Projecting TE Jason Witten in 2013
At NBC, I attempted to project Jason Witten in 2013.
In projecting Witten’s numbers, we need to appropriately determine his opportunities. He was targeted 150 times in 2012—by far the most of his career—after averaging 123 targets in the prior three seasons. Due to game situations, Dez Bryant’s emergence, and new faces in Dallas, we’re likely to see Witten’s targets drop precipitously to, say, 125.
Witten hauled in 72.5 percent of his targets over the past four seasons. Due to his natural regression as a receiver, that mark will likely decline a bit. If Witten catches 70 percent of his 125 targets, he’d bring in 88 passes in 2013. And even though Witten isn’t very explosive anymore, he’ll still probably average more than the 9.4 yards per catch that he posted in 2012. At 10.0 yards per reception, Witten would total 880 receiving yards.
Witten has never been an efficient red zone receiver, converting just 5.5 percent of his career catches into scores. That number might actually decline in 2013 due to the presence of Gavin Escobar, Terrance Williams, and other red zone threats. We can probably project Witten to beat his 2012 touchdown total of three, but not by much.
Final 2013 Projection: 88 receptions, 880 yards, 4 TDs