Plant Your Flag, Wide Receiver

The Footballguys staff makes a bold call at wide receiver

We asked our staff to make a call on a wide receiver. Who will surprise - either good or bad?

Jeff Haseley

There are two guys I could go with here. Jerry Jeudy, who is a personal favorite of mine. I think he comes in from the start and is a big centerpiece of the Broncos offense. I am also high on Terry McLaurin. I love his intelligence of the game, his attitude of wanting to always excel, the talent he brings to the role, and his position as Washington's top receiver. However, the one that I can foresee taking a leap forward into a top-10 ranking is Calvin Ridley.

Why Ridley?

Below is the Falcons target distribution between Weeks 8 and Week 14 - after Mohamed Sanu was traded to New England and before Calvin Ridley's abdominal injury. The results show Ridley out-performing Julio Jones. This trend could continue into 2020 and beyond.

Weeks 8-14, 2019 season

Seven weeks is a pretty decent range to look at for comparison. Jones is starting to show wear and tear on his body, frequently missing a down, possession, a half, or even a full game to heal a nagging injury that has kept him down. His needle is pointing down while Ridley is entering the prime of his career. His needle is definitely pointing up. 2020 may be the year Ridley overtakes Jones as the Falcons top-producing receiver and I'll be here for all of it.

Ryan Hester

Terry McLaurin sees over 30% of Washington's targets. He turns in a relatively inefficient season because of who they're coming from but still finishes as a WR1 in all formats. Look no further than Allen Robinson's 2019 for a comparison to what McLaurin can do. Robinson saw 153 targets (mostly from Mitchell Trubisky) and caught 98 passes for 1,147 yards and 7 touchdowns. His 254.9 PPR points made him the overall WR8 last year. Robinson's target market share was 27%.

As a team, Washington attempted 477 passes last year. 30% of that number would yield 143 targets for McLaurin -- within the range of Robinson's 2019 number. If Washington's volume increases to over 500 attempts, McLaurin's floor and ceiling go with it.

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