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Comparing the Careers of College Receivers
Photo via Football Schedule/Flickr
Photo via Football Schedule/Flickr

The play by play database published by makes it possible to look at college receivers in terms of efficiency stats, rather than just viewing them in terms of pure counting stats.  I thought that maybe one interesting application would be to compare graphs of receivers based on efficiency stats.  The app below will let you compare as many receivers as you want based on yards/target, red zone efficiency, and also each receiver’s share of their team receiving production.

If you want to see how this year’s crop of receivers stacks up against receivers that we already know are good (based on their NFL production) you can just type their name in the box and graphs of their production will be added to the comparison group.  If you click the x next to the player’s name, their results will be taken out of the comparison group.

Note that the speed of the app will depend on your internet connection as it’s essentially serving up 6 new images every time a player’s name is added or subtracted from the comparison group.  I have some ideas on how to speed up the re-drawing of the graphs, but those fixes will have to wait for the next version.  Also, the PBP database goes back to 2005, so any player that played that year will have 2005 as their “Year 1” even if they played before that year.  For purposes of comparing the trajectory of careers then, it will work best for players who were freshmen in 2005 or later.

I put Dez Bryant, Hakeem Nicks and Justin Blackmon in as the defaults because I feel like Bryant had one of the most impressive college seasons in the past decade or so, and Nicks was very good at UNC, but Blackmon’s college numbers might have just been target driven.  Obviously, when usage increases to the level that Blackmon saw at OSU, it becomes difficult to maintain efficiency, so I’m not totally discounting Blackmon’s production.  But I do think it’s worth a slight downgrade.

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