favors. While Hunter was targeted often enough, Bray missed him extremely often, taking away some yardage he may have gained.
  • Patton’s case is similar to Stedman Bailey’s. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that they played in a pass happy offense, especially because his overall production was still very high at 1281 yards. Had it dropped down to a “non-elite” level, then we would be more concerned.
  • Wheaton and Williams’ QBs were about average in terms of misses and targets. This doesn’t mean their QBs were good, but rather compared to the QBs in this system, they were average. I don’t think many people would call Sean Mannion a world beater. The new system will adjust for this better.

I’m going to present a few more charts without comment. You’ll find average yardage/ screen, drop percentage, yardage by quarter, yardage by down, red zone yardage. I highly recommend you check out the first one, if you look at any.

**If you’ve liked this, you can follow me at Since I just started this up, I’m working to get the info out to people. I do work pretty much every day breaking down prospects and I’ll be tweeting out interesting stats that I come across (Nassib’s deep ball completion % is 62.5%), future articles/breakdowns (Dysert, Nassib, Manuel post upcoming), or let you know when I post new things (a specific post on Tavon Austin, for instance) . Thanks a lot!

YardsperScreen**Thanks to @CKParrot for inspiring this stat, it’s extremely interesting as a testament to each WRs ability to create on their own




Posted in: Wide Receivers