It still might feel bizarre to see so many notable NFL wide receivers playing in different uniforms to open the 2022 season.
Davante Adams plays for the Raiders, not the Packers. Tyreek Hill will line up for the Dolphins, not the Chiefs. A.J. Brown is with the Eagles, not the Titans. Amari Cooper plays for the Browns, not the Cowboys. Marquise Brown will catch passes for the Cardinals, not the Ravens.
This also means many quarterbacks will have to adjust to new, veteran targets. So how will some of the more high-profile wideouts fit in with their new teams?
I took a look at 18 veteran pass-catchers who’ve switched teams and examined their fits. Some under-the-radar names will show up in this study outside the major players. Names like the Bears’ Byron Pringle, the Dolphins’ Cedrick Wilson and the Jaguars’ Christian Kirk might provide more production than you imagine.
Here are the advanced metrics used to examine the wide receivers (all stats via TruMedia and Sports Info Solutions):
- EPA/TGT: Expected points added per target
- WR RTG: Passer rating for quarterbacks when targeting a specific wide receiver
- REC%: Percentage of passes caught when targeted
- CATCH%: Percentage of targets that were catchable
For the quarterbacks, I noted their QB rating as well as the percentage of their pass attempts that were catchable.
NOTE: Wide receiver stat ranks are among 105 receivers with at least 40 targets. Quarterback stat ranks are among 34 QBs with at least 100 dropbacks.
Previous QB: Aaron Rodgers | QB rating: 111.9 (first) | Catchable percentage: 85.7 (15th)
Current QB: Derek Carr | QB rating: 94.0 (15th) | Catchable percentage: 87.1 (11th)
It’s weird to think Adams has been working with a statistically more accurate quarterback in Las Vegas than the one he thrived with in Green Bay. The percentages between Carr and Rodgers aren’t off by much, though.
Adams tallied the league’s second-most catchable passes last season (137). Only the Rams’ Cooper Kupp saw more. Will that change since Carr seems to have a safety blanket in Hunter Renfrow? Renfrow had an 86.7 catchable-pass rate (111 catchable targets) in 2021, which ranked third among 105 qualified wide receivers.
You’d have to think if Carr can stick throws to Renfrow, he can also put Adams in a position to succeed.