NFL 2012 Receiving Corps Power Rankings

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Rob0729

PatsFans.com Supporter
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Hayes and Johnson have not admitted that. You're taking what's been said and extrapolating from it. Again, there is not one instance of a receiver being good before coming to the Patriots, "struggling with the playbook" in New England, and then moving on elsewhere and becoming good again. There are, however, instance of players who improved significantly upon arriving in New England. Do we just assume that was because the playbook was so easy that they had an extra jump on the opposition?

Of course not.



The bottom line is that not once has it happened because of the playbook, despite your claim that the playbook has been a barrier.

First, Donald hayes absolute admitted almost 3/4 the way through the season that he was still struggling with the playbook which led to a lot of talk around town whether he was dumber for not grasping the playbook or admitting that he couldn't to the press. I couldn't find his quote, but I did find a quote from Scott Pioli admitting he was too dumb for the Pats' system:

“We had hits and misses, even in free agency,” said former Patriots GM Scott Pioli. “Donald Hayes, I blew that one. No offense to Donald. What it is, it’s difficult sometimes to see a player in a different system. And depending on how complicated or how the challenges of your offense ... there’s the mental part. There’s some guys that can get by purely on athletic ability and skill and make a difference in college. As those players become pro players, and other people around them improve, sometimes it becomes difficult. Some of that becomes the mental part of the game.”

patriots - When it comes to wide receiver, Patriots are at a crossroads - WEEI | Christopher Price

So right there is your proof. Pioli admitted he was wrong to sign Hayes because he couldn't pick up the Pats' system and playbook.

I also found this article from 2003 on this site although it doesn't have the quote, it does say Hayes admitted to not knowing the playbook:

After a promising start against Pittsburgh, Hayes sank deep into an abyss in which he admitted he wasn't learning the Patriot playbook.

More Doesn't Always Mean Better

As for Ocho, it was more subtile. But everyone know that he was struggling with the playbook and clearly didn't know where to line up in the Super Bowl on the two minute drill.

Ok, I am out for the day.
 
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BSR

In the Starting Line-Up
By NFL definitions, the only positions that are part of the "receiving corp" are WRs and TEs. This is the way it has been since the beginning of the NFL. I don't get why people don't get that. What is considered the "receiving corp" in football is a position not a function. A RB can be a receiver, but by the strict definition of a receiving corp, he is never part of it.

This is nonsense. There is no such definition and to prove it here is a video made by NFL films ranking the top 10 "Receiving Corps" of all time. #4 was the 49ers and Roger Craig is featured prominently in the video. NFL Videos: Top Ten Receiving Corps: 80's 49ers

As for saying Sproles is not the norm, of course he isn't. He is easily the best all purpose back in the league right now. But how many catches does a RB have to have to be considered part of the receiving corp? One? 50? 30? 10? If you say 30 is the cut off, does that mean a RB who catches 29 balls isn't considered part of the receiving corp. Basically, either RBs as a whole are part of the receiving corp or they aren't. When you start saying Sproles is and say Ridley isn't, you just start to put an arbitrary value on what is considered an receiving corp.

Its no different then including WR or TEs that hardly catch the ball. There were plenty of both on the list that will have little to no impact in the receiving game and can be valued as such.
 

Deus Irae

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First, Donald hayes absolute admitted almost 3/4 the way through the season that he was still struggling with the playbook which led to a lot of talk around town whether he was dumber for not grasping the playbook or admitting that he couldn't to the press. I couldn't find his quote, but I did find a quote from Scott Pioli admitting he was too dumb for the Pats' system:



patriots - When it comes to wide receiver, Patriots are at a crossroads - WEEI | Christopher Price

So right there is your proof. Pioli admitted he was wrong to sign Hayes because he couldn't pick up the Pats' system and playbook.

I also found this article from 2003 on this site although it doesn't have the quote, it does say Hayes admitted to not knowing the playbook:



More Doesn't Always Mean Better

As for Ocho, it was more subtile. But everyone know that he was struggling with the playbook and clearly didn't know where to line up in the Super Bowl on the two minute drill.

Ok, I am out for the day.

Hayes was cooked. He was done. I'm not sure how you keep missing the obvious here. Again, not one receiver has come to the Patriots while playing well elsewhere, failed in NE because of playbook issues, and gone on to play well elsewhere.

In other words, there's no evidence, at all, that playbook has been a barrier in NE for a guy who was still able to make it at a decent level in the NFL. If Johnson works out in Miami, he'll be the first example, and even he'll come with a caveat, since we now have reports that he struggled with the playbook even in Cincinnati.
 
Where are you getting this definition for receiving corps? RBs are eligible receivers and have specific routes they need to run in passing downs. There is no sensible reason to exclude them from the receiving corp, especially those RBs like Sproles which are an equal receiving threat and running threat. Sproles had the 7th most catches in the league last year and more then any TE not named Gronk. It makes absolutely zero sense to exclude them.

And you wouldn't consider WR's blocking when assessing an oline but it would be pretty stupid to not consider them or the TE when assessing a team's overall ability to run block.

Where did I get the "definition"?:confused:

Did you READ the article?

Let's walk through this together.

The author writes an article with a point, an objective- evaluating the "receiving corps".

Based on READING the article, the author bases his evaluation of the "receiving corps" on the WR's and TE's.

Big Vince has dropped into coverage, are you now going to include him in an evaluation and ranking of "the secondary"?

Should an evaluation of an offensive line include how well WR's block?

"Receiving corps"......."pass offense"....
"Secondary"......"pass defense".......

Why should RB's be excluded from this?

The author doesn't include them in this article.
The thread is about the author's article.

As with so many threads, a simple topic gets sidetracked by a prominent member of the numbnuts clan.

When is including RB's in the "receiving corps" appropriate?

When an author writes an article ranking the "receiving corps" and included RB's and someone posts said article at patsfans.com for discussion.
 

NSPF

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
Where did I get the "definition"?:confused:

Did you READ the article?

Let's walk through this together.

The author writes an article with a point, an objective- evaluating the "receiving corps".

Based on READING the article, the author bases his evaluation of the "receiving corps" on the WR's and TE's.

Big Vince has dropped into coverage, are you now going to include him in an evaluation and ranking of "the secondary"?

Should an evaluation of an offensive line include how well WR's block?

"Receiving corps"......."pass offense"....
"Secondary"......"pass defense".......

Why should RB's be excluded from this?

The author doesn't include them in this article.
The thread is about the author's article.

As with so many threads, a simple topic gets sidetracked by a prominent member of the numbnuts clan.

When is including RB's in the "receiving corps" appropriate?

When an author writes an article ranking the "receiving corps" and included RB's and someone posts said article at patsfans.com for discussion.

Well explained.

And to comment on the actual topic of the article, and not some other topic that some poster thinks the article SHOULD have been about, I think with the loss of Meachem the Pat's WR/TE group is arguably the best in the game, even if Lloyd doesn't pan out as well as hoped.

Welker/Gronk/Hern is definitely at least on par with Colston/Graham/Moore. Then you're left with Lloyd/Gaffney/Branch/Stallworth vs. Henderson/Thomas/Morgan. Between the two lower tier groups, the Saints won't be more than marginally better, and could end up being much worse if Lloyd and Gaffney turn out as well as we hope.

So overall, it's probably a push, but as a Pat's homer I'll take the Pats group. :D
 

BSR

In the Starting Line-Up
Where did I get the "definition"?:confused:

Did you READ the article?

Let's walk through this together.

The author writes an article with a point, an objective- evaluating the "receiving corps".

Based on READING the article, the author bases his evaluation of the "receiving corps" on the WR's and TE's.

Big Vince has dropped into coverage, are you now going to include him in an evaluation and ranking of "the secondary"?

Should an evaluation of an offensive line include how well WR's block?

"Receiving corps"......."pass offense"....
"Secondary"......"pass defense".......

Why should RB's be excluded from this?

The author doesn't include them in this article.
The thread is about the author's article.

As with so many threads, a simple topic gets sidetracked by a prominent member of the numbnuts clan.

When is including RB's in the "receiving corps" appropriate?

When an author writes an article ranking the "receiving corps" and included RB's and someone posts said article at patsfans.com for discussion.

From the article which apparently YOU didn't even bother to read:

"The Saints also have the NFL’s premier receiving back in Darren Sproles, who finished second on the team in receptions to Graham."

So apparently the article did include RBs in the discussion.
 

Ring 6

PatsFans.com Wall of Fame Member
First, Donald hayes absolute admitted almost 3/4 the way through the season that he was still struggling with the playbook which led to a lot of talk around town whether he was dumber for not grasping the playbook or admitting that he couldn't to the press. I couldn't find his quote, but I did find a quote from Scott Pioli admitting he was too dumb for the Pats' system:



patriots - When it comes to wide receiver, Patriots are at a crossroads - WEEI | Christopher Price

So right there is your proof. Pioli admitted he was wrong to sign Hayes because he couldn't pick up the Pats' system and playbook.

I also found this article from 2003 on this site although it doesn't have the quote, it does say Hayes admitted to not knowing the playbook:



More Doesn't Always Mean Better

As for Ocho, it was more subtile. But everyone know that he was struggling with the playbook and clearly didn't know where to line up in the Super Bowl on the two minute drill.

Ok, I am out for the day.

Hayes stunk whether he knew the playbook or not. Bad example.
 

MaineMan

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Seems to me that this debate over who's a "receiver" or not comes down to whether or not one prefers to use the arbitrary positional distinction of the author. Personally, for years I've preferred "pass-catcher" as including any position that regularly runs routes and catches since, in terms of usage it appears to be more reflective of the reality of modern passing attacks.

In 2011, the average positional breakdown of receptions for the top ten (by yardage) passing attacks went as follows (and this includes the hybrid FB/TE or H-back position as TE):

WR - 54%
TE - 25% (23% if one doesn't include the "outlier" Patriots - see below)
RB/FB - 21% (23% if one doesn't include the "outlier" Patriots - see below)

So, wrt my personal preference, the author is omitting 21% of receptions, nearly as high a percentage as those for TE, which he chose to include.

Other statistical highlights (for the leading passing attacks, overall rankings noted):

* The leader in RB receptions was (#6) San Diego with 34%, followed closely by (#1) NOL with 33%, with the (#5) Giants a distant 3rd at 25%. Lowest RB reception percentage was (no surprise) the (#2) Pats at 9% with PIT next at 14%.

* The leader in TE receptions was (Duh!) the Pats at 42%. Next closest was (#7) DAL at 30%. The low end was the Giants at 15% and GBY at 18%.

* The leader in "actual WR" reception percentage was (#10) PIT at 66%, followed by (#3) GBY at 63% and (#9) Philly at 62%. San Diego was the lowest at 40% with the NOL at 44% and the Pats at 49%.

Of course, this is just the "top ten." Spot-checking some of the lesser passing attacks yielded the following RB reception percentages:

#15 BUF - 24%

#19 BAL - 33%

#31 DEN - 25% (#32 in total receptions)
#32 JAX - 26%

Also, 5 of the top 11 pass-catchers in terms of YAC last season were RBs.
 

Rob0729

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PatsFans.com Supporter
We can go around and around on this subject forever. Bottom line is that the Pats have five receivers on the roster who had over 900 yards receiving last year with two of them being over 1,300 yards and one being over 1,500 yards. Every receiver on the roster be it TE or WR have had proven success to varying degrees in this system and only Lloyd has never caught a pass in a game by Tom Brady. Brees and Brady put up similar numbers last year although Brees was better.

Those facts alone are good enough to make the argument for the Pats' receiver whether you include RBs or not. I can see an argument either way. But I can't see how anyone can say that there is absolutely no way you can argue for one or the other being the best even if you include the RBs.

All this other stuff is whooey. Ochocinco comparisons are a little silly because Ocho was an unknown on how he would fit into the Pats' system coming to the Pats while Lloyd, Gaffney, and Stallworth are proven commodities in Josh McDaniels' offense. A more accurate comparison for those three would be Deion Branch when he came back in 2010 after being gone for 4 years. And unlike at least Lloyd and Gaffney, Branch was on the decline when he came to the Pats and reinjuvinated his career at least for one year.

But if we want to use the unknown of the additions of the WRs this offseason, we cannot overlook the things that the Saints will be dealing with this season including a potential training camp hold out of Brees, the loss of Meachum, and the year long suspension of Sean Payton (everyone says Payton is the brains of the offensive philosophy and signal caller). All of those things could have a negative impact on the receiving corp of the Saints this season.

Bottom line is when you are doing these lists you are taking past history and making projections based on past performance. There are a lot of unknowns for every team in this. You have to make assumptions based on past performance and how you predict the year playing out.
 
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MaineMan

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
We can go around and around on this subject forever. Bottom line is that the Pats have five receivers on the roster who had over 900 yards receiving last year with two of them being over 1,300 yards and one being over 1,500 yards. Every receiver on the roster be it TE or WR have had proven success to varying degrees in this system and only Lloyd has never caught a pass in a game by Tom Brady. Brees and Brady put up similar numbers last year although Brees was better.

Those facts alone are good enough to make the argument for the Pats' receiver whether you include RBs or not. I can see an argument either way. But I can't see how anyone can say that there is absolutely no way you can argue for one or the other being the best even if you include the RBs.

All this other stuff is whooey. Ochocinco comparisons are a little silly because Ocho was an unknown on how he would fit into the Pats' system coming to the Pats while Lloyd, Gaffney, and Stallworth are proven commodities in Josh McDaniels' offense. A more accurate comparison for those three would be Deion Branch when he came back in 2010 after being gone for 4 years. And unlike at least Lloyd and Gaffney, Branch was on the decline when he came to the Pats and reinjuvinated his career at least for one year.

But if we want to use the unknown of the additions of the WRs this offseason, we cannot overlook the things that the Saints will be dealing with this season including a potential training camp hold out of Brees, the loss of Meachum, and the year long suspension of Sean Payton (everyone says Payton is the brains of the offensive philosophy and signal caller). All of those things could have a negative impact on the receiving corp of the Saints this season.

Bottom line is when you are doing these lists you are taking past history and making projections based on past performance. There are a lot of unknowns for every team in this. You have to make assumptions based on past performance and how you predict the year playing out.

While I realize that your response above actually addresses a few previous posts, I just wanted to be clear that I was exclusively questioning the original author's omission of RBs among the "receivers" while including TEs - NOT his conclusions (or yours) about which team has the "best" receiving corps.

I'm not a fan of "best" lists - they're pretty much arbitrary and superficial analysis designed to generate controversy (like this one) and click-through for ad revenue. During the 2009 season, there were several posters on the Walterfootball board who adamantly refused to include Welker among the "best" WRs since he was "only a slot guy" and not a "real" WR.

So, I agree entirely with your "bottom line". How "good" are all the Saints pass-catchers (even including the RBs) without Payton calling the shots. How "good" would they be without Brees, for that matter? How much "better" might Ocho be in the Fins offense, or Tate in the Bengals offense? How much better might the Rams receiving corps look in 2012 if Bradford gets an OL that can actually, you know, pass-block? What were most analysts saying about that Pats receiving corps - particularly about Welker and Moss - before the start of the 2007 season?
 

TommyBrady12

Hall of Fame Poster
I wish those ranking were true. Maybe they will be by the end of the year.


There's no way I'd put the Patriots above the Saints or Packers right now, though, just to look at the next two teams on the list.

Patriots and Packers should be tied for 1st. The Packers have better receivers overall, but the patriots have better TEs. The author makes a good point about the Saints losing Robert meachem. They really don't have much at WR other than Colston and Lance Moore.
 

Rob0729

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
Just for the record, Ochocinco admitted to the Dolphins staff that he couldn't get the playbook according to Greg Bedard. From his piece in today's Globe:

Bill Parcells had a lot of sayings during his NFL career. One that applies to one of his old clubs is, “Now we know. Now you know.’’

That’s the situation the Dolphins find themselves in with two former Patriots, receiver Chad Ochocinco and linebacker Gary Guyton.

Parcells would use that phrase when a player was trying to overcome something from his past - something the team was well aware of, and watching for a repeat failure.

In the case of Ochocinco, it was his failure to grasp the playbook and scheme of the Patriots. According to a team source, Ochocinco copped to that when he met with the Dolphins.

“The guy did all but admit that it was a struggle for him mentally, the playbook, all that stuff,’’ the source said. “He didn’t deny that it was a problem for him, learning it up there.’’

NFL painted itself into box with bounties - Sports - The Boston Globe

Again, Deion Branch is a better comparison to guys Lloyd, Gaffney, and Stallworth because Ochocinco failed by his own admissions because he couldn't get the Pats' system or playbook.
 

IllegalContact

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
didn't go through every post, but did someone notice that the writer says that jimmy graham was a rookie?
 
From the article which apparently YOU didn't even bother to read:

"The Saints also have the NFL’s premier receiving back in Darren Sproles, who finished second on the team in receptions to Graham."

So apparently the article did include RBs in the discussion.

Ahhhhh

Ya might want to see patsfaninpittsburgh at post #35.

Just saying....

Bother to read?

BTW, the author noted Sproles acknowledging his importance in the passing game. However, since the article does not include RB's in the criteria, RB's are not included in the ranking.
 

ivanvamp

In the Starting Line-Up
And I'm not doing that. It's not as if I'm saying that we can only rate the Patriots corps in the absence of Lloyd/Gaffney/Johnson/Stallworth. I'm simply saying that we can't assume, or even fairly argue, a leap over other great receiving groups at this time.

I'm replying to your post, Deus, but this isn't really directed at you personally....it's to all of you who are trying to figure out the RB/WR/TE grouping situation.

We can parse it any way we want. If I want to rank each teams' WR corps, then I can do that. For the Pats, it means leaving Hernandez out, even though he often lines up at WR, because he's a TE. If I want to rank each teams' *receiving corps*, then I go with WR and TE, because traditionally that's how those groupings work. If, however, I want to rank each teams' receiving *weapons*, well, that's a different story. Marshall Faulk of the 2001 Rams was a ridiculous receiving weapon, but he was a RB. Matt Forte is a great receiver but he's a RB. Sproles, same thing.

So it all depends on how you frame the discussion. I don't think there's a "right" or "wrong" way to think about this.

So let's just ask this question (which seems to be what the original article was asking): Which teams' collection of WR and TE would you prefer? Forget RBs for a minute and just go with WR and TE. In that case, I think, obviously, a great case can be made for the Patriots' WR/TE group to be ranked #1. A case can also be made for New Orleans and Green Bay as well, I think. But NE has to be right in that top tier - which makes sense, given that NE has a top 3 passing attack, along with NO and GB.

If you broaden the question and ask, which set of skill players (excluding QB) would you rather have, I think it might tilt towards NO, because I would prefer their RBs to NE's, even though I really like NE's running back corps.

So it's all in how you ask the question and what you're trying to rank. In any case, one thing is for sure: if Brady stays healthy and upright, he should throw for a ridiculous number of yards and touchdowns and this offense could be epic. I don't think anyone disputes that.
 

mgteich

PatsFans.com Veteran
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So, long gone when we could say that Brady did not have the receivers, and we had a great offense with mediocre receivers (made great by playing with Brady).

Now, Brady has one of the 3 best receiving corps in the nfl. To have Gaffney as a team's #5 receiving target is truly impressive.
 

RelocatedPatFan

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
In other words, there's no evidence, at all, that playbook has been a barrier in NE for a guy who was still able to make it at a decent level in the NFL. If Johnson works out in Miami, he'll be the first example, and even he'll come with a caveat, since we now have reports that he struggled with the playbook even in Cincinnati.
There's no evidence for anything in that case, but can be implied by lots of "indirect" proof. Ocho lining up in the wrong position, not covering the tackle, ...and ultimately, not being on the team anymore.

In other words (real life example), I had a nanny/babysitter for my kids duringthe summer. Mt kids loved having her around and they never got hurt. That didn't make her a good babysitter and we ultimately fired her because half the time we saw her she was looking on her phone and not watching/interacting with the kids. She wasn't doing the job she was being paid to do well in my (wife as well) opinion.

The kids didn't get hurt because of how she handled them, they didn't hurt due to luck or the fact that they're getting better coordinated. Thus your argumeent for receiver doing better may or may not be relevant. Guys like Galloway were on their last leg and teams were hoping there was something left.

As for the playbook thing. I think some players get it and other don't and it's a tough road to teach it in. You either see the movements of defenders and have a good instinct on how to react to that or you have to really sit down and learn. I don't think ocho didn't really know what he was suppose to do, i think he had to think it through which cost him those few extra/precious hndreths or tenths of a second that invalidated him being a useful member of the receiving corps. So it's processing speed (and making sure you understand it as Brady sees it happening) that makes the biggest difference.

Remember Woodheads first or second game when he seemed to know what to do and appeared to "immediately" get his assignments?

This year we seem to have a more known element to the receiving corps with the hope that Lloyd gets it based on his assocation with McDaniels. That link will certainly allow McD to translate his system to Lloyd/Brady and you hve to be hopeful it will go well (kida like a default until proven otherwise). He doesn't have to have 1000 yards/11 TDs to provide an upgrade to last year's team.
 

Ivan

Hall of Fame Poster
I would take the Patriots WR's and Te's over the Saints and the Saints RB's over the Patriots.
 

PATSYLICIOUS

Pro Bowl Player
Agree with us being #1. I just recently thought about all this when thinking about top NFL QB's. I felt like 1-3 could be Brees, Rodgers, Brady in any order and that Brady probably had the most potent recieving corps:

Compare with Packers targets:
Welker = Jennings
Gronk > Jordy
AH > Finley
Lloyd >= Jones (equal at worst unless he's a complete bust, highly unlikely. If he plays as expected, he's better)
Gaffney = Driver (the only one I can really see the packers having the edge, but it's a slight edge and low relevance at the #5 slot)

Compare with Saints:
Welker = Graham
Gronk > Colston
AH > Moore/Sproles
Lloyd >= Henderson/Moore (if Moore, same situation as the Packer comparison to Lloyd)
Gaffney >= ??/Henderson (if Henderson, same situation as the Packer comparison to Lloyd)

Even if you include Sproles as their #3 target and move the others down a slot (would be the ones listed after the /) we still have the slight advantage IMO.
 
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patchick

Moderatrix
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I just recently thought about all this when thinking about top NFL QB's. I felt like 1-3 could be Brees, Rodgers, Brady in any order

OK, let's take a broader look at this. Everybody seems to agree that NO, GB and NE have the three best QBs, in some order. And everybody seems to agree that NO, GB and NE have the three best receiving corps, in some order.

Pure coincidence? Obviously not. Compare Darren Sproles' numbers with the Chargers vs. the Saints, for instance. But surely players like Gronkowski, Graham, Jennings et al would have been successful anywhere, no? Those three teams have done a great job of surrounding their elite quarterbacks with elite talent.

So here's a question: Last year, 3 different NFL teams compiled outrageous passing numbers. The standard response was to lay this at the feet of rules changes which have favored the offense. How much of it was that, and how much was just that in terms of talent collection, we essentially had 3 versions of the 2004 Colts?
 
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