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Brandon LaFell - How he stacks up as a #2 WR.

I just did an exhaustive study of the #2 WRs on all the 32 teams in the league.

They're placed here in the order of their team's #1 WR. That is, since Reggie Wayne's 84 catches lead the league, after 11 games, his Indianapolis #2 counterpart goes first in my list. Each #2 WR shows his # of Receptions, Yards Gained, Average YPR, TDs, and FD%. Note this is just a raw listing, not ranked in any order:

#2 WR Statistical Analysis:

The stats presented are: #2 WR Team Receptions - Yards Gained - Average Yds per Reception - TDs - First Down %)

  1. Donny Avery Indy 44 584 13.3 4 63.6
  2. Earl Bennett Chicago 22 238 10.8 0 72.7
  3. Brandon Lloyd NE 49 551 11.2 3 67.3
  4. Titus Young Detroit 33 383 11.6 4 60.6
  5. Kevin Walter Houston 31 411 13.3 2 67.7
  6. Andrew Hawkins Cincy 34 394 11.6 3 47.1
  7. Julio Jones Atlanta 53 883 16.7 6 69.8
  8. Miles Austin Dallas 49 727 14.8 4 71.4
  9. Hakeem Nicks NYG 41 542 13.2 2 70.7
  10. Michael Jenkins Minn 30 324 10.8 1 56.7
  11. Earl Decker Denver 54 685 12.7 8 57.4
  12. Jordy Nelson Green Bay 45 648 14.4 6 71.1
  13. Davone Best Miami 55 715 13.0 1 65.5
  14. Lance Moore New Orleans 45 699 15.5 4 82.2
  15. Andre Roberts Arizona 50 639 12.8 5 68.0
  16. Dexter McCluster KC 38 344 8.8 1 50.0
  17. Donald Jones Buffalo 38 410 10.8 4 60.5
  18. Brandon Gibson St. Louis 34 437 12.9 4 79.4
  19. Torrey Smith Baltimore 39 699 17.9 7 76.9
  20. M. Manningham SF 36 412 11.4 1 50.0
  21. Brandon LaFell Carolina 32 563 17.6 4 75.0
  22. Nate Washington Tennessee 35 537 15.3 4 62.9
  23. Danario Alexander San Diego 20 365 18.3 3 75.0
  24. Mike Williams Tampa Bay 37 625 16.9 5 67.6
  25. Antonio Brown Pittsburgh 42 499 11.9 1 66.7
  26. Jeremy Maclin Philadelphia 41 504 12.3 4 56.1
  27. Chaz Schilens NY Jets 22 226 10.3 2 59.1
  28. Cecil Shorts Jacksonville 36 747 20.8 6 69.4
  29. Santana Moss Washington 29 416 14.3 7 69.0
  30. Golden Tate Seattle 30 390 13.0 6 63.3
  31. D. Heyward-Bey Oakland 28 440 15.7 3 60.7
  32. Josh Gordon Cleveland 28 530 18.9 4 82.1

Here's where it pays to dig beneath the surface. If one only looks at # of catches, LaFell ranks 23 in receptions, by #2 WRs, with 32 (though 7 have only a very few more than he has). Eric Decker of Denver has 54 catches.

However, and this speaks to his efficiency and value to the team -

  • He ranks #12 in yardage gained, with 563 (Julio Jones is #1, with 883), and he ranks #10 in TDs (4) (Eric Decker has 8, Torrey Smith and Santana Moss have 7)

And look at First Down % as well, the all-important determinant of how often he moves the chains. 75% of LaFell's catches go for First Downs (a virtue we've long noted on CSR) - compare how this stacks up against other WRs and you may be surprised. Among other #2WRs, with 30 or more catches, only Lance Moore (82.2%), Brandon Gibson (79.4%), and Torrey Smith (76.9%) do better. And maybe more importantly, there are only SIX (6) #1WRs who do better, topped by Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd (both with 87.2%).

So far as scoring power is concerned, his 4 TDs ranks as 10th best among all #2WRs.

And lastly, I'll look at his astounding YPR average.

  • At 17.6 yds per catch, LaFell is bested (among ALL WRs, not just #2s!) only by Cecil Shorts (20.8 YPR), Vincent Jackson (20.4), and Torrey Smith 17.9) for those WRs with a minimum of 30 catches.
He has a higher YPR average than Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, A. J. Green, Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Marques Colston (oh, and Steve Smith, too.)

In summary, I think Brandon LaFell has solidified his position as the Panthers' #2 WR, is ready to step up to #1, if needed, compares favorably to the top #2 WRs in the league - and, with the exceptions of Cecil Shorts and Torrey Smith, he may be the best all-around #2 WR so far this year.

The data is fact, obtained from NFL Stats. The opinions are mine. Your own would be welcomed, along with your own observations.

The content of these posts are those of the user/fan making the post only

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