Pro Football Focus 10/15/2015Today, we return to the topic of drops rates. After yesterday’s look at the top of the list, we’ll now focus on the receivers who have the worst drop rates in the league entering Week 6.Remember, to be considered, receivers needed to have 20 targets to their name; that gives us 61 receivers to compare.Drop rate: Bottom 11 NFL receiversWith Oakland’s Michael Crabtree and his drop-less season leading the way, early issues in this area for Raiders’ rookie Amari Cooper have been all the more apparent. Cooper managed to mishandle a throw in each of his first four games as a pro, after dropping just eight of 132 catchable balls as a senior at Alabama last season.Comforting for the rookie, though, is the presence of many long-time vets who have also found the early-going not so friendly in this department. Marques Colston is one to keep an eye on—he’s in danger of making drops a trend for himself, as he played at a similar pace last season (eight drops in 67 chances, 11.94 percent).Leonard Hankerson’s five drops are knotted with Keenan Allen for the league’s highest total among receivers, but with Allen’s coming on 44 throws, his drop rate of 11.36 has him beyond the bottom-11 for now. Hankerson’s total already surpasses any of his seasons in Washington, and has helped his new QB Matt Ryan to fifth on the list of passers suffering the most drops (11).Looking up from the basement through five weeks is Ted Ginn, after letting a full quarter of his chances hit the ground. Ginn, of course, hasn’t always been a featured receiver at his various stops around the league, but has only once before shown a drop rate that was significantly away from the middle of the pack—in 2009 he dropped 10-of-48 catchable balls, a 20.8 percent mark that landed him 96th of 101.
I don’t want to get into another drop debate. I am fine with 3 official drops, but they are counting half a dozen throws that hit him in the hands as uncatchable. When he is bodied up on a defender attempting the catch, it isn’t a drop. However looking at the chart it is obvious they score passes as catchable yet incomplete (and not dropped by the receiver). Jameis should have at least some targets to Mike that fall into that category imo.
Drops are a subjective stat, and the official stat tries to take as much subjectivity out as possible. So if there is any contact with a defender, or if the pass is deflected at all, it isn’t counted as a drop. Obviously there are very slight deflections and very slight contact, that does not significantly affect the receiver’s ability to complete the catch. But when you judge which bumps and deflections excuse an incompletion and which don’t, you lose much of the consistency. Which is what I assume is going on with the catchable/uncatchable pass designations from PFF.
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