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Examining the athleticism of Washington’s WRs compared to the rest of the NFC East

NFL: Washington Football Team OTA Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

A comment that Mark Tyler made earlier in the week about the Washington’s collective speed at wide receiver got me curious about how the team’s top three receivers compared athletically to the receiver groups on other NFC East teams.

To do that, I’ve collected the Relative Athletic Scores (RAS) for (generally) the top 3 wide receivers on each of the NFC East teams below. RAS is a metric created by Kent Lee Platte that aggregates Combine/Pro Day data into a single metric that describes a players overall athleticism. A grade of “5” would be prospect of average athleticism at the position relative to his peers. Have a look at each of their RAS cards below, before the information is summarized in the aggregate in conclusion.

Washington Football Team

If you’re interested in getting even more excited about Brown than you already are, read this piece that looks at both his RAS and his the college production of players and came up with this pre-draft assessment:

Brown’s production is unquestioned as he finished 14th in WROPS in 2019, and upped his game to finish 5th in 2020. There is no better route-runner in this class as Brown gets in and out of his breaks seamlessly across the entire route tree. He will occasionally drop an easy throw, and he is a bit on the small size at just under 6-1 and 190 pounds, but Brown will enter the league with elite soft skills already developed.

The question with Brown was always his athletic profile, and while he’s not the best athlete in his class, his 8.38 RAS is nothing to sneeze at.

His 3-cone and explosion are very good, and he should be able to succeed outside, and in the slot. In fact, given his advanced release technique and his route running (along with occasional drops), a Davante Adams comp isn’t out of the question.

Dallas Cowboys

New York Giants

For those who think perhaps I was being unfair to Sterling Shepard by leaving him out, his RAS was the lowest of the group at 7.62

Philadelphia Eagles

Devonta Smith, who is presumably slated to be the Eagles WR1 didn’t generate any data at his Pro Day, so I’ve included Travis Fulgham in the mix, along with the Eagles’ top WR draft picks over the past two years. Ironically, Fulgham, drafted by the Lions in the 6th round of the 2019 draft, is the most athletic of the bunch.

Across the NFC East

The data for the players above is compiled in the table below. It turns out that the Giants actually have the most athletic trio of the group, with an average RAS of 8.96, which is nearly elite across the board. Washington is second, at 8.48 (though Terry has the best RAS of any WR in the NFC East). Dallas’ WRs have an average RAS of 7.31, with the Eagles pulling up the back of the line with an average RAS of 6.74, heavy aided by the inclusion of Fulgham.

Washington actually has the fastest WR corps though, with an average 40 time of 4.37 and all WRs with great or elite speed scores. The Giants average 40 time is 4.42, with Kenny Golladay pulling up the average a bit. Dallas’ WRs average 4.48 40 times, and all possess only good or OK speed scores. Philadelphia’s WRs, with an average 40 time of 4.51 range from OK to poor speed scores (again, not accounting for Smith, who would likely pull this score up).

Looking at broad trends, in terms of the sub-category scores: Washington has the speediest group; Dallas has the most uniformly solid group in terms of size; New York appears to have the most agile and explosive group. The Eagles appear to have made some pretty poor life choices selecting WRs in the 2019 and 2020 drafts. Whether Smith’s petite frame can withstand the tribulations of an NFL season will determine whether they’ve hit the trifecta.

I’d be curious to hear what you think of these receiving corps in the comments.

NFC East WR RAS Scores

Player Team RAS 40 Size Explosion Speed Agility
Player Team RAS 40 Size Explosion Speed Agility
McLaurin WFT 9.56 4.35 Good Great Great Good
Samuel WFT 7.46 4.31 Poor Good Elite Poor
Brown WFT 8.43 4.46 OK Good Great OK
Cooper Dallas 8.57 4.42 Good OK Good Elite
Gallup Dallas 5.9 4.51 Good Good OK Poor
Lamb Dallas 7.45 4.5 Good Good Good NA
Golladay Giants 8.95 4.5 Elite Good Good Good
Slayton Giants 8.92 4.39 OK Elite Great Good
Toney Giants 9 4.38 Poor Elite Elite Good
D. Smith Eagles NA NA Poor NA NA NA
Reagor Eagles 6.06 4.47 OK Elite OK Very poor
Arcega-Whiteside Eagles 6.15 4.5 Great OK Good Very poor
Fulgham Eagles 8.01 4.55 Great Great Poor Good

Poll

Which NFC East team do you think has the best WR corps?

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    Washington
    (583 votes)
  • 9%
    New York
    (92 votes)
  • 26%
    Dallas
    (248 votes)
  • 0%
    Philadelphia
    (8 votes)
931 votes total Vote Now