FanPost

Dez's Production vs All First Round Picks Since '05 through 2 Years

Dez_bryant_st_louis_rams_v_dallas_cowboys_4ywakytgz4el_medium

via www3.pictures.zimbio.com

The requirement for precise routes, a complex understanding of how defensive coverages work, and the ability to adjust to faster, stronger competition make it difficult for even the most talented of players to make a speedy transition from playing great college wide receiver to playing great receiver at the next level. Dez Bryant's inability to fully grasp the Cowboys offense is often criticized due to the fact that his on-field production is not always a great representation of what his physical gifts suggest it should be. Fans have this perception that as a first round talent, Dez should should already be dominating the NFL, well on his way to being a top ten or so NFL receiver. Truth is, through two years, a lot of first round, stud talents don't have nearly as much production as Dez Bryant through their first two years.

I put this chart together to illustrate how the typical, raw, tallented receiver does in his first two years in the NFL. Since the 2005 draft 21 receivers have been selected in the first round. The chart below shows their numbers over their first two seasons as a pro. No return or rushing statistics are being considered. The results are mixed to say the least.

FIRST ROUND PICKS' SINCE '05 PRODUCTION IN FIRST 2 SEASONS

PLAYER

PICK #

GAMES/ STARTED

CTCH

YDS

REC

TD

CTH/G

YD/G

TD/G

% OF TEAM CATCHES

Dwayne Bowe, KC

23

32/31

156

2017

12

4.9

63.0

.38

24.2%

Percy Harvin, MIN

22

29/21

131

1658

11

4.5

57.2

.38

19.2%

Calvin Johnson, DET

2

31/26

126

2087

16

4.1

67.3

.52

19.4%

Hakeem Nicks, NYG

29

27/18

126

1842

17

4.7

68.2

.63

18.6%

Jeremy Maclin, PHI

19

31/29

126

1737

14

4.1

56.0

.45

18.4%

Mark Clayton, BAL

22

30/22

111

1410

7

3.7

47.0

.23

16.7%

Dez Bryant, DAL

24

27/15

108

1489

15

4.0

55.1

.56

14.3%

Michael Crabtree, SF

10

27/26

103

1366

8

3.8

50.1

.30

17.3%

Santonio Holmes, PIT

25

29/17

101

1766

6

3.5

60.1

.21

17.0%

Anthony Gonzalez, IND

32

29/11

94

1240

7

3.2

42.8

.24

12.6%

Braylon Edwards, CLE

3

26/22

93

1396

9

3.6

53.7

.35

15.1%

Ted Ginn Jr., MIA

9

32/23

90

1260

4

2.8

39.4

.13

13.9%

Kenny Britt, TEN

30

28/13

84

1476

12

2.8

52.7

.43

15.4%

Matt Jones, JAX

21

30/5

77

1075

9

2.6

35.8

.30

14.0%

Troy Williamson, MIN

7

28/14

61

827

2

2.2

29.5

.07

9.3%

Roddy White, ATL

27

32/13

59

952

3

1.8

29.8

.09

12.6%

Demaryius Thomas, DEN

22

21/7

54

834

6

2.6

39.7

.29

9.8%

Mike Williams, DET

10

22/6

37

449

2

1.7

20.4

.09

5.5%

Darrius Heyward-Bey, OAK

7

26/25

35

490

2

1.3

18.8

.08

6.6%

Buster Davis, SD

30

18/1

24

247

1

1.3

13.7

.06

4.0%

Robert Meachem, NO

27

14/3

12

289

3

0.9

20.6

.21

1.4%

Here's my take. All of these receivers were drafted into different circumstances, into different offenses, and onto teams with different caliber of quarterbacks, but when you mix the numbers with what you already know from watching the games, you can draw a few conclusions.

Dez's injury concerns are not abnormal for young receivers

Corners in the NFL are more physical than in college and the linebackers tend to run faster and hit harder across the middle. Only 3 of the 21 receivers ( Bowe, Ginn, & White) played all 32 games in their first two seasons. I've never played a down in the NFL but by all accounts the NFL is a totally different game than college. It takes a while to toughen up your body.

Even when big, tough receivers have played for half a decade, like Andre Johnson or even Miles Austin, nagging minor injuries can really slow you down. So, unless you're a super human like Reggie Wayne or Larry Fitzgerald, as a receiver you probably won't leave any given season without a span of two or three games where you're dealing with some type of injury. It's a lot less worrying when a player has an injury that's typically a one-time thing such as a broken bone or a thigh contusion than when he has reoccurring hamstring or knee injuries.

Dez's production is head and shoulders above Demaryius Thomas' (selected 2 spots before Dez)

When you go down the list of ways that Josh McDaniels screwed up the Broncos franchise you can't forget the drafting of Thomas over Dez. Dez clearly had more talent and would of been a steal where Denver was picking (22), but I guess McDaniels thought that a guy who had never been arrested nor done drugs was too much of a risk. Thomas became a more active contributor towards the end of last year, but if you were to hold a re-draft you'd clearly take the more productive and gifted Dez.

How has no one investigated Josh McDaniel's doings in Denver? He trades Jay Cutler, trades Brandon Marshall, drafts Knowshan Moreno, drafts the departed Tim Tebow, picks Thomas over Dez, and then goes back to his job as New England's offensive coordinator? Are you sure Belichick didn't just send him to Denver to destroy an up and coming AFC contender? I digress. Don't refer back to this if Thomas kills it with Peyton Manning.

Dez hasn't been asked to do that much yet

When you look at the chart, Dez is towards the top in receptions but he's right in the middle when it comes to the percent of the entire team's receptions that belonged to him. That can easily be explained: Jason Witten, Miles Austin, and Laurent Robinson. Most teams that draft a receiver in the first round are depleted at the receiver position and are looking for an immediate, play-making number one. Teams who already have solid receivers usually develop raw talented guys like Marques Colston or Mike Wallace.

Dwayne Bowe led this group of receivers with a staggering 24.2% of his offense's catches but I challenge anybody to tell me off the top of your head who started opposite of him in his rookie year of 2007. I'll wait. If you said Samie Parker you'd be correct. Parker played in 15 games and put up a memorable 24 catches for 298 yards.

Witten, Austin, and Robinson have been working in the same exact system for quite some time and naturally they're going to have a better understanding of what Tony Romo sees. With Robinson gone, Dez's catch percentage is bound to increase simply because he'll see more targets. Bill Callahan being around can't hurt. He's a guy who can communicate what he wants to Dez without the responsibility of coaching every player on the team like Jason Garrett had to.

None of these guys did much special in their first two years

Every receiver on that chart was drafted to be a play-making number one receiver. Twenty-one players, a total of 42 seasons and only 3 of those seasons featured 1,000 yards. Calvin Johnson, Hakeem Nicks, and Dwayne Bowe all had 1,000 yard seasons in their second year. Dez came close with 928 in this past season.

Good quarterbacks, or any quarterbacks for that matter, don't like to throw to receivers who don't know what they're doing. Especially when there are three or four other veteran options. It's a co-dependent relationship. Still, Dez's first two seasons were better than most of these other first rounders'.

It's too soon to make any solid judgement on the receiver he will be

Roddy White's first two seasons were awful. Mark Clayton's were solid at worst. Now, Roddy White is a top five receiver and Mark Clayton was last seen buried on the Rams depth chart. Braylon Edwards, who started hot, was cut by a team with bad receivers mid-season and Robert Meachem, who had 12 catches in two years, just signed a 4 year $26 million contract in San Diego.

Receivers are so dependent on schemes, quarterbacks, and personal development. Everyone wants to be a scout and an analytic guru but it's really hard to tell what your going to get in a season from an individual receiver. It's simply too soon to tell how good of a receiver Dez will turn out to be over what you can assume will be a decade and a half long career. Brandon Lloyd didn't have his breakout season until his eighth season. Laurent Robinson can be viewed in the same way. It's simply too soon to get a clear picture of Dez. It'll be interesting to see how much Callahan wants to expand his role next season.

I'm not a huge Dez Bryant fan and his inconstant play from quarter to quarter can be frustrating but it's only natural for young receivers. He doesn't run the route tree well, but almost no young receiver does. Even AJ Green, who had a great rookie year, didn't run anything much outside of fades, slants, stops, and screens. If he doesn't have a big year next year, then it might be okay to start having big concerns.

Comment and recommend!

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Blogging The Boys

You must be a member of Blogging The Boys to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blogging The Boys. You should read them.

Join Blogging The Boys

You must be a member of Blogging The Boys to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blogging The Boys. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker