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Red Raider Gridiron | Catch Rates and Target Percentages

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I've been promising this post for quite some time, and am finally delivering. Way back in January, Bill Connelly of Football Study Hall published the catch rates and target percentages for just about every player and it's an awesome bit of information. Because I'm totally a fan of stealing a colleague's work (not really) I wanted to focus on Texas Tech players. Like lot of you, I had a lot of preconceived notions about the current catch rate for the players. I thought that I had a pretty good idea in my mind of who did a good job of hauling those passes in and who didn't.

Let's just say that I'm glad that I've taken a look at the numbers. First things first, if you scroll down to the Google Spreadsheet in Connelly's post, I think what we have is the catch rate average of 64% for the country (I think). That's for passing teams and running teams, but in my mind, I think a catch rate of 70% is what a receiver should be for a passing team as I think 64% is too low of a bar.

Here's the data from this past year:

Player Targets Catches Yards Catch Rate Yds Per Target Target % Yds Per Catch Target No.
Eric Ward 113 84 800 74.30% 7.1 20.00% 9.5 1
Darrin Moore 70 47 571 67.10% 8.2 12.40% 12.1 2
Alex Torres 68 51 616 75.00% 9.1 12.00% 12.1 3
Bradley Marquez 34 25 240 73.50% 7.1 6.00% 9.6 6
Cornelius Douglas 32 29 329 90.60% 10.3 5.70% 11.3 7
DeAndre Washington 29 19 109 65.50% 3.8 5.10% 5.7 8
Marcus Kennard 21 12 182 57.10% 8.7 3.70% 15.2 11
Austin Zouzalik 21 13 121 61.90% 5.8 3.70% 9.3 10
Eric Stephens 19 15 128 78.90% 6.7 3.40% 8.5 12
Jace Amaro 12 7 57 58.30% 4.8 2.10% 8.1 14
Kenny Williams 8 6 52 75.00% 6.5 1.40% 8.7 15
Aaron Fisher 7 5 62 71.40% 8.9 1.20% 12.4 16
Ben McRoy 3 2 11 66.70% 3.7 0.50% 5.5 17
Shawn Corker 2 2 15 100.00% 7.5 0.40% 7.5 18

Thoughts are after the jump:

Texas Tech has 7 players with a catch rate of over 70%. That's not enough. If you include the players who graduated (James, Franks, Swindall and Crawford) they all, but Swindall had catch rates over 70%. That's a bit better, i.e. 11 players with a catch rate of 70% or higher.

There were two surprising things to me, the first is that the most consistent player that literally missed only 3 passes all of last year is now playing cornerback. For whatever reason, and maybe it is because Douglas got so much better as he worked on his game from his freshman through his junior year, I thought that Douglas would have a horrid catch rate, but that wasn't true at all.

I absolutely love the fact that Marquez, a converted running back, has a high catch rate as do two of the three running backs, Eric Stephens and Williams. Washington had more opportunities than Williams, but I would have thought that Williams might be a bit lower in terms of catch rate. The other thing is the fact that Stephens' catch rate was relatively high perhaps indicates his overall importance to this team's performance is that he was so versatile.

The other surprise, on the opposite end of the spectrum, was that Zouzalik only had a 62% catch rate, which isn't good at all and if Moore wants to be considered an elite receiver, those numbers have to be higher.

Kennard had a fantastic spring game and I mentioned it then, which was that Kennard can be a match-up nightmare because of his height, but the fact that he missed on so many passes made him less effective. To Kennard's credit, I think he caught just about everything thrown his way in the spring game and if that part of his game has improved, you could see a significant improvement.

If you want some historical numbers, Connelly has put together the catch rates and target percentages from 2005 through 2011. A "did you know", Crabtree had a catch rate of 73% his first year, 2007, and a catch rate of 66% in 2008. Crabtree's 2007 year was much better than his 2008 year and it would seem logical that a big reason for that decrease in production in 2008 wasn't necessarily defenses, but just Crabtree not catching the ball at the rate he did in 2007.

Wanted to go ahead and include the data for the players that graduated:

Player Targets Catches Yards Catch Rate Yds Per Target Target % Yds Per Catch Target No.
Adam James 45 32 359 71.10% 8 8.00% 11.2 4
Jacoby Franks 37 29 223 78.40% 6 6.50% 7.7 5
Tramain Swindall 25 16 172 64.00% 6.9 4.40% 10.8 9
Aaron Crawford 17 12 79 70.60% 4.6 3.00% 6.6 13