Last week, Pro Football Focus broke down metrics that matter in terms of on-the-field production at the NFL level and the name that mattered most of them coming out of the 2017 NFL Draft was that of new Denver Broncos wide receiver Carlos Henderson.
The big metrics were forced missed tackles and yards after the catch. For forced missed tackles, names like Odell Beckham Jr, Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and Jordy Nelson led the way at that stat, while yard after the catch was equally star-studded at the top of the NFL over the last decade.
That makes these stats worth more than your average run-of-the-mill receptions, yards and touchdown stats the average fan looks for when a guy is drafted.
Coming out of college, the Louisiana Tech standout wide receiver wasn’t just better than most, he was better than most by double. Henderson forced missed tackles on a whooping 59% of his receptions. The next closest collegiate player came in at 26%. Beckham Jr. led the NFL last season with 29% forced missed tackles. Just to add even more perspective on how incredible that number is.
Among all 35 charted wide receivers with at least 75 catches last season, Henderson led the league in forced missed tackles per reception (0.59). He didn’t just lead the league, he victory-lapped all other players, more than doubling the next-closest wide receiver. This was the highest rate among all wide receivers with at least 25 targets since we began charting college games in 2014.
The only player last season to best Henderson’s 9.57 yards after the catch per reception mark was Dede Westbrook. In fact, from 2014-2016, Henderson is in a league all by himself when combining the yards after the catch metric with forced missed tackles.
What makes Henderson’s ranking here so remarkable is that he actually ranked quite highly in average depth of target. Of the aforementioned 35 wide receivers with at least 75 receptions, Henderson ranked second-highest in average depth of target (15.26.)
Of course, Henderson also ranked highly in a number of more traditional metrics. He led the league in touchdowns last season (19, tied with Corey Davis) and ranked sixth in receiving yards (1,530). He ranked seventh-best among all 149 wide receivers with at least 75 targets last season in yards per route run (3.55), 11th-best in yards per target (11.17), and 28th-best in drop rate (4.65.) He never fumbled in his college career.
And when Henderson isn’t breaking tackles, he is running around and in between defenders for huge gains.
Carlos Henderson is a really great fit as WR3 in Denver. YAC city: pic.twitter.com/7pTR6fmsLa— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) June 1, 2017
Be ready Broncos Country, you are going to love what Carlos Henderson brings to the table!
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