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Redskins Wide Receiver Woes Magnified - Bottom 5 Unit in the NFL

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NFL: Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

To say the Redskins have one of the worst receiving corps in the NFL is massive understatement. If they are not the worst, they easily fall within the bottom 5 of the league.

Below are some stats to illustrate just how poor the receivers are.


Yards:

Receptions are great, as it shows a receiver is getting open and is able to make the catch, but they can also be misleading. Yards shows that that receiver can move the ball down the field, and more often than not, prove that player can do something once the ball is in their hands.

The current NFL leader in yards is non other than Julio Jones, who many feel is the best receiver in the NFL. The top 10 is a compilation of who’s who in the NFL, and aside from Robert Woods, and with the omission of Antonio Brown and A.J. Green, many can make the case that the top 10 leaders in yards are also who many consider to be the best receivers in the league (give or take).

Julio Jones: 1040

Davante Adams: 953

Michael Thomas: 950

Adam Thielen: 947

DeAndre Hopkins: 894

Tyreek Hill: 891

Odell Beckham: 858

Brandin Cooks: 857

Mike Evans: 837

Robert Woods: 832

The Redskins leading receiver in yards is the 2016 undrafted Cal Bear Maurice Harris. He has a whopping 278 yards on the season. Combined, all the Skins receivers have 701 total receiving yards!


Receptions:

Like I mentioned above, receptions show a wide receiver can get open, and complete the process of the catch once the ball is delivered. Receptions can be a bit misleading, but they are definitely part of the complete story.

Here are the current top 10 receptions leaders in the NFL among all wide receivers (TE’s are omitted).

Michael Thomas: 78

Adam Thielen: 78

Davante Adams: 72

Julio Jones: 67

Odell Beckham: 65

DeAndre Hopkins: 63

Stefon Diggs: 58

Jarvis Landry: 57

Antonio Brown: 57

Emmanuel Sanders: 56

Maurice Harris again leads the receiving corps with 26 catches on the season. Combined, the Skins receivers have caught 88 passes on the season - just 10 more than Michael Thomas.


Touchdowns:

Touchdowns are the ultimate reward for putting the yards and receptions earned together. Some players are considered go-to guys anywhere on the field, while others may be looked at as big-play threats. Regardless of the designation, getting into the endzone is the ultimate goal, and those who can do it with some regularity are considered valuable assets to any offense.

Here are the leaders after week 10 of the 2018 season:

Antonio Brown: 10

Tyreek Hill: 9

Davante Adams: 9

Tyler Lockett: 7

Calvin Ridley: 7

Adam Thielen: 7

DeAndre Hopkins: 7

Michael Thomas: 7

Cooper Kupp: 6

A.J. Green: 6

The Redskins wide receiver leaders in touchdowns are Paul Richardson and Josh Doctson who each have two. That ties them at 56th in the NFL. Richardson will not be able to improve on that number, as he recently went on IR, but Doctson can see if he can add to his two scores over the remainder of the season.

All of the Redskins wide receivers combined have three total touchdowns!


DYAR and DVOA:

These next statistical metrics are very interesting.

DYAR: *defined by Football Outsiders

Wide receivers are ranked according to DYAR, or Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement. This gives the value of the performance on plays where this WR caught the ball, compared to replacement level, adjusted for situation and opponent and then translated into yardage.

DVOA: *Defined by Football Outsiders

The other statistic given is DVOA, or Defense-adjusted Value Over Average. This number represents value, per play, over an average WR in the same game situations. The more positive the DVOA rating, the better the player’s performance.

*The simple version: DYAR means a wide receiver with more TOTAL value. DVOA means a wide receiver with more value per play.

Football Outsiders has ranked 65 players who have been targeted at least 40 times so far this season (total through week 10). You can reed the full rankings here.

The Redskins have one representative in these rankings - Josh Doctson

Josh Doctson:

DYAR: -10 (Rank - 53rd out of 65 qualifiers)

DVOA: -15.9% (Rank - 53rd out of 65 qualifiers)

If we dig a bit deeper into receivers who have between 7-39 targets, we’ll see four other Redskins show up:

Paul Richardson: Richardson is the only Redskins receiver with positive scores in both DYAR and DVOA>

DYAR: 46

DVOA: 3.4%

Jamison Crowder:

DYAR: -3

DVOA: -14.9%

Maurice Harris:

DYAR: -10

DVOA: -16.5

Michael Floyd:

DYAR: -24

DVOA: -49.8

Obviously, when you have any numbers in the negative, that is NOT good. As you can see, the Redskins have just one receiver (who is nor on IR), whos numbers were not negative.


So just how bad are the Redskins wide receivers? Our number one wider receiver is supposedly Josh Doctson. He leads all receivers in snaps and targets on the season, and was drafted in the first round to be a difference make on offense.

There are many people who have claimed Doctson can’t get open, especially against press man coverage, and there are fans who claim this is 100 percent false.

I decided to do a bit more digging into this, and here is what I found.

https://nextgenstats.nfl.com/stats/receiving#average-separation

Two metrics used by Next Gen Stats to tell how open a wide receiver may be on average:

Cushion - On average, how many yards a receiver is given in relation to where the defender is when the football is snapped (now, obviously this is different between slot receivers who are off the ball, and outside receivers who are usually on the LOS).

Separation - Separation for a wide receiver from his nearest defender at the time of completion/incompletion.

*NFL average separation is 2.8 yards

Josh Doctson:

Cushion: 5.6 yards

Separation: 2.2 yards (tied for 5th worst in the NFL)

Now, we have to put these numbers into perspective. Usually the larger the cushion, the more respected the WR is as a deep threat. DeSean Jackson, who is considered one of the most dangerous deep threats in the game, has an average cushion of 7.1 yards, which is tied for fourth highest in the NFL. We also need to consider that the average cushion of slot receivers is usually going to be greater than that of outside receivers simply give where they are lined up.

When speaking of cushion for outside wide receivers, you can also see that the guys who can get open quickly off the LOS and are more dangerous weapons after the catch, usually have a bit more cushion given to them. If you are not well respected off the LOS, the cushion may be much less.

Odell Beckham Jr.:

Cushion: 6.3

Separation: 3.0

Julio Jones:

Cushion: 6.2

Separation: 2.7


So, does this information help to put into perspective just how mundane the Redskins current wide receivers truly are? If so, what really stands out to you? If not, what information can you provide to counter this argument?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

Poll

Given the information provided, where do you rank the current Redskins wide receiving corps?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Last in the NFL
    (156 votes)
  • 55%
    Bottom 5
    (281 votes)
  • 11%
    Bottom half
    (59 votes)
  • 1%
    Top half
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    Top 5
    (8 votes)
510 votes total Vote Now