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How important is a #1 Target in today's NFL?

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Dec 12th
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PatsFanInVa

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And pray tell why can't they field a defense...is it bad drafting of positions other than WR perhaps? Cap mismanagement (even if they push into future years to fudge said cap somewhat)? Why can't that #1 WR overcome that bad defense - they're the biggest reason teams win right????

Your own comment demonstrates its a TEAM game. Does a #1 WR help? Yep, same a "#1 TE" or a "#1 CB" or a "#1 DT/DE".

The fixation on WRs as the savior of any team is solely because of fantasy football.

Teams win football games. The OL has to block. The QB has to deliver the pass. The defense has to make any points stand up. ALL of those things have to happen week in and week out and if any of them are below par - they are exploited leaving the #1WR unable to do much about it.
Can't have everything. Where would you put it?
 

PScottman

In the Starting Line-Up
Can't have everything. Where would you put it?
Like everything else - depends. What else is already there? What's available? QB remains the single variable that is basically inarguable - while a team game, that position historically is the one position where if a team has it even somewhat right across the rest of the squad the winning percentage goes up. (yes, there are Trent Dilfer and even Matt Stafford exceptions, but by and large...)

After that for me it becomes more position groups than individuals - the OL...the DBs...etc because even if you're singly strong with a superstar if there's one weak link (most) other teams exploit it.

I've never said I'm "anti" WR. I'm just anti "WR fixes everything" - its an obsession position these days. It's like saying a driver fixes a golfer. Sure, almost anyone can hit today's drivers a long, long way, and some people can even look somewhat good hitting them, but it doesn't mean anything if you don't have a good short game, putting, not to mention hips, shoulders, hand eye coordination, wrists, etc.

For Mac would a Hill or Diggs cure his "yips" where he rushes his throws with bad mechanics and tunnel visions others? I don't think so because it's the poor OL play that was causal to him having fear of getting crushed by a hit. A WR MIGHT be able to defray a little of that, but not against even a competent DC who is going to ensure that star WR is double covered most plays exploiting that bad OL.
 
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Wozzy

In the Starting Line-Up
Wes Welker is NOT and has NEVER been a #1 WR. Randy Moss was robbed by the luckiest playoff catch of all time by the Tyree helmet catch. It doesn't change the fact that Moss set the record for TD receptions in a season, 23, and was the stud leading receiver for one of the most frightening and explosive offenses of all time.

You got MOSSED 2007:


The reality is that in today's NFL, if you don't have a #1 WR to carry the load, you can easily get game-planned and suffocated by the defense. They don't fear the long ball so their guys can creep up to the line of scrimmage making it hard to run, press your slot men with confidence, make the windows extra tight for Mac Jones, etc.

New England has been starved for WR talent for so long, mostly due to bad drafting, that people have given up on the idea of having a #1 WR. The closest we had to that in recent years was Brandin Cooks. He produced fine on the field but his lack of physicality exposed the fact that he wasn't a true #1 and that's why the Pats traded him away for just a draft pick. Unfortunately that 1st round pick we received in return was turned into underachieving and oft-injured OL Isaiah Wynn.

The Chiefs enter this weekend 2-0 with the 4th most points scored per drive offensively… who is their #1 WR?

Juju is a slot receiver, Mecole is fast but that’s about it. A team can have 5-6 “good” WR’s and be one of the best offenses in the league.

Edelman and Troy Brown have rings, they aren’t #1 WR’s by the abstract definition floating around here. When Brandin Cooks was here Pat’s fans were complaining that he was too small and wasn’t good enough, now in Houston he’s a #1.

Seems a #1 is anyone but whoever the Pats have. If slot receivers are allowed this designation Meyers is a #1, guy gets open at will.

Mac was a rookie last year, he played well as a rookie but he played like a rookie. It wasn’t his weapons holding him back. Cart/Horse
 
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crawhammer

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
The Chiefs enter this weekend 2-0 with the 4th most points scored per drive offensively… who is their #1 WR?
Kelce. Plus we're talking about Patriots Mahomes here. One of the most talented quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. There are a few quarterbacks in the league who generally will win 10-13 games in any given season with an adequate supporting cast.

Edelman and Troy Brown have rings, they aren’t #1 WR’s by the abstract definition floating around here. When Brandin Cooks was here Pat’s fans were complaining that he was too small and wasn’t good enough, now in Houston he’s a #1.
If you ranked all of the true WR1s in the NFL then Cooks would be near the bottom of the tier because of his limitations. However, he's a 1000-yard receiver for 4 different teams and he's hauled in just enough TDs to be considered a WR1.

Troy Brown had one WR1ish season in his entire career... he doesn't qualify. Overall Edelman just doesn't have the numbers of an WR1. However, given his production from the slot when healthy you could argue he's a 1b. Also, don't forget who their quarterback was when they were at their best. QB1 makes a big difference.

Seems a #1 is anyone but whoever the Pats have. If slot receivers are allowed this designation Meyers is a #1, guy gets open at will.
If he "gets open at will" then he should have much better numbers. Explain how it is that a WR1 only has 2 TDs in 267 targets. Meyers has worked his way into the decent slot WR conversation but he's nowhere close to a true WR1... the overall production isn't nearly close enough.
 

BaconGrundleCandy

Not the kind of guy to say I told you so ...
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Kelce. Plus we're talking about Patriots Mahomes here. One of the most talented quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. There are a few quarterbacks in the league who generally will win 10-13 games in any given season with an adequate supporting cast.


If you ranked all of the true WR1s in the NFL then Cooks would be near the bottom of the tier because of his limitations. However, he's a 1000-yard receiver for 4 different teams and he's hauled in just enough TDs to be considered a WR1.

Troy Brown had one WR1ish season in his entire career... he doesn't qualify. Overall Edelman just doesn't have the numbers of an WR1. However, given his production from the slot when healthy you could argue he's a 1b. Also, don't forget who their quarterback was when they were at their best. QB1 makes a big difference.


If he "gets open at will" then he should have much better numbers. Explain how it is that a WR1 only has 2 TDs in 267 targets. Meyers has worked his way into the decent slot WR conversation but he's nowhere close to a true WR1... the overall production isn't nearly close enough.
I was going to write something similar. There's probably not 10 guys I'd rather have over Mahomes and Brady might be the best football player of all-time. They're huge outliers in terms of what they're capable of getting from others.

WR can get away with so much more today in terms of the rules and optics. They're able to do much more in terms size, skill and ability. Options, adjustment. There's so much they can do in today's game they couldn't 30-40 years ago.
 

NG Pats Fan

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
The Chiefs enter this weekend 2-0 with the 4th most points scored per drive offensively… who is their #1 WR?

Juju is a slot receiver, Mecole is fast but that’s about it. A team can have 5-6 “good” WR’s and be one of the best offenses in the league.

Edelman and Troy Brown have rings, they aren’t #1 WR’s by the abstract definition floating around here. When Brandin Cooks was here Pat’s fans were complaining that he was too small and wasn’t good enough, now in Houston he’s a #1.

Seems a #1 is anyone but whoever the Pats have. If slot receivers are allowed this designation Meyers is a #1, guy gets open at will.

Mac was a rookie last year, he played well as a rookie but he played like a rookie. It wasn’t his weapons holding him back. Cart/Horse
Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes a future halll of fame QB.

Brown and Edelman had Tom Brady the goat

Mac isn’t anywhere near as talented as these two..mac needs weapons to succeed
 

PatsFanInVa

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Like everything else - depends. What else is already there? What's available? QB remains the single variable that is basically inarguable - while a team game, that position historically is the one position where if a team has it even somewhat right across the rest of the squad the winning percentage goes up. (yes, there are Trent Dilfer and even Matt Stafford exceptions, but by and large...)

After that for me it becomes more position groups than individuals - the OL...the DBs...etc because even if you're singly strong with a superstar if there's one weak link (most) other teams exploit it.

I've never said I'm "anti" WR. I'm just anti "WR fixes everything" - its an obsession position these days. It's like saying a driver fixes a golfer. Sure, almost anyone can hit today's drivers a long, long way, and some people can even look somewhat good hitting them, but it doesn't mean anything if you don't have a good short game, putting, not to mention hips, shoulders, hand eye coordination, wrists, etc.

For Mac would a Hill or Diggs cure his "yips" where he rushes his throws with bad mechanics and tunnel visions others? I don't think so because it's the poor OL play that was causal to him having fear of getting crushed by a hit. A WR MIGHT be able to defray a little of that, but not against even a competent DC who is going to ensure that star WR is double covered most plays exploiting that bad OL.
I hear you on the childishness of balling up one's fists and crying that someone else has better toys. Maybe it's not time to buy him yet more toys, or to cry that the green mega man is better than the red mega man, until he's getting more out of the toys he's got.

I mean, it seems like the lament is oh boo hoo he is so inherently great if you gave him a "true number 1" the league would be powerless against Mac Jones.

When I was trying to figure out wtf was going on with Parker (starting with pittsburgh, and starting with the minkah fitzpatrick interception,) you know what I saw? That throw was wrong. Why? Here's an announcer saying that somebody -- sounds like he means Parker -- doensn't see or feel the two deep safeties... but Parker didn't throw the ball ... Maybe he wants him to be traveling back TO the ball to become a DB? Or maybe he (I hope) meant that Mac didn't see/feel the two deep coverage.



The play is consistent with a guy not throwing as far as he had to. Or maybe we mean that he saw where Parker was, rather than should have been, and took something off this ball so Parker would have a shot at it? Because it seems to me like this ball would have been behind him anyway.

Let's imagine this play going right - Mac "throws him open" either down the middle of the field or off to the right, either way, behind the safeties. If anything that ball needs to be way further downfield to be somewhere only Parker can get it.

My question is, is the problem here that this throw is in the playbook, but Mac Jones can't make it, at least not without that extra quarter second to really load up rather than "flick" the ball once his feet are down because, inexplicably, he believes there is a hop necessary in his footwork here? He throws it okay from his own 35 to the opposing 30, so that's a good 35 yards in the air. Only problem I see is that it needed to be 40-45 yards in the air. Then Parker would have a shot at that ball.

After that, no "let's take a shot" passes to parker until a little before the 9:00 mark in this video, and same problem, unless I'm just blind... of course I'm only seeing the play as it unfolded, not where everybody would be if there's a ball in front of Parker that he can try to grab.



What's really evident in this same video is all the underneath stuff to Meyers, and god love him for it. Meyers is going to find that place every play where somehow there are 5 guy all around him but somehow he has the Jakobi Meyers warp bubble around him that creates 5-10 yards from any other body on the field. No wonder Mac loves to work with him.

Then even the Agholor catch at about 3:00 in in the above video, again, that's about 40 yards in the air, and that and placement is enough where Agholor can come down with the ball (though there's some opportunity for the DB too.)

This is a whole lot of blather to say, Mac and Parker aren't on the same page, AND those 35-40 yard throws seem not to be a simple matter for Jones. I wouldn't hold out hope for instant death from above 60 yards downfield. I'm not defending Parker, more holding out hope that they reach some magical mind-meld, because Parker's main problem on those throws is more that Mac doesn't throw the ball far enough to use his speed. PS I don't want to cherry-pick... any other Parker plays in the Pittsburgh game where he's even doing anything downfield?

I think we got Mac a stable he can use, and we're expecting him to get some short and medium stuff and not lose the game. And when his big splashy 400 yard, "Damn" game happens, I'll be thrilled for the coming out party.

But until then, I don't think "Wah we don't have a true number 1 for our true number 16 or so QB to make into a true number 2" makes much sense. And I love Mac, this is just what he's looking like in this game. He can move the offense and play not mistake-free, but not mistake-full. He can take the pressure off a great run game, and he can keep pace with well-contained offenses. He's not the key to all things Patriots, he's part of a team that requires a good D and running attack.
 

PatsFanInVa

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Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes a future halll of fame QB.

Brown and Edelman had Tom Brady the goat

Mac isn’t anywhere near as talented as these two..mac needs weapons to succeed
How's it going to help him to get him more guys to get open further downfield than he can throw?
 

NG Pats Fan

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
I hear you on the childishness of balling up one's fists and crying that someone else has better toys. Maybe it's not time to buy him yet more toys, or to cry that the green mega man is better than the red mega man, until he's getting more out of the toys he's got.

I mean, it seems like the lament is oh boo hoo he is so inherently great if you gave him a "true number 1" the league would be powerless against Mac Jones.

When I was trying to figure out wtf was going on with Parker (starting with pittsburgh, and starting with the minkah fitzpatrick interception,) you know what I saw? That throw was wrong. Why? Here's an announcer saying that somebody -- sounds like he means Parker -- doensn't see or feel the two deep safeties... but Parker didn't throw the ball ... Maybe he wants him to be traveling back TO the ball to become a DB? Or maybe he (I hope) meant that Mac didn't see/feel the two deep coverage.



The play is consistent with a guy not throwing as far as he had to. Or maybe we mean that he saw where Parker was, rather than should have been, and took something off this ball so Parker would have a shot at it? Because it seems to me like this ball would have been behind him anyway.

Let's imagine this play going right - Mac "throws him open" either down the middle of the field or off to the right, either way, behind the safeties. If anything that ball needs to be way further downfield to be somewhere only Parker can get it.

My question is, is the problem here that this throw is in the playbook, but Mac Jones can't make it, at least not without that extra quarter second to really load up rather than "flick" the ball once his feet are down because, inexplicably, he believes there is a hop necessary in his footwork here? He throws it okay from his own 35 to the opposing 30, so that's a good 35 yards in the air. Only problem I see is that it needed to be 40-45 yards in the air. Then Parker would have a shot at that ball.

After that, no "let's take a shot" passes to parker until a little before the 9:00 mark in this video, and same problem, unless I'm just blind... of course I'm only seeing the play as it unfolded, not where everybody would be if there's a ball in front of Parker that he can try to grab.



What's really evident in this same video is all the underneath stuff to Meyers, and god love him for it. Meyers is going to find that place every play where somehow there are 5 guy all around him but somehow he has the Jakobi Meyers warp bubble around him that creates 5-10 yards from any other body on the field. No wonder Mac loves to work with him.

Then even the Agholor catch at about 3:00 in in the above video, again, that's about 40 yards in the air, and that and placement is enough where Agholor can come down with the ball (though there's some opportunity for the DB too.)

This is a whole lot of blather to say, Mac and Parker aren't on the same page, AND those 35-40 yard throws seem not to be a simple matter for Jones. I wouldn't hold out hope for instant death from above 60 yards downfield. I'm not defending Parker, more holding out hope that they reach some magical mind-meld, because Parker's main problem on those throws is more that Mac doesn't throw the ball far enough to use his speed. PS I don't want to cherry-pick... any other Parker plays in the Pittsburgh game where he's even doing anything downfield?

I think we got Mac a stable he can use, and we're expecting him to get some short and medium stuff and not lose the game. And when his big splashy 400 yard, "Damn" game happens, I'll be thrilled for the coming out party.

But until then, I don't think "Wah we don't have a true number 1 for our true number 16 or so QB to make into a true number 2" makes much sense. And I love Mac, this is just what he's looking like in this game. He can move the offense and play not mistake-free, but not mistake-full. He can take the pressure off a great run game, and he can keep pace with well-contained offenses. He's not the key to all things Patriots, he's part of a team that requires a good D and running attack.

Someone else has better toys because we always swing and miss at high WR selections and pass up on better college talent
 

PatsFanInVa

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Here's Mac hitting Bourne after Bourne fakes the drawers off a Dallas DB... I went looking for this from last year, because it was a 75 yard pass play, and I wanted to see if I changed my mind about Mac's range...



yeahhhhh so he throws from his 15, it gets caught at the Dallas 45 then it's a catch-and-run. This isn't that different from most of the "long" Brady passes IIRC - but when Brady needed 60 in the air, he could do it... e.g., the busted gadget play here.



So, no, I would not want to be compared vs. Brady in his prime either. But let's realize what that means. Give him a "True number 1" and he's got to be the best lil Mac Jones he can be to keep him a "true number 1," as of right now. If you weren't here in 2001, you better ask somebody, as Snoop's beer commercial says... you can grow into that status too, if you didn't come down the chute with that arm strength.
 

Wozzy

In the Starting Line-Up
Kelce. Plus we're talking about Patriots Mahomes here. One of the most talented quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. There are a few quarterbacks in the league who generally will win 10-13 games in any given season with an adequate supporting cast.
Kelce isn't a WR... even if he does next to no blocking. The Rams won that ^ many games annually with Jared Goff, if the team is good enough they'll win that many games. Deshaun Watson led the NFL in passing in 2020, Brees led the NFL in passing in 2016 and both of their teams had losing records and missed the playoffs. These were some of the best QB's in the game, top five easily. You need good QB play the same way you need good O-Line play, weapons play, defensive line play, linebacker play, DB play and special teams play... team is why organizations win.
If you ranked all of the true WR1s in the NFL then Cooks would be near the bottom of the tier because of his limitations. However, he's a 1000-yard receiver for 4 different teams and he's hauled in just enough TDs to be considered a WR1.
Thanks for making my point. There is no clear definition of what a "#1 WR" consists of... and sorry, but "you'll know it when you see it" is vague nonsense. Devante Parker put up #1 WR stats in 2019, on the Patriots in 2022 he sucks apparently. If a player can do it once then they can do it again assuming health and the team is around them. Even Randy Moss couldn't spin straw into gold on the 2006 Raiders... they sucked, he didn't.
Troy Brown had one WR1ish season in his entire career... he doesn't qualify. Overall Edelman just doesn't have the numbers of an WR1. However, given his production from the slot when healthy you could argue he's a 1b. Also, don't forget who their quarterback was when they were at their best. QB1 makes a big difference.
This is popularity contest 101. And none of it changes the fact that these guys ^ won rings as their teams #1 according to the depth chart. Randy Moss, Julio Jones, Deandre Hopkins, Calvin Johnson... these guys have zero rings on their fingers.
If he "gets open at will" then he should have much better numbers. Explain how it is that a WR1 only has 2 TDs in 267 targets. Meyers has worked his way into the decent slot WR conversation but he's nowhere close to a true WR1... the overall production isn't nearly close enough.
Meyers is tied for the 8th most receptions in the league. He isn't an explosive player, he isn't really fast and that's why he doesn't rack up huge yardage totals or score a lot of "to the house" TD's. But getting open... he does that exceptionally well.

A team's offense is more dangerous spreading the ball around, throwing to the open man and having a plethora of weapons that can hurt opponents, rather than one super weapon. That's where a team like the Patriots hopes lay offensively. Depth of talent. There's also the possibility Parker or Thornton can develop into having #1 type numbers if the offense can get their proverbial head out of their keister.
 

jdlboot14

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
I strongly believe you don't need a top #1WR to succeed. Pats didn't for any of their SB's. When they had one, they killed it in the stats, but lost the SB. We have 3 good #2's (Meyers, Bourne, Agholor) and should be able to win with those guys. In fact, Agholor has appeared more of a #1 this year with how they're using him. But Meyers is the possession receiver that has the trust from the QB in must-have moments. If they can play Bourne more instead of Parker, we'll be better.
 


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