While it’s bad practice to extrapolate smaller sample sizes, this data gives you a good idea of how efficient some of these WRs can be. It’s even more impressive for guys who were getting decent volume, like DeVante Parker, Mike Evans, and Kenny Golladay. We understand the game of most of these players for the most part, but let’s take a look at a few of the others.
AJ Brown finished his rookie regular season with five 100+ receiving yard games, with 4 of them coming in the last 6 games. He was 2nd among ALL WRs in yards per reception (min 70 targets). He was 1st among ALL WRs in yards after catch per reception. He generated the highest passer rating when targeted among ALL WRs. He was 3rd among ALL WRs in yards/route run, which is the most important of these efficiency stats. Simply put, Brown is the real deal, and has a chance getting to a new level in 2020, but know that this is a run heavy offense that will try to run Derrick Henry into the ground before attempting to air it out.
Breshad Perriman’s season took off right before Mike Evans got hurt in Week 14. During those five weeks to close out the season, Perriman averaged 101 yards/game and 1 TD (scored 5 over 5 games). Perriman was also 5th in yards/route run among all WRs during that span, while running the 3rd most routes of any WR. Sam Darnold had a connection with Robby Anderson deep, but scheme changes, terrible offensive lines, and mono contributed to a lack of consistency. Perriman’s 1st round pedigree might be rounding out to become a formidable deep threat, and the presence of Denzel Mims will help him in a way that Anderson wished for with his time on the Jets. Perriman shouldn’t be overlooked at the end of drafts.
Darius Slayton’s impressive rookie season got lost in the shuffle, but his upside is very apparent. His sophomore year might be inconsistent, though, as he has to fight Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate for targets. His 15-target game was played without Shepard and one of his two 9 target games was without Tate. Shepard is my choice of the three, as he consistently was being targeted all of 2019 when available… and he’s being drafted several rounds after Slayton.
Terry McLaurin was the most impressive rookie WR out of the gate in 2019. He caught 5 TDs in his first 5 games, and averaged 4.6 catches for 81.6 yards during that span. He was PFF’s 5th highest graded WR of ANY WR with 90+ targets. He’s 3rd in passer rating generated when targeted among those same WRs. He ranked 11th in yards per route run among ALL WRs with 90+ targets. McLaurin stepping in as a rookie as a team’s WR1 while dealing with a non-ideal QB situation was impressive. He’s primed for a big Year 2 jump.