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Further to the Idea that Small Receivers Are Overrated

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A touchdown is worth more than 2X the point value of a field goal in the NFL, and yet, small receivers who don’t do much to help their teams in the red zone have been seeing some pretty big contracts from NFL teams in the past week.  After I posted the Tavon Austin comparables, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at their career red zone touchdown rates.  I did that, and then to establish some kind of perspective I included some other WRs who were picked around the same spot in the draft as the smaller guys we’re looking at.  Kenny Britt and Hakeem Nicks were picked after Harvin in the 2009 draft, and Dez Bryant was the wide receiver picked ahead of McCluster in the 2010 draft (a 12 spot difference in draft slots).  Here’s the table which shows red zone touchdown rate:

RZ Targets RZ TDs RZ TD Rate
Santana Moss 98 18 0.18
Randall Cobb 10 3 0.30
DeSean Jackson 48 6 0.13
Percy Harvin 52 9 0.17
Dexter McCluster 14 1 0.07
Kenny Britt 33 12 0.36
Hakeem Nicks 52 14 0.27
Dez Bryant 35 13 0.37

Of the smaller receivers, only Cobb has a RZ TD rate that is at the level you would expect from a real #1 WR.  Also, a good amount of Cobb’s efficiency in the red zone probably comes from Aaron Rodgers (although I’ll be fair and say that Cobb himself may also deserve credit here).  It’s probably worth noting the small sample as it relates to Cobb.

Throwing it to the smaller receivers in the red zone is essentially just asking to send out your field goal unit on a more regular basis.

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