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2016 NFL Draft Receiver Shares: Which Wide Receivers Can Carry an Offense?

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I'm not quite sure where the term "receiver share" originated, but I believe it sources from the fantasy football website RotoViz. The concept is fairly simple: what percentage of the total passing offense was the receiver of note?

For example, in the regular season games where New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman played and collected 692 receiving yards, the offense as a whole gained 3043 passing yards.

Therefore, Edelman's receiver share for 2015 was 22.7%.

This concept extends to wide receiver prospects in the draft with the goal of highlighting the wide receivers that were able to function are the main focus of their respective team's passing attack. While box score scouting should never take the place of actual game tape, the idea is that a player should be able to dominate in their offense at the collegiate level if they will be asked to perform a similar capacity in the NFL.

If a player doesn't dominate in college, then how can a team expect them to thrive in the NFL?

Think of it this way: Patriots wide receiver Aaron Dobson accounted for just 19.7% of Marshall's receiving yards in his final season in college. If Dobson wasn't able to absolutely demolish Conference USA opponents (and his teammate Tommy Schuler accounted for 26.0% of the Marshall passing offense, so it was certainly possible to produce at a greater level), then why should the Patriots have expected Dobson to take another jump in the NFL?

So with that in mind, we can look at college wide receiver prospects that were the focal points of their passing offenses. I have additionally factored in touchdowns to the receiver shares, using Football Perspective Chase Stuart's touchdown adjustment.

I have picked out draft-eligible wide receivers with a minimum of 800 receiving yards, which captures most top tier receivers. I have added in the three other top 20 draft prospects per CBS Draft Rankings, just for the sake of comparison. Those three are Ohio State receivers Michael Thomas and Braxton Miller, and California's Kenny Lawler.

Two of these three come at the bottom of the receiver share rankings. Scroll down for the main takeaways.

Heights and weights are included. Heights are four digit numbers courtesy of NFL Draft Scout, where the first digit is feet, the next two are inches, and the final digit is eights of an inch.

Rk Player School Ht Wt Rec Yd TD ARS
1 Paul McRoberts Southeast Missouri 6016 202 76 940 9 52.3%
2 Leonte Carroo Rutgers 5117 217 39 809 10 45.9%
3 Tajae Sharpe Massachusetts 6020 189 111 1319 5 41.2%
4 Pharoh Cooper South Carolina 5105 208 66 973 8 40.0%
5 William Fuller Notre Dame 5116 184 62 1258 14 39.8%
6 Corey Coleman Baylor 5095 190 74 1363 20 38.8%
7 Tyler Boyd Pittsburgh 6015 200 91 926 6 38.1%
8 Hunter Sharp Utah State 5113 199 71 839 9 38.0%
9 Daniel Braverman Western Michigan 5095 178 108 1367 13 37.5%
10 Rashard Higgins Colorado State 6015 188 74 1061 8 37.2%
11 Aaron Burbridge Michigan State 6001 210 85 1258 7 36.8%
12 Jordan Williams Ball State 6024 226 72 920 8 36.5%
13 Josh Doctson Texas Christian 6017 195 78 1326 14 36.4%
14 Keyarris Garrett Tulsa 6033 221 96 1588 8 36.2%
15 Malcolm Mitchell Georgia 5113 194 58 865 5 35.9%
16 Demarcus Ayers Houston 5095 190 97 1221 6 34.3%
17 Michael Thomas Ohio State 6025 210 56 781 9 33.8%
18 Nelson Spruce Colorado 6006 205 89 1053 4 33.6%
19 Jamal Robinson Louisiana-Lafayette 6025 205 54 824 5 33.4%
20 Mike Thomas Southern Mississippi 6025 210 71 1391 14 32.9%
21 Alex Erickson Wisconsin 6003 197 77 978 3 32.0%
22 Teddy Ruben Troy 5065 161 63 879 9 32.0%
23 Sterling Shepard Oklahoma 5103 193 86 1288 11 31.7%
24 Robby Anderson Temple 6025 180 70 939 7 31.4%
25 Jenson Stoshak Florida Atlantic 6003 195 56 816 2 30.7%
26 Roger Lewis Bowling Green State 6005 199 85 1544 16 30.7%
27 Devin Lucien Arizona State 6002 192 66 1074 8 29.3%
28 Geronimo Allison Illinois 6031 197 65 882 3 29.1%
29 Jordan Payton UCLA 6010 216 78 1105 5 28.6%
30 Ron Willoughby Buffalo 6032 200 62 813 6 28.1%
31 Ed'Marques Batties Middle Tennessee State 5116 197 82 1048 13 28.0%
32 Laquon Treadwell Mississippi 6021 210 82 1153 11 27.2%
33 Thomas Duarte UCLA 6021 225 53 872 10 25.4%
34 Jakeem Grant Texas Tech 5061 170 90 1268 10 25.2%
35 Bralon Addison Oregon 5095 190 63 804 10 25.0%
36 Cayleb Jones Arizona 6025 215 56 907 5 24.9%
37 De'Runnya Wilson Mississippi State 6041 215 59 905 10 23.1%
38 Jesse Kroll Central Michigan 6025 212 61 866 4 21.8%
39 Chris Moore Cincinnati 6006 203 40 870 7 21.5%
40 Dom Williams Washington State 6021 200 75 1040 11 21.4%
41 Shaq Washington Cincinnati 5081 178 90 982 6 21.0%
42 Casey Martin Southern Mississippi 5095 175 80 925 7 19.7%
43 Bryce Treggs California 5110 185 45 956 7 19.0%
44 David Glidden Oklahoma State 5065 185 57 866 3 17.5%
45 Kenny Lawler California 6021 195 52 658 13 17.1%
46 Jared Dangerfield Western Kentucky 6014 214 82 844 8 16.8%
47 Braxton Miller Ohio State 6013 204 25 340 3 14.1%

Southeast Missouri's Paul McRoberts Tips the Scale

McRoberts accounted for over 50% of his team's passing offense. That's incredible. He accounted for 49.5% of the passing yards and 9 of the team's 12 passing touchdowns.

Who is McRoberts? He's a hair under 6'2, and he's a solid 202 lbs. He's actually a basketball player as well, having walked on the team.

There's a great core that should be around in day 2 of the draft

Assuming that Mississippi WR Laquon Treadwell is the only first round lock, and even if one or two other players go at the end of the first round, there will be a ton of options in the second or third round.

Rutgers' Leonte Carroo, South Carolina's Pharoh Cooper, Notre Dame's Will Fuller, Baylor's Corey Coleman, Pittsburgh's Tyler Boyd, Colorado State's Rashard Higgins, Texas Christian's Josh Doctson, and Ohio State's Michael Thomas have all been greater than a third of their college offenses and should be considered top 60 picks.

Massachusett's Tajae Sharpe, Western Michigan's Daniel Braverman, Michigan State's Aaron Burbridge, Tulsa's Keyarris Garrett, Georgia's Malcolm Mitchell, and Houston's Demarcus Ayers would be third, or maybe even fourth, round picks that could develop into impact players.

There are also some late round sleepers

Willing to take a gamble, or rather not use an early pick on a potential bust? Utah State's Hunter Sharp, Ball State's Jordan Williams, Colorado's Nelson Spruce, or Louisiana-Lafayette's Jamal Robinson could be your guy.

These players were above that 33.3% line that I've created in my mind. I think that line makes sense, too, and it's rare for a team to play with more than three top targets when it comes to distribution. The 2014 Patriots had Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, and Brandon LaFell, and then a running back and a rotational position, either Danny Amendola or an extra blocker.

Some highly touted prospects don't fare well

Mississippi's Treadwell actually ranks 32nd in this metric as he only accounted for 26.5% of his team's receiving yards. Oklahoma's Sterling Shepard offered a lot of production in a vacuum, but the total offense was fantastic, so his receiving share isn't as impressive as his counterparts.

No one hurts more than Ohio State's Braxton Miller, who owns the bottom-ranked 14.1% receiver share. Whoever selects him will be banking on his potential, rather than his proven production.

Who should the Patriots target, and when?

Probably out of reach: Baylor's Corey Coleman, Ohio State's Michael Thomas, Texas Christian's Josh Doctson

Early 2nd: Notre Dame's Will Fuller, Pittsburgh's Will Boyd

Late 2nd: Rutgers' Leonte Carroo, South Carolina's Pharoh Cooper, Colorado State's Rashard Higgins

3rd: Southeast Missouri's Paul McRoberts, Michigan State's Aaron Burbridge, Tulsa's Keyarris Garrett

4th: Massachusett's Tajae Sharpe, Western Michigan's Daniel Braverman, Georgia's Malcolm Mitchell, Houston's Demarcus Ayers

5th: Utah State's Hunter Sharp, Ball State's Jordan Williams, Colorado's Nelson Spruce