NFL Receivers: Who's No. 1?
WR Wes Welker (Tom Shaw/Getty Images)
WR Wes Welker (Tom Shaw/Getty Images)
Scout.com Senior NFL Analyst
Posted Dec 19, 2009


Scout.com's Ed Thompson digs into the numbers from STATS to see which wide receivers and tight ends are leading the league in a wide variety of categories--and who's nipping at their heels with three games remaining.

Most Targeted

Andre Johnson, Houston Texans (145)
He's been targeted at least ten times in eight of the Texans' 13 contests. 

Next: New England's Wes Welker (136)

Catches

Wes Welker, New England Patriots (105)
With just eight more catches, he'll top his career-best 112 from 2007.

Next: Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne entered the week 18 catches behind Welker. He closed the gap to 13 after five catches on Thursday night. 


DeSean Jackson has become a big-play threat in his second NFL season.
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Average Yards Per Catch

DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles (18.9)
He's already topped his impressive 2008 rookie season of 912 yards by 35 yards with three games left.

Next:  Robert Meachem New Orleans Saints (18.2)

Catches Of 25-Plus Yards

Pierre Garcon, Indianapolis Colts (12)
The second-year player out of Mount Union is similar in size to Reggie Wayne and is helping the Colts offense stretch the field.

Next: Five receivers have 11 big-play catches--Miles Austin (Dallas Cowboys), Marques Colston (New Orleans Saints), Randy Moss (New England Patriots), Sidney Rice (Minnesota Vikings), and the Eagles' DeSean Jackson.

Receiving Yards

Andre Johnson, Houston Texans (1,237)
He rolled up 193 yards last week against the Seahawks.

Next:  Wes Welker, at 1,158 yards, is the only other wide receiver above the 1,100-yard mark.

Yards After The Catch

Wes Welker, New England Patriots (613)
He's one of the most dangerous players to defend after the catch, but a large part of the reason he's leading this category is that he's caught 105 balls.

Next: Denver's Brandon Marshall at 477 yards.

Average Yards After The Catch

Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (9.5)
Out of his 685 receiving yards, the rookie has rolled up 361 of them after the catch.

Next: Dallas' Miles Austin at 7.7 yards after the catch.


Tight end Vernon Davis has been making some noise in San Francisco.
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Touchdowns

Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers (11)
The tight end has more touchdowns this year than he scored over the span of his first three seasons in the NFL (9).

Next: Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys and Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals have each scored ten times.

First Downs

Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts (65)
He added four more to that total on Thursday night.

Next: Larry Fitzgerald and Wes Welker have 60 as they enter Sunday's action.

Percent of Catches That Move The Chains

Vincent Jackson, San Diego Chargers (86.2%)
In every game this year except one, Jackson has earned a first down with at least 75% of his receptions.

Next: A pair of New York Jets receivers, Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards, are the only other pass-catchers over 80% and are tied at 83.3%.  

Most Targeted In The Red Zone

Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles (22)
He's caught 10 of those throws for an average of 8.6 yards per catch and six scores.

Next: Denver's Brandon Marshall (21)

Red Zone Receptions

Brandon Marshall, Denver Broncos (13)
Marshall's has pulled in 61.9% of his red zone opportunities.

Next: Houston's Andre Johnson and the New York Giants' Steve Smith have each grabbed 12 passes in the red zone.


Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe is making his red zone catches count.
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Red Zone Touchdowns

Visanthe Shiancoe, Minnesota Vikings (9)
He's only had 12 chances and has scored on nine of them. Nice.

Next: Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald (7). Indianapolis tight end Dallas Clark caught his 7th on Thursday night.

Third-Down Catches

Steve Smith, New York Giants (34)
Smith has grabbed 70.8% of the passes thrown to him on third down, including three for scores.

Next: Davone Bess, Miami Dolphins (30)

Third-And-Long Catches

Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons
The tight end has caught 13 passes of eight yards or more on third down.

Next: The Giants' Steve Smith (12)

Fourth-Quarter Catches

Atlanta's Tony Gonzalez and Kellen Winslow of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (27)
Gonzalez has caught 71.1% of his fourth-quarter opportunities while Winslow has snagged 67.5 percent.

Next: New England's Wes Welker (25)

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You can follow Ed Thompson on Twitter. A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com.

Statistics referenced in this article are provided by STATS, LLC. Copyright 2009 by STATS, LLC. Any use or distribution of such Licensed Materials without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.



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