At what point do we give up on a player? Or at least start to sour on them? Corey Davis, Mike Williams and John Ross were all big disappointments as rookies. Do any of these guys have a chance to turn things around?
It’s one thing to miss on a player as a rookie. But it gets even more frustrating when you double down on them again in Year 2, only to again not get much bang for your buck.
DeVante Parker has now been in the league for three years, and we’re still waiting for him to put together a breakout season. And Corey Coleman is 0-2 with the Browns, with just a couple of nice catches to continue to string people along.
Heading into this year’s draft, there had been 51 wide receivers selected with top-20 picks in the last 20 years. Using a cutoff of about 500 yards and 3 TDs, about half of those guys were disappointments in their first season. They’re all different guys on different teams with different offenses. There are injuries and suspensions involved. But we can look at the group and get some ballpark sense of what’s fair to expect in their second year.
There are 27 total receivers listed. Davis (pictured), Williams and Ross haven’t played their second seasons yet, and I’ve got them in bold.
Of the remaining 24, five put up what seemed to be pretty good numbers in their second seasons. They had what you might call “breakout” seasons. They all finished with over 125 points in standard scoring. I’ve got those guys tagged in the chart.
On this chart, I’m going more by feel and memory than anything else.
The next two receivers in production were Reidel Anthony (708 yards, 7 TDs) and Ted Ginn (790 yards, 4 TDs). Those guys weren’t awful, but I don’t remember anybody in any league being excited about having those guys, so I’m leaving them out of the “breakout” group.
Two of the receivers didn’t play at all: Charles Rogers (suspension) and Yatil Green (injury). So in a rough sense, we’re looking at 5 out of 22, or just short of a quarter. So in general terms, with our 2018 guys – Davis, Williams, Ross – you would expect probably one of them to kind of hit this year.
When you set out the three, Davis looks the most compelling. He made a handful of nice catches last year where he showed that top-10 ability, and he closed the year with a couple of touchdown catches in the playoff loss at New England. I think I’ll be putting Davis just outside the top 20 (among wide receivers) on my board.
With Williams and Ross, injuries prevented them from being much of a factor at all in their first seasons. Williams is on a roster with a lot of other good pass catches. He might not even be the best Williams on that team – Tyrell Williams ain’t chopped liver. Ross has the great speed, but he’s a smaller guy who had injury issues in college. I would expect Ross will be used as a third receiver, with the Bengals sprinkling him in for some big play opportunities.
In the chart below, players are ordered by their rookie year production (standard scoring). Reidel Anthony and Michael Floyd put up the best first-year numbers, while Yatil Green and Kevin Whit didn’t even play. Then you see the catches, receiving yards and total touchdowns for Year 2.
|STRUGGLING ROOKIE RECEIVERS (2nd-year stats)|
|1998||16||Reidel Anthony, T.B.||35-448-4||51||708||7||112.8|
|2013||13||• Michael Floyd, Ariz.||45-562-2||65||1,041||5||134.1|
|2016||14||DeVante Parker, Mia.||26-494-3||56||744||4||98.4|
|2002||8||David Terrell, Chi.||34-415-4||9||127||3||30.7|
|2003||19||Ashley Lelie, Den.||35-525-2||37||628||2||74.8|
|2008||9||Ted Ginn Jr., Mia.||34-420-3||56||790||4||103.0|
|2002||9||• Koren Robinson, Sea.||39-536-1||78||1,240||5||154.0|
|2000||8||• David Boston, Ariz.||40-473-2||71||1,156||7||157.6|
|2017||15||Corey Coleman, Clev.||33-413-3||23||305||2||42.5|
|2004||17||Bryant Johnson, Ariz.||35-438-1||49||537||1||59.7|
|2006||7||Troy Williamson, Minn.||24-372-2||37||455||0||45.5|
|2001||10||Travis Taylor, Balt.||28-276-3||42||560||3||74.0|
|2004||2||Charles Rogers, Det.||22-243-3||0||0||0||.0|
|2006||10||Mike Williams, Det.||29-350-1||8||99||1||15.9|
|1999||16||Kevin Dyson, Hou.||21-263-2||54||658||4||89.8|
|2003||20||• Javon Walker, G.B.||23-319-1||41||716||9||125.6|
|2018||5||Corey Davis, Tenn.||34-375-0||?||?||?||?|
|2016||20||Nelson Agholor, Phil.||23-283-1||36||365||2||48.5|
|2005||9||Reggie Williams, Jac.||27-268-1||35||445||0||44.5|
|2001||8||• Plaxico Burress, Pitt.||22-273-0||66||1,008||6||136.8|
|2010||7||Darrius Heyward-Bey, Oak.||9-124-1||26||366||1||42.6|
|2018||7||Mike Williams, LAC||11-95-0||?||?||?||?|
|1998||7||Ike Hilliard, NYG||2-42-0||51||715||2||83.5|
|2002||16||Santana Moss, NYJ||2-40-0||30||433||6||79.3|
|2018||9||John Ross, Cin.||0-0-0||?||?||?||?|
|2016||7||Kevin White, Chi.||0-0-0||19||187||0||18.7|
|1998||15||Yatil Green, Mia.||0-0-0||0||0||0||.0|