Stats & Info: Jeremy Maclin

Key injuries as training camps open

July, 29, 2013

Getty ImagesJeremy Maclin (left) and Dennis Pitta (right) each suffered season-ending injuries on Saturday.

Three notable players went down over the weekend with season-ending injuries.

On Saturday, the Baltimore Ravens lost starting tight end Dennis Pitta after he suffered a dislocated hip in practice. The Philadelphia Eagles lost their top wide receiver from last season, Jeremy Maclin, with a torn ACL in his right knee.

And on Sunday, the Denver Broncos lost starting center Dan Koppen to a torn ACL in his left knee.

How will each injury impact each team?


Pitta was a vital part of the Ravens' third-down success last season. On third down with Pitta on the field, the Ravens averaged more than twice as many yards per play as they did with him off the field. Baltimore was also sacked less often, and all seven of their third-down passing touchdowns came with Pitta on the field.

When Pitta was on the field, he was Joe Flacco’s go-to guy in the red zone. Over the last two seasons (including the playoffs), Pitta had a team-high 10 red zone touchdowns. Second on that list were Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin, who’s no longer on the team, with seven.

Pitta, if nothing else, has been extremely dependable when the ball comes his way. He's dropped just three passes over the last two seasons. Among tight ends who have been targeted at least 100 times since 2011, the only tight end with fewer drops is Anthony Fasano with one.


Regardless of who the Eagles end up starting at quarterback, the loss of Maclin is huge as he led the team in targets, receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns last season. In fact, Maclin leads the Eagles in all of those categories over his four seasons with the team.

In 2009, Michael Vick signed with Philadelphia as a free agent shortly after they drafted Maclin. In that time, Vick has thrown more touchdowns (17) and completed more passes (138) to Maclin than any other Eagles receiver.


The Broncos offensive line took a major hit in losing Koppen. Peyton Manning was sacked eight times in the Broncos first three games last season, all played without Koppen taking a snap. Koppen played 95 percent of the team's snaps the final 13 games of the season, with Manning getting sacked 13 total times in those games.

The Broncos allowed one sack for every 35.8 dropbacks with Koppen on the field last season, compared to one sack for every 18.1 dropbacks with him off the field. Although the Broncos were much better with Koppen on the line, they managed to remain above the league average of 16.7 dropbacks per sack in his absence.

Combine speed doesn't equal NFL success

April, 24, 2012

AP Photo/Michael ConroyDarrius Heyward-Bey ran the fastest 40-yard dash time (4.3) in the 2009 NFL Draft Combine, earning him the 7th overall pick by the Oakland Raiders. He has yet to record a 1,000-yard season.
Stats & Information gets you ready for the NFL Draft later this week by taking a look at draft strategies over the years. Today, what we make of Scouting Combine stars.

With the Combine seemingly becoming more of an emphasis each season, what is the correlation between the results from the week in Indianapolis to draft position and success in the league?

Darrius Heyward-Bey played at the University of Maryland for three seasons and never had more than 800 receiving yards or five touchdowns in any given season. Nevertheless, based on the strength of his 40-yard dash (4.3) in the 2009 NFL combine, the fastest of his year, the Oakland Raiders drafted him seventh overall.

In all of his 2009 mock drafts, ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. predicted Heyward-Bey to be drafted 25th, below Michael Crabtree (eighth) and Jeremy Maclin (10th). Fellow analyst Todd McShay’s mock drafts were all similar to Kiper’s with Heyward-Bey being drafted around 20th. Both McShay and Kiper cited his speed and 40-yard dash time as primary reasons for teams to draft Heyward-Bey.

However, Heyward-Bey’s high draft position has not translated to success in the NFL. Since entering the league in 2009, Heyward-Bey has 99 career catches, six touchdowns and has yet to record a 1,000 yard season. In comparison, over the same timeframe, Maclin has 189 career catches and 19 touchdowns.

Heyward-Bey is just one example of the increased emphasis on combine results versus college careers since the combine began in 1982. The combine includes physical and psychological tests for the prospects along with interviews with team scouts, executives and coaches.

The 40-yard dash is an essential component of the combine for wide receivers as it can predict their speed in the open field. Similarly to running backs, speed in the 40-yard dash has led to a high draft position.

Since 2005, the average draft position of a wide receiver has been pick 128 (round four/five). The average draft position of the top-10 fastest wide receivers in the combine since 2005 has been 57th, over 70 positions higher than the average.

Unfortunately, their success in the combine and the draft has not translated in the league. Of the top eight fastest wide receivers from 2005-2011, only two are starters in the NFL (Jacoby Ford and Heyward-Bey) and six are not starters or are no longer in the league. They also have no Pro Bowl appearances. Of the six non-starters, they have a combined 184 receptions and 17 touchdowns.