David Nelson was the Jets 2nd Best WR, Hill the Worst

Just a quick presentation of end of the year numbers for all the 2013 Jet WRs, so we can see just who did what:

Player routes targets % thrown2 catches yds QB rating
Jeremy Kerley 325 63 19.3 43 523 96.2
David Nelson 298 56 18.8 36 423 76.7
Santonio Holmes 291 55 18.9 23 456 38
Stephen Hill 336 51 15.2 24 342 43.1
Clyde Gates 90 23 25.5 12 122 31.4
Greg Salas 83 12 14.5 8 143 67.7
Joshua Cribbs 6 2 33.3 2 6 79.2
Michael Campbell 20 2 10 0 0 39.6
Ben Obomanu 27 1 3.7 1 8 100
Ryan Spadola 16 1 6.3 0 0 39.6
Saalim Hakim 2 1 50 0 0 39.6

note: % thrown2 is percent of routes run that result in targets

Player yds/tar comp % yd per route drop rate % deep catch %
Jeremy Kerley 8.3 68.2 1.61 2.27 50
David Nelson 7.55 64.4 1.42 5.26 33.3
Santonio Holmes 8.29 41.8 1.57 23.33 72.7
Stephen Hill 6.7 47.1 1.02 11.11 33.3
Clyde Gates 5.3 52.2 1.36 5.21 16.7
Greg Salas 11.9 66.6 1.72 0 0
Joshua Cribbs 3 100 1 0 0
Michael Campbell 0 0 0 0
Ben Obomanu 8 100 0.3 0 0
Ryan Spadola 0 0 0 0 0
Saalim Hakim 0 0 0 0 0

There are basically two groups of receivers. 4 of them ran at or near 300 route snaps, the rest far less, with Clyde Gates being in something of a gray zone with 90. Those top 4 are at the top in the order of times targeted. A few things really jump out. Stephen Hill ran more routes than anyone, but was targeted the least (only 15.2% of the time). Only two WRs had QB ratings better than their quarterback's average (66.5), Kerley and Nelson. Holmes, Hill and Gates had morbidly low thrown-to QB ratings. If we are assessing who was the 2nd best WR on the Jets it pretty much comes down to Holmes and Nelson, both were thrown to about 18.8 % of the time. Holmes had a pretty sweet deep catch % of over 70%, but he also came close to leading the league in drop rate at nearly 1 out of 4 catchable balls. The deep tosses pushed Holmes' yards per target up to a very good 8.37 yards, but Nelson wasn't far behind. The QB rating and the drops pretty much seal it for me, Nelson was the 2nd best wide receiver on the Jets and he played out of position much of the season running route patterns he said he did not know very well, often being taught them on the fly.

One amazing thing, when we think about how the Jets' QB season and passing game evolved, with Clyde Gates was on the field - remember back then! - he was thrown to at an extraordinary rate, over 25% of the time he was running a route, a sign perhaps of how conservative and restrained the Jet passing offense was at times.

Of course the elephant in the elevator is the play of Stephen Hill. At a time where the offense was dying for some kind of athletic, stable performance the OC ended up turning to Nelson, moving him to a new position on the outside where he was uncomfortable, and really making him the glue of the offense, while Stephen Hill was left to running deep clear outs much of the time (it seemed). The fact that Hill did not do anything to help energize or even stabilize the offense and help a rookie QB out really speaks large to the limits of his abilities (or it becomes an indictment of the imagination of the OC). Bottom line: in a year where Jet fans really hoped Stephen Hill would take a step forward, he seemed to actually regress (aside from limiting the drops a bit...he still dropped 11% of catchable balls). He was the worse receiver on the Jets.

As usual, these are hand assembled stats (many of them from PFF), there may be errors.

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