I have some interest in Washington’s wide receivers. Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel have some ability, and I think Ryan Fitzpatrick could be the quarterback to help them reach their full potential.
Fitzpatrick has had his moments in the past, putting up big numbers at times in recent years with the Jets, Bucs and Dolphins. He’s more willing than most quarterbacks to aggressively attempt the downfield throws. That kind of playing style can help make a good wide receiver shine.
Consider DeVante Parker. He was pretty disappointing in his early years with Miami, but Fitzpatrick got him operating at a high level. That was a good combo.
In Parker’s last 16 full games with Fitzpatrick in Miami, he caught 90 passes for 1,381 yards and 9 TDs. Nothing wrong with that production at all. Specifically I remember a game late in 2019, when Stephon Gilmore was about the league’s best cornerback; Parker torched him for 8 catches and 137 yards. A younger or lesser quarterback probably would have been leery of throwing in Gilmore’s direction.
|PARKER: LAST 16 GAMES WITH FITZPATRICK|
|2019||at Buff.||L 21-31||10||5||55||1|
|2019||at Pitt.||L 14-27||8||6||59||0|
|2019||at Ind.||W 16-12||10||5||69||0|
|2019||at Clev.||L 24-41||11||6||91||0|
|2019||at NYG||L 20-36||7||4||72||2|
|2019||at N.E.||W 27-24||11||8||137||0|
|2020||at Jac.||W 31-13||5||5||69||0|
|2020||at S.F.||W 43-17||3||2||50||1|
|2020||at NYJ||W 20-3||14||8||119||0|
If you look at Parker in his last 16 full games with other guys at quarterback, he starts to look more like the wide receiver that many were lining up as a first-round bust. In his last 16 non-Fitzpatrick games, Parker has caught only 54 passes for 720 yards, with 4 TDs.
That is, Parker scored over twice as many touchdowns with Fitzpatrick at quarterback, and with almost twice as many catches and yards. He also averaged 2 more yards per catch with the veteran quarterback.
|PARKER: LAST 16 GAMES WITHOUT FITZPATRICK|
|2018||at Hou.||L 23-42||9||6||134||0|
|2018||at G.B.||L 12-31||11||5||43||0|
|2018||at Buff.||L 17-42||3||0||0||0|
|2019||at Dall.||L 6-31||6||3||56||0|
|2020||at Ariz.||W 34-31||7||6||64||0|
|2020||at Den.||L 13-20||9||6||61||1|
|2020||at Buff.||L 26-56||14||7||116||0|
I can’t guarantee the results will be as extreme as they were with Parker, but Fitzpatrick enhances my interest in those two former Ohio State receivers, McLaurin (pictured) and Samuel.