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Charting the Tide, Bonus |
Amari Cooper Is Awesome

Quantifying just how excellent the Biletnikoff winner was in 2014

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Bill C. over at Football Study Hall released his 2014 Receiver Stats, and there's a name you may recognize at the top of the chart. We already knew Amari Cooper was the most-targeted player in the country last season, and we already knew that was because he was effectively uncoverable. We didn’t really have good quantification of how excellent he was[1], but crunching those numbers is kinda what Bill’s known for around these parts.

1 | I’m lazy.

At any rate, I thought I might alert you to the existence of this data and add a few takeaways to those Bill made. Note that his chart is restricted to players with at least 80 targets, which is about 6-7 per game over 12 to 13 games — I applied the same cutoff below. For those of you who are the hands-on type, Bill’s kindly linked to the entire spreadsheet for number crunching purposes.

  • Cooper was 12th overall in catch rate. Really the only other guys in his weight class in this regard are Nelson Agholor of USC (77.6% rate over 134 targets), Rashard Higgins of Colorado State (73.3% rate over 131 targets), and Tyler Lockett of Kansas State (71.1% rate over 149 targets).
  • Cooper was 18th overall in yards per target, again with Lockett, Higgins, and Agholor in the same class. Also Pittsburgh’s Tyler Boyd, who averaged 10.3 yards per target over 122 targets.
  • Boyd was the only player to get a higher percentage of his team’s targets than Cooper, at 41.5%.
  • Cooper was 47th in yards per catch, but among players with 100 catches he was third, behind Lockett and Washington State’s Vince Mayle.
  • Cooper caught passes more frequently on passing downs (75% catch rate vs. 70.1% on standard downs) but produced slightly less yardage (9.7 yards per target vs. 10.1 on standard downs). Not terribly surprising, but worth mentioning.
  • In terms of RYPR, which seeks to measure overall receiver value, more or less, Cooper ranked #1 in the country.
  • Amari Cooper was the finest wide receiver in the history of ever[2].

2 | Ok I might have made this one up. Although there’s still time…

Bill reached the same conclusion at the end, but basically everyone knew the ball was going to Cooper when they played Alabama, and there was nothing they could do about it. Alabama’s first Biletnikoff Award winner richly deserved that accolade, and there’s at least one Crimson Tide fan who is looking forward to watching him smoke fools in the NFL for the next decade.