While the New York Jets biggest free agent acquisition was quarterback Aaron Rodgers, arguably their second biggest was wide receiver Allen Lazard, who was slotted in as their WR2. That is a rather big role in the modern NFL, so how has Allen Lazard been?
We can start with his counting stats. For wide receivers that’s typically catches, yards, and touchdowns. He doesn’t really excel in any of these categories:
- Catches: 20 (78th in NFL)
- Touchdowns: 1 (62nd in NFL)
- Yards: 290 (70th in NFL)
Needless to say, none of this is too great (and it's even worse when considering that he has 41 targets), but the Jets passing offense has been rather bad so maybe PFF grades will better account for that.
However, PFF grades him at a 55.4... which is still not great. In fact, that’s ranked 142nd among NFL wideouts.
Okay, but why is that? Well, because he appears to stink at just about every part of playing wide receiver.
Separation? Yea, he doesn’t do that as shown by being found on the far left side of this Twitter plot.
Updating our chart on WR separation and post throw grade (Catchpoint+YAC) pic.twitter.com/yJDy49FwCc— Jrfortgang (@throwthedamball) November 16, 2023
But, hey, separation isn’t the only thing that a wide receiver is asked to do, so I checked out Player Profiler for more information about Lazard.
Per their data, not only does Lazard not separate, but he doesn’t exactly catch the balls that are thrown his way either, with a completion rate south of 50% when targeted. And we could say that maybe that’s due to poor QB play, but his adjusted completion percentage isn’t that much better with a 71.4% success rate that rates as the 99th best in the league.
But separation and catching passes isn’t everything. Maybe he’s made good on his 6’5 frame, and makes the most of contested targets? As it turns out, that isn’t the case either with a contested catch success rate of 35.3 that rates as the 67th best in the league.
Putting all that together, it shouldn’t be a surprise that he isn’t very effective, with a yards per route run of .94 that rates 86th in the league. A far cry from what the Jets were hoping when they signed him.
Long story short, by basically any metric I can find he’s been among the worst receivers in the league. Needless to say, Lazard needs to play better to justify his contract as the Jets, would be well within their rights to be having buyer’s remorse based on what they’ve seen from him to date. I can tell you that I certainly do as a fan.