Today, I wanted to look more in depth at some numbers concerning the wide receivers that Miami drafted (Patrick Turner and Brian Hartline) and those that signed as UDFAs (Brennan Marion and Chris Williams).
First up, I'd like to talk about a stat developed by the guys at Football Outsiders called Super Score.
Essentially, what their research showed was that for college wide receivers, the stat most predictive of NFL success (in this case defined as 500 yards or more per season) was TDs per game, followed by yards per catch, total TDs scored, total yards and receptions.
But an even stronger statistic for measuring success is created by multiplying TDs per game by YPC. The resulting metric is known as the Super Score.
Here's a look at the Super Scores for some of this year's WRs, with Miami's four players in bold:
|Name, Team||TD/G||YPC||Super Score|
|Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech||1.58||13.5||21.3|
|Brennan Marion, Tulsa||0.73||28.7||21.0|
|Jarett Dillard, Rice||1.22||14.2||17.4|
|Chris Williams, New Mexico State||0.76||14.5||11.0|
|Greg Carr, Florida State||0.60||17.4||10.5|
|Jeremy Maclin, Missouri||0.79||12.7||10.0|
|Hakeem Nicks, North Carolina||0.58||15.7||9.2|
|Kenny Britt, Rutgers||0.50||17.1||8.5|
|Brian Robiskie, Ohio State||0.48||14.7||7.1|
|Jaison Williams, Oregon||0.42||14.6||6.1|
|Mike Thomas, Arizona||0.46||12.5||5.7|
|Percy Harvin, Florida||0.36||14.5||5.2|
|Brian Hartline, Ohio State||0.31||15.9||4.9|
|Patrick Turner, USC||0.35||12.7||4.4|
First off, while I am quite excited by the two UDFAs scores, I wouldn't go overboard about them, given that the original study only included WRs drafted in the first and second round. Nevertheless, the Super Score is still applicable to all receivers regardless of draft position, and while a Crabtree-esque Speed Score for Brennan Marion doesn't guarantee similar success in the NFL, it likely means that Marion has a tremendous shot to outperform his undrafted status. The same can be said for Chris Williams.
The more important players to look at, however, are the two players that left many Dolphins fans, including myself, scratching our heads when their names popped up on the screen during the Draft. I was thorougly unimpressed (disappointed even) with the selection of both Patrick Turner and Brian Hartline. I thought there were multiple other receivers on the board who were more attractive choices. Their poor Super Scores back that up and don't bode well for future NFL success.
But rather than rely solely on the Super Score, let's bring another metric to the table to analyze these players. That metric is the receiver's Body Mass Index and height relationship. I've talked about this relationship several times before, so rather than explain it all again, I'll just point you here. To sum everything up, elite receivers fall into certain body types, and it is essential for a receiver to have one of these four body types in order to be elite. Having the right body build is a prerequisite for elite performance but it does not guarantee it.
With that in mind, let's see if any of the new WRs have elite body builds:
The most blatant thing to stick out from those numbers is just how far removed from the grid Chris Williams is. He is so short and light that he's not even on the map when it comes to NFL bodies. He may have a nice Super Score, but his size is going to be a huge hurdle to overcome.
Another interesting point is that everyone who praises the pick of Turner says that his size is what will make him successful. But he doesn't have an elite body build. So many people just look at a receiver, take note of his height, and say "Wow, he's tall. He will now be our goal line receiver." As if every guy over 6'4 has a job lined up as a WR in the NFL. It doesn't work that way. Not only does Turner have a lousy Super Score, but he lacks an ideal body build as well.
Hartline, on the other hand, falls squarely inside the "Slight" body build type. Granted, half of the players who have an elite body aren't successful (and Hartline's Super Score doesn't help), but it's a step in the right direction.
It's just a shame that none of these four receivers has the ideal match of a good Super Score and an elite body type.