Back on Friday, I took a quick look at the players who dropped the most passes last year. I looked at them by position, and adjusted the numbers to account for balls thrown. Now I’ll do the same, except looking at players the best at holding onto the ball.
For wide receivers, the study includes all players who had at least 50 passes thrown their way. Expanded at the other two spots to include all with at least 40 targets.
At wide receiver, there are a couple of big surprises in the top 3. Nate Washington and Jerome Simpson. Washington was the only guy who didn’t drop a pass. Simpson tends to get disregarded because of his comical off-field problems, but he dropped only one pass last year.
Marques Colston dropped only one ball, and I wonder if Drew Brees is partially responsible (getting the ball there on time and in the exact correct spot). Some drops, I think – maybe many drops – are caused by throws that are a split second too late or a little off target.
Robert Woods dropped only one ball, and he was just a rookie.
The Eagles cut Jason Avant, but he might make a nice pickup for the Panthers. He dropped only 1 pass all year. Over the last two years, Avant has the best drop rate in the entire league (just 1 in 152 targets).
|WIDE RECEIVERS; BEST AT AVOIDING DROPS|
At tight end, the three guys at the top probably all won’t be starters on opening day. Two might not even be in the league.
Kellen Winslow has slipped (or seemingly slipped) in recent years, but he didn’t drop anything last year. Neither did Owen Daniels in his partial season with the Texans. Tim Wright doesn’t seem to fit in Tampa Bay’s plans (he doesn’t block well enough), but just one drop last year.
Jordan Cameron is up there, despite working with a host of quarterbacks in Cleveland.
Just one drop for Zach Miller – again. He also dropped only 1 pass in 2012. It’s not that Miller can’t catch; the Seahawks just don’t use him much.
Zach Ertz dropped only one in Philadelphia. I think he has better hands than their other tight ends, Brent Celek.
|TIGHT ENDS; BEST AT AVOIDING DROPS|
At running back, we encounter the Eagles again. Darren Sproles is in the top spot, and he’s in that Philadelphia offense now.
Danny Woodhead dropped only one ball, and he’s the leader over the last two years (only one drop in about 150 balls).
We like to dump on Trent Richardson, but he dropped only one pass last year, so there’s something.
I also see Ben Tate with just one drop. I questioned his value as a pass catcher yesterday, but at least balls aren’t bouncing off him.
I also see Pierre Thomas near the top. Over the last two years, he’s been better at avoiding drops than Sproles (and further evidence that Brees is throwing passes that are easier to catch).
|RUNNING BACKS; BEST AT AVOIDING DROPS|
|Was||Roy Helu Jr.||1||42||2.4%|