I came across a tweet today asking what how many yards would people project for rookie Tyquan Thornton.
Tyquan Thornton will have ___ Receiving Yards next season‼️ pic.twitter.com/iRRLb9gzR1— PGS NEST (@NestPgs) July 20, 2022
Most fan comments were tempered, saying that because he's a rookie and low on the depth chart, they would not expect him to produce much. The consensus seems to be at around 400 yards, which is reasonable considering all the exciting young receivers coming into the league lately and putting up 1000 yard seasons as rookies. 400 can't be too much to expect... can it?
I decided to go back and take a look at the Pats' offense over the last 8 years to see if I can find a trend in receiving yards based on the respective position on the depth chart:
What I found provided a lot of great nuggets and insights:
- 2 of 3 Superbowl years didn't have a 1000 yard receiver
- No Gronk = almost no TE production (16' Marty the exception)
- TE1 AND TE2 combined over the last THREE years was only 1,439. Gronk once had a 1,327 season.
- TE2 has been a non-factor over the last decade. Pats' "2 TE" reputation is a dud. Can that turn around?
- James White may be one of the best receiving backs in NFL history, and heavily skews RB1 results
- Mac Jones somehow turned Brandon Bolden into an average RB1
- Mac's rookie season is not quite Brady levels, but night and day compared to the previous 2 years
- 2020 was a bottomless pit of pain
And finally, the chart answers my original question: What was the average yardage along the depth chart? The result:
- WR1 = 927
- WR2 = 683
- WR3 = 404
- WR4 = 232
- WR5 = 102