Back in July 2016 I made few “Top of…” entries and the first one was about the glamorous position of a wide receiver.
Here, I made a case for 9 receivers who would wind up being the top of the crop in 2016; and now since the season’s over I can easily go back and check how “good” my Crystal balling predictions were. So here we go from the 9th upwards
A.J. Green (Bengals):
He ranked 2nd in receiving yards per game with 96.4 which is a fantastic result but otherwise he was nowhere else to be seen in top 10 of other receving statistic lines. Injuries and missing 6 games definitely contributed to this rather quiet season.
Allen Robinson (Jaguars): Well, with 151 targets and only 73 catches, one can easily see that it wasn’t a great season by promising young receiver. Robinson wasn’t really featured in top 10 in receiver stats. Some of that must be due to QBs poor play as Bortles really struggled this season.
T.Y. Hilton (Colts): The 2016/17 leader in receiving yards with 1448, was helped by injuries of other top dogs. Nevertheless he still averaged over 90 yards a game for a top 3rd position, Hilton was also in top 10 of average yds per catch with 15.9. Another productive year by Luck’s favourite weapon.
Jordy Nelson (Packers): The 2016/17 Comeback Player of the Year, was also leading in receiving touchdowns with 14. Heavily featured in few Top 10s, Nelson bounced back up after losing all of the previous season. There should be more to come if the chemistry with Rodgers continues.
Amari Cooper (Raiders): I was expecting more from Cooper but I haven’t factored in Crabtree’s production into the Raiders offense. Still, Cooper reached top 10 in average yards per game beating his teammate at least in this category through the season.
Dez Bryant (Cowboys): Unforseen emergence of two rookies among the Cowboys squad probably factored a lot into Dez’s production as he wasn’t even target 100 times (97) through the season. Three missed games didn’t help.
Bryant still reached the top 10 in receiving touchdowns (8) and average yds per catch (15.9). Quiet year for the wideout but a bright future by the look of things.
Odell Beckham Jr. (Giants): One of only three wide receivers to catch at least 100 catches this past season (101). Beckham Jr had a solid year although the famous trip to Miami is believed to be a lesson for the future. Still, Beckham Jr was top five in few categories including total receiving yards with 1367, receiving touchdowns with 10 and an average of 85.4 yds per game.
DeAndre Hopkins (Texans): I think, this is my biggest ‘bust‘ of this list as Hopkins couldn’t get going and some part of it was the struggle of Brock Osweiller at QB who had a terrible year as a starter.
Hopkins failed to reach 1000 receiving yards (954), caught only 4 TD passes and his catch rate was only just above 50% with 78 catches from 151 targets. Phew… I blew it here badly.
Antonio Brown (Steelers): Well, Brown hasn’t finished on top of any receiving stats lines despite having a solid year that featured 12 TD catches, from 106 in total for 1286 yards and an average of 85.6 yds per game.
Hm… It is hard to say who was The Top Dog really but definately this list should include Julio Jones, Mike Evans, Larry Fitzgerald, Brandin Cook and few others. Still I think I have done reasonably well given the lack of experience in football analysis. It’s been fun revisiting my past thought processes. Few more to follow, I think.
Who was your top of the cake, wideout of 2016/17? Leave a comment or two for a discussion to begin. Cheers.
ALL STATISTICAL DATA PER http://www.pro-football-reference.com