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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

10 Catches/WR Improvement?

It's hard to directly project the WR squad right now, but it's certainly clearer.

All of this is, of course, pending the draft, and on paper.

Jason Avant and Jerricho Cotchery appear to be the guys who would start.  Avant, whose living appears to be best made in the slot, would give way to Tiquan Underwood at the flanker logically - so Cotchery is the split end.   Now, all of that's simplified, since Carolina runs so many fronts and shifts.  This isn't the Dan Henning version of Coryell that had Steve Smith lineup on the line, to the left, every down.  But, again, to simplify, that's what I'd see.

To fill depth, Kealoha Pilares has played the split, and I'd guess Travares King would be there too.  Marvin McNutt, the flanker.  I don't know if much of that will matter.

Now, as to those 10 catches Ron Rivera wants to replace:

First off, I believe that with drops and mistakes between Cam Newton and the WRs that would be outside an acceptable range, really the team is anticipating getting back 12 receptions from a greater efficiency standpoint.   It's not coincidental that the team has picked up three sure-handed guys, two of which are very good route runners.  There were times, of course, where the design of the offense was better than the production it received in the passing game.

But, those ten catches.   It's hard to expect exactly what future production will be, but here's the past.
Avant, as a complementary receiver, had about 3.5 a game.  Cotchery, last year, 3. Underwood, 1.25. 6.75 receptions a game.  Now, you can predict about 20% more from a standpoint of greater opportunity, and that gets you closer to 10.

As for draftees?   It's hard to say.

In some form, you could argue that the minimum player would fight for a 4th WR spot.  That spot last year played about 10%, played a major role in two games with Domenik Hixon.  The year before, Armanti Edwards caught a handful of balls and played about 10% as well.  Both players had one impactful play.  That said, there was fairly good attendance from the first three players both of those years.

That type role, you don't draft very highly for, yet.

The high end of the range, of course, is a starter.  There's no doubt that the remaining players are more of a support role, and a complete player could really tie it together.

So what does it mean from a draft standpoint?  Very little, really.  But, for now, the requirement of two draft picks, or even one, isn't there anymore.
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