With wide receivers, there’s a tendency to fall in love with players who are selected in the top 10 or who seem to be the consensus best rookie available. I’m as guilty as the next guy. I remember being high on Tavon Austin and Justin Blackmon. I was high on Corey Coleman (who might still be very good but had a so-so rookie year).
But expectations are different than performance. If you instead look at how players perform, the success rate goes way down with the seemingly can’t-miss receivers.
In this century, 10 wide receivers have gone over 1,000 yards in their first year. Only two of those wide receivers were the first player chosen at their position the year they came out.
Four of the 10 weren’t even first-round picks.
Right now, the buzz is Mike Williams, Corey Davis and John Ross at the wide receiver position. But it’s probably just as likely that some other wide receiver will finish with the best rookie numbers this year.
Here are those 10 receivers. If a player was a first-round pick, he’s got a black dot in front of his name (•). If he was also the first wide receiver chosen, he’s got two black dots (••).
|ROOKIES: 1,000-YARD RECEIVERS|
|2014||NYG||• Odell Beckham Jr.||91||1,305||14.3||12|
|2004||T.B.||• Michael Clayton||80||1,193||14.9||7|
|2015||Oak.||•• Amari Cooper||72||1,070||14.9||6|
|2011||Cin.||•• A.J. Green||65||1,057||16.3||7|
|2014||T.B.||• Mike Evans||68||1,051||15.5||12|
|2014||Car.||• Kelvin Benjamin||73||1,008||13.8||9|