Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, March 20, 36 days before the NFL draft.
A breakout year for Hankerson?
For most, fantasy football is a dead topic this time of year save for some discussion of what impact a wide receiver changing teams or a draft pick ending up in a particular offensive scheme might have.
But for others, it’s a full-time business. A lot of their time this time of year, evidently, is spent trying to figure out what players who are staying with their current teams will have breakout seasons in 2013.
A site called Rotoviz.com tried doing the crystal ball thing with wide receivers, specifically those who are entering their third seasons. They took some statistical benchmarks such as yards per target and compared them to those accomplished by other second-year receivers who broke out the following year.
The third-year receivers they compared were Austin Pettis of the Rams, Greg Little of the Browns, Greg Salas of the Eagles, Jon Baldwin of the Chiefs, Torrey Smith of the Ravens, and Leonard Hankerson of the Redskins.
They ran them through the various statistical criteria and the two left standing at the end are Smith and, drum roll please, Hankerson.
Go check the post for the specifics but thinking that Hankerson will break out in 2013 passes the eye test as well as the statistical test. His rookie year was mostly a washout with the offseason program being cancelled by the lockout and him sustaining the season-ending hip injury just after he had broken into the regular rotation at midseason. The injury cost him the offseason program last year.
Hankerson has looked like a receiver who needs some polish. He frequently seems to fight with the ball before he secures the reception. And while he has a reputation for having bad hands, the folks at Pro Football Focus said that Hankerson had four drops while being targeted 59 times. By comparison, Santana Moss had six drops in 64 targets.
He told me after his rookie year that when he started out he didn’t have an appreciation for the amount of work it took to make it in the NFL. If he truly has it and will work on polishing his game, he could well be the team’s top wide receiver.
RG3 on the mark
One more quick one from Pro Football Focus while we have it open. In just his rookie season, Robert Griffin III was extraordinarily accurate with his passes.
PFF calculates an adjusted completion percentage that takes into account drops, batted passes, and passes that were off the mark because the quarterback was hit as he threw the ball.
So RG3’s official NFL completion percentage was 65.6 percent, good enough for fifth in the NFL. But when adjusted for drops (Griffin suffered from a 8.9 percent drop rate, the worst in the NFL), etc., his completion percentage was 79.6 percent. Only Aaron Rodgers had a better mark, 80.2 percent.
Not that you needed to be told that RG3 was pretty darn good but to be able to put the ball on target like that as a rookie is remarkable.
In case you missed it
- Is Ronde Barber a fit?
- A five-man battle brewing at right tackle
- If not Rex, who?
- Redskins meet with agent for Davis, Grossman
Days until: NFL draft 36; Minicamp 82; Training camp 127
Tandler on Twitter
@sportsyack And they went 10-6 and won the NFCE with Madieu Williams starting at free safety. Guess they should leave that alone, too?— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) March 19, 2013