Interesting Receiving Stats

October 10th, 2023

Surprising stat.

It seems just based on raw numbers, the Bucs could do a better job catching passes from Baker Mayfield.

Joe was goofing around with NextGen Stats last night and came across interesting data. The Bucs used to be known for receivers with great hands but at least through four games in 2023, that hasn’t been the case.

Chris Godwin has the highest catch percentage of the top two Bucs receivers hauling in 70 percent of his targets (below his career average). That ranks No. 43 for all receivers and tight ends. Mike Evans (No. 78) has a catch percentage of 64.5 percent, the second-highest rate of his career.

What Joe found interesting was a guy who has been dealing with the case of dropsies is catching most of the passes coming his way. And that’s tight end Cade Otton.

How good has Otton been? He’s caught 80 percent of his targets. That’s No. 12 for all receivers and tight ends.

That surprised Joe. Otton has had a rough couple of drops and his struggles catching in training camp, Joe had thought, continued into the regular season.

Apparently, that is not the case.

(Make of this what you will, but the top three players in catch rate are all tight ends, Gerald Everett of the Chargers, Dalton Kincaid of the Bills and David Njoku of the Browns.)

24 Responses to “Interesting Receiving Stats”

  1. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    I’ll take Mike and Chris over anybody on that list.

  2. Leighroy Says:

    Cade has definitely dropped at least a couple critical catches. He’s showing sparks but needs to catch fire soon.

    I think the real takeaway here is that this stat – catch percentage of targets does not prove causality when it comes to “good hands.” Throws behind receivers, over their heads and at their feet all count as targets even if they miss by 5 yards. This nextgen stat needs a little more nuance imo.

  3. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I don’t really get a lot from that stat if it’s just completion % on all targets to that WR or TE.

    For example any broken play where he threw the ball away and a WR or TE had to be in the area – was technically a target for them they didn’t catch. Or any bad ball in general which isn’t on them.

    I am seeing only 2 dropped passes even recorded for the Bucs in total this year. THat’s pretty amazing and only the Dolphins are better at 1. Pretty sure both are Mike Evans.

    Godwin has dropped like a couple passes his whole life lol

  4. PSL Bob Says:

    I think Evans has uncharacteristically dropped quite a few balls this season, many of which he typically catches. Not sure what’s going on there. Unsurprisingly, he’s made some phenomenal catches that few other receivers could make.

  5. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Has Cade dropped a ball since switching back to playing without gloves?

    Evans I suspect is playing while thinking about the contract which is why he’s dropped more than usual this season.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Perhaps some of Otton’s drops have been more noticeable.

    Love to see the stats on RBs…..White rarely drops a pass.

  7. Netwalker Says:

    Those are BS stats. Just because a receiver was targeted doesn’t mean the ball was particularly catchable. A better stat would be for contested balls caught. Still better is percent of balls dropped.

  8. gotbbucs Says:

    Otton is catching uncontested two yard passes. He drops the seam routes for 1st downs that we really need him to catch.

  9. 1#bucsfan Says:

    He’s developing nicely. Is he a super star no but if he keeps progressing then we will be more than fine

  10. KC Buc Says:

    I think I remember Cade dropping a screen pass that would have been a monster gain in one of the games. His drops tend to be really easy ones which burn fans’ eyes more than most.

    Lord you right though, that stat is very muddy. Although if we only have 2 drops recorded that also feels muddy and objective. I feel like Mike alone had 2 drops in the Eagles game and I know we have more than that.

  11. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    I’m of the opinion that Mayfield’s ball placement is not great. He sometimes make an easy catch difficult (remember the Vikings game to Godwin) or a hard catch nearly impossible. Even the great catch by Thompkins could have been a little easier with better placement. Now, comparing him to Brady is not fair since Tom’s ball placement was other-worldly. But I think that is a valid criticism of Mayfield this year who otherwise has made excellent decisions on where to go with the ball.

    My philosophy has always been that sometimes the receiver has to rescue the quarterback, and sometimes the QB has to make the perfect throw. It’s the latter that I’m worried about Mayfield being able to do. That’s my only complaint so far this season.

  12. Dwayne Cone Says:

    All about the New Math. No one looks for the Common Denomiator anymore.

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    Four factors that I think are significant would be (1) Average Depth of Target (ADOT); (2) Yards Before Catch per Reception (YBC/R); (3) Yards After Catch per Reception (YAC/R); and (4) Drops Percentage.

    This season (according to Pro-Football-Reference), White has a MINUS 2.5 yds ADOT, a MINUS 2.5 YBC/R, a 9.1 YAC/R and a 0.0 Drop %.

    Otton has a 4.5 yds ADOT, a 4.3 YBC/R, a 3.2 YAC/R and a 6.7 Drop %.

    Godwin has a 8.7 yds ADOT, a 7.1 YBC/R, a 5.0 YAC/R and a 0.0 Drop %.

    Evans has a 13.5 yds ADOT, a 11.7 YBC/R, a 5.2 YAC/R and a 9.7 Drop %.

    Four VERY different receivers, and they each play very different roles in this offense (ADOT provides a pretty good clue?). Baker seems to be doing a very good job of distributing the ball, and I’m sure that he’s loving having 4 receivers who seem to excel at different depths on the field.

    Trey Palmer BTW also fills a unique role in this offense, even though he hasn’t been used nearly as much as the others. He’s had 6 catches (out of 9 targets), but for 4 first downs. His ADOT is currently 9.2 yds & he hasn’t dropped any either. Looks to me like Canales is doing a very good job of keeping the defense spread out with these receivers and giving Mayfield LOTS of options.

  14. orlbucfan Says:

    Otton has good hands and Kieft is the better blocker regarding our TEs. It’s only been 4 games with both a new OC, QB and players! One of Godwin’s newer nicknames is Godzilla. It fits him. He makes monster, ungodly catches. The offense is slowly getting used to all the new personnel. You people really need to learn patience.

  15. Buddha Says:

    The touchdown Baker to Palmer was a thing of beauty.

  16. Sly Pirate Says:

    As long as it’s not a prime time game, Evans will catch the ball. Mr. Future HOF just cannot do it on the big stage. Good news is we don’t get that many night games without TB12.

  17. ScottyMack Says:

    Yep, totally meaningless stat. Give me a stat that shows drops vs. receptions and now you have a stat that means something.

  18. I remember 21 Says:

    Seems like most are of the mindset that Otten catches the little BS passes and not the ones (3rd down) that really count. I agree. I think a lot of Bucs fans are conditioned to expect poor TE play based on the years of Luke Stocker, Sefarian Jenkins, and OJ. I’m sorry, but Otten is NOT that dude. He’s JAG through and through. Look at all the TEs changing the game around the league, he will never be that. He hasn’t had one single dominant game. I think I remember one pretty good game. As I’ve said before, he doesn’t excel in any one area and isn’t even average in all areas. Ko is a nice in theory, but is he really the best use of a roster spot? Really? Sure he’s better at blocking than Cade, but if we’re being honest, it’s not like he’s some all world blocker. It was one thing when Arians was here (didn’t use TEs much), but going forward we need to improve the position to keep pace with the league.

    What JBM said is spot on – Baker is not the QB that’s gonna hit you right in the numbers pass after pass. Our catchers are gonna have to bail him out and make it work. That was one of the things that bothered me the most in the eagles game. He’s getting harassed by the best DL in the league, you’re gonna have to work for the ball. So far (fingers crossed) he’s been pretty good with decision making, but I expect our two $20 million WRs and the young hungry guys to go after those balls when they come their way.

  19. Larrd Says:

    Seems like the shorter completions are easier.

  20. unbelievable Says:

    Mike Evans (No. 78) has a catch percentage of 64.5 percent, the second-highest rate of his career.

    But Joe, all the arm chair GMs have been telling Mike is dropping more passes than ever this year and we should be done with him!

  21. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Sly pirate – can’t agree on that take, although I agree with most of yours. Saying Evans drops balls on the big stage – please let us know the number of drops in the playoffs and Super Bowl. Stages don’t get bigger than that.

  22. JimBobBuc Says:

    Defense Rules’ stats match my perceptions and show how the receivers are used.

    In the case of Otton, he’s often targeted on 3rd down just short of the line to gain – so he’s open with uncontested catches Sometimes he can run for 3 yards to make the first down, sometimes he can’t. It’s a safe, low-risk dump-off and gives some context to Baker’s completion success on 3rd down. Otton’s drops are the deeper targets over the middle where he probably hears footsteps.

    Canales use of TE’s is an area for improvement in the scheme. The TE’s aren’t targeted much, maybe because they don’t have great hands, maybe they’re not open, or maybe they’re the third pick on the progression. We would surprise an opponent if we figured out a way for the TE’s to be more productive.

  23. PbnJ Says:

    Evans has always dropped a bunch of balls. He also makes incredible plays & comes through in important situations. However, even in big situations, he is also prone to drop it. Is he clutch? Yes, much of the time. Does he choke? Yes, more often than I’d like but not so much it’s a deal breaker.

  24. garro Says:

    You got me Joe!

    I have just thought that he continued with the drops as well.

    Dang man! So that brings up the question of number of targets. I think getting the TE more invovled miight help our offense.

    Go Bucs!