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Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Targeting the WRs

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas

Steve Smith is the league leader in being targeted by quarterbacks. Problem is, it’s the wrong Steve Smith.

The one who is tied for the league lead with 77 targets plays for the New York Giants. The one with the Carolina Panthers has been somewhat forgotten. Carolina’s Smith, who has been the victim of inconsistency just about everywhere else on offense, hasn’t been targeted nearly as much as he usually is. But he still ranks among the league leaders. Carolina’s Smith has been targeted 62 times.

That ranks him second among NFC South receivers. Atlanta’s Roddy White has been targeted 64 times. Here’s a look at the league leaders in targets:

NFL Leaders in Targets
Player Targets Rec. Yds. Avg. TD.
Steve Smith (NYG) 77 53 662 12.5 4
Andre Johnson 77 44 697 15.8 4
Reggie Wayne 77 51 689 13.5 6
Larry Fitzgerald 72 47 509 10.8 5
Randy Moss 67 43 565 13.1 4
Nate Burleson 65 38 487 12.8 3
Roddy White 64 37 543 14.7 6
Chad Ochocinco 63 39 573 14.7 5
Steve Smith (CAR) 62 30 414 13.8 1
Wes Welker 61 46 484 10.5 4

Now, I’m going to share a chart that doesn’t list any NFC South players, but I think it still is significant. This is the list of league leaders in dropped passes. Several thoughts here:

Kudos to New Orleans’ Devery Henderson, who has put his early-career drops way behind him. Next, it should be noted that drops are not an official NFL stat. These are determined by ESPN Stats & Information, after the breakdown of tape. Looks like -- like a lot of people -- they haven’t been watching Tampa Bay’s games because I could swear Michael Clayton and Antonio Bryant have combined for about 47 drops.

Drops Among NFL Receivers
Player Targets Rec. Yds. Avg. TD Drops
Terrell Owens 50 23 281 12.2 1 9
Dwayne Bowe 43 23 301 13.1 4 7
Mario Manningham 52 28 439 15.7 4 6
Santonio Holmes 55 30 497 16.6 1 6
Derrick Mason 52 30 421 14.0 4 5
Bryant Johnson 46 18 241 13.4 1 5
Louis Murphy 47 16 232 14.5 1 5
Ted Ginn 40 18 211 11.7 1 5
Bobby Wade 37 20 226 11.3 2 5
Chris Chambers 31 9 122 13.6 1 5