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Running the Numbers: Size Matters Most for WRs | The DC Times

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Running the Numbers: Size Matters Most for WRs

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At DallasCowboys.com, I posted an analysis of wide receiver success based on height.

What Matters Most for Wide Receivers

There’s no doubt that you want your receivers to be as fast as possible. Even if the benefit is minimal, it never hurts to have more speed. When we look at the game’s most productive receivers, some, like Calvin Johnson, have blazing speed, while others, like Dez Bryant, do not. But one trait that almost all of the NFL’s elite wideouts have in common is size.

As much as it’s popular to say that speedsters can “take the top off of a defense,” it’s the tall, bulky receivers who are moving the chains and putting the ball into the end zone. Take a look at the top 10 receivers in yards for 2012. The average height and weight is over 6-2 and 218 pounds. Nine out of the 10 players, a list that includes Johnson, Bryant, A.J. Green, Demaryius Thomas, Brandon Marshall and Vincent Jackson, are at least 6-0. Amazingly, six of the 10 are at least 6-3. Only two, Reggie Wayne and Wes Welker, weigh in below 200 pounds.

If you want to put the ball in the end zone, the need for a big, physical receiver is even greater. The average height and weight for the league’s top scorers is still 6-2, 217 pounds, but every single one of them is over 6-0, and eight out of the 10 are at least 6-2.

Need more evidence? Since 2008, there have been 29 instances of a wide receiver posting 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in a single season. Only one of those, Greg Jennings in 2010, came from someone who stands shorter than 6-0.

Further, if we break down the NFL success of wide receivers based on their 40-yard dash times, you can see that speed just isn’t as important as it is for running backs.

While the fastest running backs, those who ran in the top 33 percent of their class, have found way more success than even moderately-fast running backs, the fastest wide receivers have been only modestly more productive than slower receivers. Again, it isn’t that speed doesn’t matter for receivers, but rather that they can get away with average speed, as Bryant has, with great size.

Check it out at the team site.

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One Response to Running the Numbers: Size Matters Most for WRs

  1. Mike says:

    Because what says “success” at the WR position more than Wes Lyons at 6’9? 6’6 Kris Durham and Ramses Barden? Or 6’5 David Nelson, Patrick Turner, Stephen Williams, Andre Holmes,Maurice Stovall, Terrence Tolliver,etc? No? Clearly these are the exception, right?
    I have discovered there are too many to count that will be out of the league soon. So from now on I only look at those 220+ and 6ft or taller.
    Wes Lyons,Raymond Webber,Devin Goda,Chris Hogan,Dominique Curry,Derek Carrier,Gerell Robinson,Kerry Meier,Limas Sweed,Isiah Stanback,Junior Hemingway,Jeff Fuller,Tori Gurley,Patrick Turner,Stephen Burton,Jesse Holley,Devin Thomas,Juron Criner,Nick Toon,Maurice Stovall,Ramses Barden,Rioey Cooper,Donte Stallworth,Brian Quick,Legadu Naanee,Arrelious Benn,Chaz Schilens,Jonathan Baldwin,Michael Floyd,Greg Little,Mike Williams (Lions/Seattle bust),Justin Blackmon,Malcom Floyd,Plaxico Burress,etc.

    Now there are some good guys coming up…
    Marques Colston,Anquan Boldin,Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Marshall,Demaryius Thomas,Andre Johnson,Vincent Jackson,Julio Jones,Calvin Johnson. That’s it! 9 “good” or better players that are over 6ft and over 220. 34 “bad” to “mediocre” ones. If you want a 9/43 or 20%chance of drafting an “okay” player, go with size, but keep in mind that many big WRs never made it so the odds are probably much worse!

    Minus guys drafted to be kick returners, there aren’t as many smaller WRs. (They were converted to cornerback at some point). Guys 6’0 and under Jennings, Steve Smith, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin,Santonio Homes,Lance Moore,Santana Moss,Mario Manningham,Pierre Garçon,Torrey Smith,Denarius Moore,Randall Cobb,Percy Harvin,Antonio Brown,Wes Welker,Victor Cruz, Roddy White,Mike Wallace,Reggie Wayne,Etc. all present tremendous value.

    The Patriots were more than willing to pay Danny Amendola.

    Teams like Size IF the WR can run routes, use their body, and catch. However, nowAdays they split out those TEs like WRs instead when they want size, and accomplish the same purpose. The CBs have been getting bigger as well, so the value of BIG WRs may in the future be less important.

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