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Old 02-19-2014, 01:52 PM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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More metrics. This time TEs.

Keep in mind, this is just for discussion purposes.

These metrics are limited, but they can be revealing. They are not and should not be be-all-end-alls.

http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/cf...hek-te-metrics

TE Metrics
Greg Peshek
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

This tight end class boasts a number of extremely productive players which makes analysis of their receiving targets very interesting. However, each player examined here was successful in a unique way which is what actually makes them worth analyzing. In this piece, I broke them down only by their receiving targets but added in a few metrics that would separate this from past wide receiver columns.

All the targets were hand charted by me from every game of these players. If you’re missing your favorite TE such as C.J. Fiedorowicz or Xavier Grimble - it’s because their receptions were so limited that a good sample size wasn’t possible. In the piece, Austin Seferian-Jenkins will be referred to in the charts as ASJ.

Where Did They Catch the Ball?

The table below represents the percentage of catches in each zone, it is color-coded so that an above-average number of receptions is greener and a below-average number is redder.



- The distribution of Amaro’s catches really represents what we see on tape – that is, a high number of throws underneath to get him in a position to gain yards after the catch. In that sense, he wasn’t the traditional seam threat you might expect for a taller TE.

- Ebron and Niklas represent the more traditional threats down the field you’d think of from a TE. Both caught a higher than average percentage of their receptions in the intermediate zones. Niklas in particular caught 71.9% of completions in the 6-20 yard range.

- Most peculiar is that Seferian-Jenkins was used as a screen threat on 25% of his receptions. Per the charts, he did an excellent job catching balls down the field – but we’ll see that he’s certainly not a YAC threat. The amount of screens he was used on is a bit baffling.

- Richard Rodgers was the most limited of the 5, catching half of his passes in the short zone and failing to tally a screen or pass deeper than 20 yards.

What Did They Do After They Caught It?




- For Niklas, this is really a reinforcement of his ability as a seam threat. Although many will tag him with the ‘blocking TE’ label, he caught the ball further downfield than any Tight End in this class. Considering his size, averaging 6.4 yards after the catch is a feat certainly worthy of praise.

- As a bit of a TE/WR hybrid, we’d expect good YAC numbers from Richard Rodgers, but not necessarily as high as 8.17 yards after the catch.

- Noted earlier, Seferian-Jenkins is never going to break any records for yards after the catch. He just doesn’t have the ability to accelerate and get up field which is why he averaged a group low 3.4 yards after the catch. He did however catch the ball 8.8 yards from the LOS showing an ability to stretch the field.

- You’ll note that Eric Ebron’s metrics in this category look similar to Richard Rodgers. Where Rodgers caught the ball slightly further down the field and averaged less YAC, Ebron leads the class with 8.84 yards after the catch. That’s a number that rivals top WRs in the class like Mike Evans and Allen Robinson.

- Jace Amaro averaged a respectable 5.82 yards after the catch due in large part to a number of short passes. Both Ebron and Amaro caught the ball 6.9 yards down the field, but did so in different ways. Ebron’s average is comprised largely of screens and intermediate passes, while Amaro’s comes from a litany of quick comebacks and crossing routes.

- Theoretically, a TE’s strength and size should separate them from a bigger WR. That should lead to the ability to generate yards after contact when running with the ball. Here are the yards after contact for this group:

Niklas: 3.63
Rodgers: 3.31
ASJ: 1.69
Ebron: 3.5
Amaro: 2.96

Where Did They Line Up?

Where a TE aligns pre-snap is currently a hot topic and will continue to be as offenses spread out. Does a TE have the ability to put his hand in the dirt, is he always in the slot, how versatile is he? The chart below represents their alignment pre-snap on the totality of their targets.



- Amaro represents the TE we’re most likely to think of as an over-sized slot receiver. He still lined up for 11.8% of his targets on the offensive line, but spent an overwhelming majority of his time in the slot.

- With a bit more versatility, 21.7% of Ebron’s targets came in-line. He also has experience on the outside of the formation where 6.5% of his total targets came.

- Seferian-Jenkins by far showed the most experience in different alignments. 47% of his targets came after lining up with his hand in the dirt, while another 40% were a result of either starting in the slot or outside.

- Representing the more ‘traditional’ TE, Troy Niklas started alongside the offensive line 71% of the time. Compared to his fellow TEs who all had significant experience in the slot, Niklas only saw 13.7% of his targets come from the slot. This may make it all the more impressive that Niklas was able to get so many receptions deep down the field.

How Are Their Hands?

As the convergence of TEs and WRs continues, drop rate becomes a much more important metric to analyze in regard to these players. Tight ends will often have higher drop rates than wide receivers, so we’ll be less harsh on them. However, if a TE is being marketed as a ‘receiving’ player, you can’t always cut them slack for drops.



- Amaro’s drop rate of 7.7% is about average for a receiving TE. If we were talking about a receiver, we’d be getting into concerning territory – but again TEs get cut a bit of slack.

- Here’s Ebron’s dirty little secret – his hands just aren’t as good as some make them out to be. He made some nice one-handed grabs, but he also has a 11.43% drop rate which is not something to be overlooked.

- Seferian-Jenkins is in wide receiver territory here, only dropping 5.4% of his total targets. Nothing to worry about with his hands.

- Right in the middle between safe and danger territory is Troy Niklas who dropped 8.57% of his catchable targets. Unlike players like Amaro and Ebron, his targets were limited and this number was more easily skewed by a few drops.

That’s all I have for now. I’ll answer any questions and tweet out additional info such as red zone target percentage and more on Twitter @NU_Gap. Thanks for reading.
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:52 PM   #2
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Greg Peshek ‏@NU_Gap 4h

Best stat I left out...34.3% of Seferian-Jenkins' receptions came in the red zone compared to an average of 10% for the rest
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:54 PM   #3
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Pretty weird, Ebron's drop rate.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:51 PM   #4
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ASJ ALL DAY
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:53 PM   #5
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ASJ ALL DAY
Guy is perfect for our offense.

Just tune up some of the route-running, and he's perfect.

Legit 1st round pick for us, if we actually did it.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:55 PM   #6
Dante84 Dante84 is offline
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Ideal first round is for us to move backwards, and get ASJ.

If we stay at 23, I want Beckham.
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:49 PM   #7
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Ideal first round is for us to move backwards, and get ASJ.

If we stay at 23, I want Beckham.
Really good stuff Direckshun!!!! There are some really compelling arguments that can be made for a couple of the TE's. Ebron has been my choice for a while but I never would've imagined he had such a high drop rate. A good case could be made for Nicklas.

I second Dante's choice of Beckham at 23 if we stay put. He is a playmaker and we need more of those.
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:08 PM   #8
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Gah, I was gonna go all in on Ebron because he was the highest rated in that intermediate 11-20 yard range, which is where Smith makes his best hay, then I scrolled down to that drop percentage...

Yet his YAC is excellent, so I'm kinda torn... ASJ is definitely the most well rounded AND he's a redzone machine, no one else is even close.

All things considered guess I'll have to join the ASJ chorus.
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:13 PM   #9
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I really think Richard Rodgers is going to be a good NFL receiving TE. Ebron is very similar to VD coming out, both needed work with their hands. ASJ is just too much of a lumberer for me; maybe if he dropped 20 pounds to get some burst in him but he's a build-up speed kind of guy. He won't create separation with his route running due to a lack of quickness.
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:46 PM   #10
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So ASJ is something of a long strider? I don't like those kinda players, need to get to speed quickly in the NFL... so many talents at TE this year and I'm torn... stop complicating my thoughts OldSchool!
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:12 PM   #11
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So ASJ is something of a long strider? I don't like those kinda players, need to get to speed quickly in the NFL... so many talents at TE this year and I'm torn... stop complicating my thoughts OldSchool!
He's a build-up speed kind of guy, which is why his YAC is the lowest out of the group. He also has the lowest yards after contact despite being one of the biggest TEs. He's not explosive but is fluid when going up for the ball and has a large catch radius. IMO, there isn't much different, from a physical standpoint, between him and CJ.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:39 PM   #12
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Alex loves safe. ASJ is safe. He will move the ball and get first downs. He will also get redzone TD's.

He won't blast 70 yard TD's, and we don't need him to for our offense.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:40 PM   #13
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Tony G isn't a huge speedster-burst kinda guy, and he did alright.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:56 PM   #14
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Alex loves safe. ASJ is safe. He will move the ball and get first downs. He will also get redzone TD's.

He won't blast 70 yard TD's, and we don't need him to for our offense.
What he loves even more are guys who can get that half second separation where he can make the safer throw ala Vernon Davis, Ebron fits that mold of "huge receiver"... ASJ is starting to sound like a "chuck it up dawg" player.

And from a personal perspective, I prefer that kind of fast and twitchy player as well... its why a combo like Bruce and Holt ruled for so long, you KNEW those guys were gonna get open for that crucial half second... precision routes + speed = Win.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:24 PM   #15
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What he loves even more are guys who can get that half second separation where he can make the safer throw ala Vernon Davis, Ebron fits that mold of "huge receiver"... ASJ is starting to sound like a "chuck it up dawg" player.

And from a personal perspective, I prefer that kind of fast and twitchy player as well... its why a combo like Bruce and Holt ruled for so long, you KNEW those guys were gonna get open for that crucial half second... precision routes + speed = Win.
Interesting, good way to look at the word "safe."

Alex hates to throw risky or low percentage passes, or in other words, unsafe passes. The term safe can mean a few different things, then:

- It can mean throwing to a person who will catch it a high percentage of the time, thus reducing tipped ball interceptions or sloppy incompletions. (see: Bowe, Fasano, McGrath = 202 targets of 546 total targets = 37% of Alex's passes) .... yes, I know Bowe has key drops but he also makes the catch most of the time.

- It can mean throwing to a person who is in space... meaning, a low-risk area for the defense to cover and thus an open, safe area for Alex to throw to (the flats, screens, behind the LOS). (see: Jamaal, Knile, Sherman = 143/546 = 26% of Alex's targets)

- It can mean throwing to a person who has the ability to create space, to limit the risk of interception or the pass being defensed. (Avery, McCluster = 153/546 = 28% of Alex's targets).

It would be a good exercise to see how many "SAFE" throws he had, and of these "SAFE" throws, what "TYPE" of safe they were - Separation safe, Area of Field safe, and Good Hands safe.

It's important for him to have all 3 types, but it would be cool to see what he prefers and then find him those guys.
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Last edited by Dante84; 02-19-2014 at 10:32 PM..
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