Garcon, Davis, Paulsen among NFL's best First-Down/Touchdown Converters

Patrick McDermott

Pro Football Focus' latest signature stat has a few Redskins at the top of the ranks.

The guys at Pro Football Focus compiled a new signature statistic that shows a handful of Redskins near the top of the ranks for the 2012 season.

It's called "First Downs and Touchdowns per Route Run," which means exactly what you think it means. It's a nice way to sift out how many "quality" catches are logged by a specific player by lumping catches for converted first downs and touchdowns over the number of routes he runs. It's not an all-encompassing stat by any means (what is?), but like all statistics, it gives us a piece of the puzzle.

Among wide receivers, Pierre Garcon had the eighth-highest percentage of his routes go for first downs or touchdowns with 11.65 percent. Remember, that's not targets, that's routes run, meaning a little more than one out of ten times Garcon went out for a pass, it resulted in either a first down or a score. He finished just a hair under Wes Welker's 11.65 mark and above receivers such as Roddy White, A.J. Green and Demariyus Thomas.

A surprising name on the list was Leonard Hankerson, who ranked in the upper third of the NFL's qualifying wide receivers, ahead of guys like Dez Bryant, Anquan Boldin and James Jones, who led all receivers with 14 touchdowns.

PFF hasn't released this statistic yet for tight ends, but did release first downs and touchdowns per target instead of routes run. In this department, Fred Davis and Logan Paulsen each finished in the top 10 at their position, showing just how much Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins could count on their big security blankets to make big plays.

And if you combine Davis and Paulsen's first down and touchdown receptions and their routes run, you'd get a 51 percent frequency. So odds were better than not that Griffin and Cousins would move the chains or put up points each time Davis and Paulsen were targeted. Pretty remarkable stuff.

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