NFC South: catch percentage

Best hands in the NFC South?

January, 2, 2013
Although Tampa Bay’s Vincent Jackson went deep into the season before dropping his first pass, Atlanta’s Harry Douglas had the NFC South’s best hands in 2012. At least if you go by the numbers.

Douglas finished with a division-high 97.4 catch percentage (receptions divided by receptions plus drops), according to ESPN Stats & Information. Douglas made 38 catches and had only one drop. Douglas was targeted 56 times.

Jackson and Atlanta’s Roddy White were targeted far more often than Douglas and they finished just behind him in catch percentage. White, who was targeted 138 time, finished with a 96.8 catch percentage and Jackson (141 targets) finished at 96 percent.

Here’s a look at the catch percentage for the division’s other receivers:

Brandon LaFell, Panthers, 95.7

Mike Williams, Buccaneers, 94.0

Lance Moore, Saints, 92.9

Steve Smith, Panthers, 92.4

Julio Jones, Falcons, 90.8

Marques Colston, Saints, 90.2

Best hands in the NFC South?

January, 12, 2012
We have a tie when it comes to the best hands in the NFC South.

New Orleans’ Marques Colston and Tampa Bay’s Preston Parker each had a 97.6 catch percentage during the regular season, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the catch percentages for wide receivers around the division:

Best hands in the NFC South?

December, 14, 2011
We have a new leader in NFC South catch percentage for wide receivers and the name probably will surprise you.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, it’s Tampa Bay’s Preston Parker, who is ninth in the NFL with a 97.2 catch percentage (receptions divided by receptions plus drops). Parker has 35 catches with only one drop. Hey, there’s a stat that actually is positive for the struggling Buccaneers.

Carolina’s Brandon LaFell (31 receptions with one drop) is tied for No. 11 at 96.9 percent. New Orleans’ Marques Colston (58 receptions with two drops) is No. 13 at 96.7 percent. New Orleans’ Devery Henderson is tied for No. 17 at 96.3 percent (26 catches with one drop).

Parker, LaFell, Colston and Henderson are the only NFC South receivers in the top 20 in this category.

Here’s a look at where other NFC South receivers stand:

Best, worst hands in the NFC South

December, 9, 2010
I was just taking a look through the list of drops by receivers that ESPN Stats & Information updates each week. The NFC South started off the season pretty well in this category, but that’s starting to change a bit. We’ve got some NFC South receivers climbing up a not-so-positive list.

Although he’s having a stellar rookie season by just about every measure, there’s one area where Tampa Bay’s Mike Williams can improve. You can pretty much bet Williams will be spending a lot of time catching passes from the Jugs machine and quarterbacks in the offseason.

Williams is tied with Reggie Wayne for second place in the league with eight drops. Steve Johnson leads with nine. For the sake of comparison, Johnson has been targeted 103 times and has 61 catches. Williams has been targeted 97 times and has 51 receptions. Wayne has been targeted 143 times and has caught 90 passes.

A couple of very big names in the NFC South also are pretty high on the list. Carolina receiver Steve Smith and Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez each have six drops. Carolina rookie Brandon LaFell and New Orleans veteran Marques Colston each have five.

We won’t run through the list of individual guys with less than five drops because it’s too lengthy. However, let’s take a look at drops by team in the division. Carolina leads with 26 and that ranks fifth in the league.

The Saints have 22 drops, tied for 11th in the NFL. The Buccaneers have 20, tied for 14th.

Atlanta receivers have shown the best hands in the division. They’ve dropped 16 passes. Only five teams around the league have fewer drops. And let’s give quarterback Matt Ryan a little credit here, because his accuracy is probably a reason why his receivers aren’t dropping a lot of passes.

Now, let’s flip over to the anti-drop side and look at some positives. There are only four receivers in the league who have been targeted at least 25 times that don’t have a drop, and none are from the NFC South.

But New Orleans’ Lance Moore and Atlanta’s Roddy White are right behind the guys that have been perfect. Moore has only one drop and a 98.0 catch percentage. White has two drops and a 97.8 catch percentage. They’re the only two receivers from the division in the top 10 in catch percentage. Atlanta’s Michael Jenkins (96.3) is next at No. 18 in the league.

Roddy White remains perfect

October, 27, 2010
One statistic we’ve been tracking in recent weeks is the catch percentage for Atlanta wide receiver Roddy White. It remains perfect this week, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

White has been targeted a league-high 79 times through seven games. He has made 54 catches without a single drop. There are 12 other receivers without a drop, who have caught at least 10 passes. But only White and Eddie Royal (34 receptions) have 100 percent catch ratings and more than 30 catches.

New Orleans’ Lance Moore also is at 100 percent. He has 22 catches without a drop. Other NFC South receivers above 90 percent are New Orleans’ Marques Colston (97.6), New Orleans’ Robert Meachem (94.1), Tampa Bay’s Mike Williams (93.3) and Carolina’s David Gettis is right at 90 percent.

Atlanta's Roddy White remains perfect

October, 20, 2010
One of the statistics we’ve been tracking each week is the catch percentage for Atlanta receiver Roddy White because he’s been perfect this season. Well, he’s still perfect.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, White has been targeted a league-high 67 times. He has 43 receptions without a drop. Among all receivers with at least 10 catches, New Orleans’ Lance Moore is the only other NFC South receiver with a 100 percent catch percentage. Moore has 17 catches without a drop.

Some other NFC South receivers with high catch percentages: New Orleans’ Marques Colston (96.8 percent), New Orleans’ Robert Meachem (93.3 percent), Tampa Bay’s Mike Williams (92 percent) and Carolina’s David Gettis (90.9 percent).

Atlanta's Roddy White stays perfect

October, 13, 2010
Atlanta’s Roddy White continues to be a perfect wide receiver.

UPDATED: According to ESPN Stats & Information, White is one of 19 receivers in the league with a perfect catch percentage (this includes only receivers who have at least 10 catches). White hasn’t dropped a pass while coming up with 37 catches. He also ranks third in the league after being targeted 56 times.

New Orleans’ Lance Moore also has 100 percent catch percentage on his 15 receptions. Teammate Marques Colston is No. 22 at 96.2 percent. Some other NFC South receivers of interest: Tampa Bay’s Mike Williams (90.5 percent), Carolina’s Steve Smith (86.7 percent) and New Orleans’ Devery Henderson (85 percent).

More praise for Roddy White

October, 6, 2010
We’ve been singing the praises of Atlanta wide receiver Roddy White a lot lately. We’re going to do it again now.

I declared White to be the NFC South’s best wide receiver last week and we’ve mentioned several times the huge play he made in chasing down Nate Clements after an interception and forcing a fumble in Sunday’s victory against San Francisco. In fact, if I had to pick an NFC South most valuable player after four game, it would be White.

Here’s another accolade for White. When it comes to catch percentage, White is one of 15 receivers in the league that’s been targeted at least 20 times who has not dropped a pass. White’s been targeted a league-high 49 times and has 32 receptions, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

New Orleans’ Marques Colston is the only other NFC South receiver who has met the target criteria to hold a 100 percent catch percentage.

On the flip side, New Orleans’ Devery Henderson is tied for fifth in the league with three dropped passes.

Roddy White: Best hands in NFC South

September, 30, 2010
Which wide receiver has the best hands in the NFC South? So far this season, it’s been Atlanta’s Roddy White, hands down.

Of all the receivers (and we’re not including running backs or tight ends) who have been targeted a minimum of 20 times, White is the only receiver in the NFC South that’s been perfect. According to ESPN Stats & Information, White is one of 13 receivers in the league that meet the minimum target requirement to not drop a pass yet. White has been targeted a league-high 40 times and has 25 receptions.

Tampa Bay’s Mike Williams and Carolina’s Steve Smith are the only other division receivers who have met the minimum of targets to appear among the 35 receivers with the best catch percentage. Williams has a 92.3 catch percentage (12 catches, one drop) to rank No. 20. Smith has 11 catches with two drops while recording an 84.6 catch percentage, which ranks No. 31. Williams has been targeted 21 times, while Smith has been targeted 20 times.

Smith, Bryant on 'worst hands' list

January, 6, 2010
ESPN Stats & Information sent out a chart with the title “Worst Hands." It included a couple of NFC South wide receivers with big names.

Carolina’s Steve Smith and Tampa Bay’s Antonio Bryant each made a list of receivers with the lowest catch percentages (compared to number of targets). Smith has never been a guy to drop many passes and that wasn’t a real problem this year. I think his numbers largely are a reflection of quarterback Jake Delhomme's struggles. You can argue that inconsistency at quarterback also played a role in Bryant's spot on this list, but he also dropped way too many catchable passes.

Best hands in NFL? Numbers say Meachem

December, 30, 2009
Who’s got the best hands in the NFC South? Heck, let’s go ahead and make the question for the whole NFL.

The answer probably will shock you. At least by one mathematical compilation, the answer is New Orleans’ Robert Meachem. It’s a pretty simple formula, really. Just take the number of targets and the number of receptions and come up with the catch percentage.

Meachem is at 80 percent (54 targets and 43 receptions). That puts him slightly ahead of Jacksonville’s Mike Thomas (79 percent) and New England’s Wes Welker (78 percent). Meachem is the only NFC South receiver in the top 10, provided by ESPN Stats & Information.

One other impressive stat about Meachem is that he leads the league in yards per target, including only receivers that have been targeted at least 50 times. Meachem is averaging 13.14 yards per target, almost two full yards ahead of Hakeem Nicks, who ranks second. New Orleans’ Marques Colston also ranks 10th on the list, averaging 10.29 yards per target.

Going back to catch percentage and flipping it over to guys who have shown bad hands, Tampa Bay’s Antonio Bryant has been targeted 77 times, but has only 37 receptions. That’s a 48-percent catch rate, which ties him for No. 8 on the list of worst catch percentage. In case you’re interested, Oakland’s Louis Murphy has the league’s worst catch percentage at 33 percent.

Meachem tops in NFC South in reliability

December, 23, 2009
Which NFC South wide receiver has the best hands? The answer probably will surprise you.

According to ESPN’s Stats & Information, the answer is New Orleans’ Robert Meachem. When it comes to overall catch percentage, Meachem ranks second in the league and is the only NFC South wide receiver in the top 10.

On the flip side, Tampa Bay’s Antonio Bryant and Michael Clayton rank among the league’s least-reliable wide receivers.

Check out Meachem's best stat

December, 9, 2009
New Orleans wide receiver Robert Meachem has been getting a lot of attention recently because he’s having a breakout season. But let me throw out a statistic that really jumped out me about how good Meachem has been.

This comes from ESPN’s Stats & Information. Out of 109 receivers charted by our stats people, Meachem ranks No. 6 in the league with a 76.3 catch percentage. What that means is Meachem has been targeted 38 times and has 29 catches. He also doesn’t have a drop this season.

That’s by far the best catch percentage in the NFC South. Here’s a list of the NFC South receivers on that list: