FanPost

Follow Up to Clayton Article

I was able to secure information on dropped passes in 2008 for receivers, which I thought might be worth looking into.  There can't be any trend analysis or predctive values here as we have one seasons worth of data, but thought it might at least provide some factual basis with which to look at players in relation to the 2008 season. 

In the previous piece I discussed targets (balls intended for a WR) as well as what percentage of targets turned into receptions.  This is a very vague number as it doesnt indicate what number of passes were catchable. 

What I want to do here is look at a few different figures for 2008 involving the Bucs WR's as well as a few similar players in the NFL for comparison sake.  We'll look at drops as a % of catchable passes, what % were catchable and % of catches for first downs. 

First things first.  I'm using receptions + drops to equal catchable balls.  We can use this number to see what % of catchable balls were caught/dropped. Secondly, to offer some league comparisons, I've tried to identify some players that play similar roles with somewhat similar body types to each Bucs receiver.  Clayton has Muhsin Muhammed, Michael Jenkins, and Amani Toomer (possession receivers over 6'2").  Bryant will be looked at against Braylon Edwards, Roddy White, and Greg Jennings (#1 WR with size/speed).  Hilliard and Galloway are posted as Buccaneers references, along with Dunn.  I didn't include any other running backs as their drops are not able to be accessed.

Player Targets Rec Drops % Catchable Dropped % Catchable % for 1st Down
Michael Clayton 61 38 2 5.0% 65.6% 34.4%
Antonio Bryant 137 83 5 5.7% 64.2% 43.8%
Ike Hilliard 58 47 2 4.1% 84.5% 53.4%
Joey Galloway 28 13 1 7.1% 50.0% 21.4%
Warrick Dunn 68 47 6 11.3% 77.9% N/A

You can see here that though Clayton is lambasted for drops, he is the second lowest drop % on the team in 2008.  All 3 top WR (Bryant, Clayton, Hilliard) are at a respectable level.  Clayton is catching 95% of the catchable balls, with Bryant slightly worse and Hiliard slightly better.  Compared to his teammates, he is not accounting for as many first downs, but is securing the ball at a comparable rate.  This also shows how Ike was so reliable in converting catches to first downs, at an over 50% rate.  Now to compare Clayton and his contemporaries.

Player Targets Rec Drops % Catchable Dropped % Catchable % for 1st Down
Michael Clayton 61 38 2 5.0% 65.6% 34.4%
Muhsin Muhammed 108 65 8 11.0% 67.6% 42.6%
Amani Toomer 89 48 6 11.1% 60.7% 33.7%
Michael Jenkins 81 50 2 3.8% 64.2% 45.7%
Hines Ward 125 81 7 8.0% 70.4% 44.0%

Clayton holds up pretty respectably against these players.  All perform similar roles, possession/secondary receivers with size (outside of Ward).  He does have a bit of a smaller sample size but is still performing at a better than comparable rate.  And now to look at the other Bucs receivers.   

Player Targets Rec Drops % Catchable Dropped % Catchable % for 1st Down
Antonio Bryant 137 83 5 5.7% 64.2% 43.8%
Ike Hilliard 58 47 2 4.1% 84.5% 53.4%
Roddy White 148 88 8 8.3% 64.9% 41.2%
Braylon Edwards 138 55 16 22.5% 51.4% 30.4%
Greg Jennings 140 80 7 8.0% 62.1% 39.3%
Brandon Stokley 85 49 4 7.5% 62.4% 41.2%

Based on the subset of numbers above, for all receivers, the Bucs are performing at a pretty good clip in comparison to other similar offenses/players.  The Bucs offense really emphasized the short pass, which could attribute for a better than average catch rate, but perhaps all of the discussion on Clayton (or any Bucs) drops were a bit exaggerated.  This is only 2008 data, but I think we can all be thankful, that for at least one season we performed well, and we didnt have Butterfingers Edwards on our team.

If anyone has any other comparable players, theories, or questions, I'd be glad to look into them, assuming the availability of data.

Content provided by a member of Bucs Nation and does not necessarily reflect the view or opinions of Bucs Nation.

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