You know we’re in the midst of the summer doldrums of no football when the topic is about Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White. The WR has been nothing short of fantastic, going over 1,100 yards receiving three years in a row and making the Pro Bowl the last two years. Simply put, he’s one of the best wide receivers in the league, a consummate teammate and leader, and one of the core members of the Falcons franchise. Lucky for fans, White is locked up pretty much for his career since he inked his 6 year, $48 million dollar extension last August (some sites have him signing for $50 million). The question to ponder today is not if White is an excellent player, but rather if he is a top 5 wide receiver in the entire NFL and if he isn’t than what areas can he improve on. Remember that White only made the Pro Bowl this year because Sidney Rice elected not to participate and he became the alternate (even though there were major arguments that he should have made it outright). The Falcons wide receiver is being paid as a top five receiver (making only less than Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Smith), but is he worth it? Time for debate……..
1) Andre Johnson – 101 rec – 1,569 yds – 9 TDs
2) Wes Welker – 123 rec – 1,348 yds – 4 TDs
3) Miles Austin – 81 rec – 1,320 yds – 11 TDs
4) Sidney Rice – 83 rec – 1,312 yds – 8 TDs
5) Randy Moss – 83 rec – 1,264 yds – 13 TDs
6) Reggie Wayne – 100 rec – 1,264 yds – 10 TDs
7) Santonio Holmes – 79 rec – 1,248 yds – 5 TDs
8.) Steve Smith – 107 rec – 1,220 yds – 7 TDs
9) Vincent Jackson – 68 rec – 1,167 yds – 9 TDs
10) Hines Ward – 95 rec – 1,167 yds – 6 TDs
11) DeSean Jackson – 62 rec – 1,156 yds – 9 TDs
12) Roddy White – 85 rec – 1,153 yds – 11 TDs
15) Larry Fitzgerald – 97 rec – 1,092 yds – 13 TDs
Snaps – 989
Overall Comprehensive Ranking – 31st (+1.5 Rating)
Receiving Rank – 16th (9.7 Rating)
Blocking Rank – 45th (-1.0 Rating)
Penalty Rank – 76th out of 78 WR’s (-7.0)
Reception Percentage – 56th (55.9%)
Yards After Catch – 12th (399)
YAC per Reception – 29th (4.7 yds)
Dropped Passes – 49th (6 Drops)
Broken Tackles – 40th (5)
Much of the discussion on where to rank Roddy White hinges on what you define as a great receiver. Is it the receiver who makes the most yards? If so, than Roddy White did was just outside the top 10 this year, but ranked 4th overall in the NFL just last year. Is a great receiver defined by touchdowns? If so, Roddy White was one of the absolute best this year tied for 3rd in all of the NFL with 11 TDs. For most, it’s probably somewhere in between and this doesn’t even factor in what kind of offense the team runs, the level of play of the quarterback, and tons of other variables that exist.
Roddy White is absolutely one of the best wide receivers in the entire NFL, but currently he’s a top 10 receiver and hasn’t cracked the top 5 at least yet anyway. White is quickly moving up the charts and three straight seasons of over 1,100 yards shows he’s one of the best, but not the very best. Is White on the level of Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson, and Larry Fitzgerald? Numbers so far say no, particularly with White’s fairly poor blocking skills and the opportunities he has, being the 3rd most targeted wide receiver, and only coming away with just above 50 in terms of reception percentage (number of times WR is thrown at compared with number of receptions – 55.9%). Compare that with Steve Smith’s catch percentage, 70.9, and the fact that he had much more issues with his quarterback and its not so easy to it was all Matt Ryan’s fault. Some will also say that the Falcons receiver is hurt in that stats department because they’re a run-first team. For all intensive purposes, so are the Minnesota Vikings and Sidney Rice well above White in almost every category. White’s right on the cusp of being in the top 5, but he needs to work on his blocking, catching, and penalties.
Stats, stats, stats. Roddy White is one of the best receivers in the game, period. Yes, he may be right outside the top 5 in several rankings, but the Falcons aren’t the Colts or Saints because they are a run first team. White has gone over 1,100 yards for three straight seasons earning two Pro Bowl selections. After being tied for 3rd among all receivers in terms of TDs and having more receiving yards than Larry Fitzgerald, White shouldn’t have even had to wait on being an alternate. The Pro Bowl selections always favor the “hot” teams and that appropriately followed with the selections of Miles Austin and Sidney Rice. This is the same Pro Bowl committee who selected Jason Witten over Tony Gonzalez for goodness sake. Throw in the fact that #84 was double-covered all year, had no other aerial weapon than Gonzalez, and Matt Ryan had a sophomore slump by all standards, and it’s pretty unbelievable that he did as well as he did. White ranked 3rd in TDs of the entire NFL and 4th in yards receiving in the entire NFL just last year. Almost every receiver above White in terms of yards runs a much more wide open offense (Cowboys, Colts, Texans, Patriots, etc.) and don’t rely on the running game near as much as the Falcons do. White has succeeded despite the train wreck of 2007 with Harrington and Leftwich and endured the step back from second year QB Ryan. Roddy White is by far and away a top five receiver and has proved it over a 3 year period.
-What’s your thoughts on Roddy White?
-Simply put, is #84 a top five receiver?
-Give your list of the top 5 receivers in the entire NFL?
-What does the Falcons WR need to improve?
-Are lower stats due to the offense, no other threats, or something else?
-Does Roddy’s low catch percentage an area for concern?