Tight Ends – Yards per Catchable Target

New Orleans Saints tight end Adam Trautman (82) goes through drill3 during NFL football practice in New Orleans, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, Pool)

By Jacob Bourgeois; Twitter: @JacobBourgieFFB

In a follow-up to last week’s article on what I think is a new metric: “Yards per Catchable Target” (YpCT), I wanted to run through the numbers for Tight Ends. As I stated last week, a lot of this depends on the great work that is done by playerprofiler.com – who have stats on catchable targets and average depth of target for each player in 2020.

Regarding Tight Ends, on average the numbers tend to be a little bit better than typical WR numbers. This is for two reasons I think. First, they’re bigger bodies and harder to bring down, and second their average Depth of Target (aDOT) is closer to the line of scrimmage and thereby designed for more Yards after the Catch than are longer passes.

The two numbers examined for each player in 2020 is YpCT and depth adjusted YpCT (daYpCT) which is just YpCT / aDOT.

The below is filtered by depth adjusted YpCT and as you can see the same correlation between YpCT and daYpct exists along the aDOT line, with a few notable exceptions. The exceptions to me are the winners of this metric who with a lesser average depth achieve greater overall yardage per catchable target OR who with a deeper average target still maintain a high daYpCT thereby exceeding expectation for those longer range passes. The losers are the inverse.

Results: Winners

First and foremost, although only on 16 catchable targets, Adam Trautman took an average depth of 4 yards to a tune of 10.7 YpCT which laps the field. I’ve said it for a while now. GO GRAB HIM with Cook running out of town and NOS not adding receivers this offseason. If Winston is going to be supported Trautman will have to help.

George Kittle like Deebo Samuel on the WR side converts everything in range to gold, this is one part Kyle Shanahan and one part Kittle.

Mo Alie-Cox is the best Tight End in IND.

Travis Kelce and Darren Waller maintain nice efficiency on a ton of volume.

If you’re buying 2020 success: favor Tonyan and Schultz over Logan Thomas.

If you’re buying transfer students: grab Gerald Everett.

Results: Losers

Ian Thomas shows up as worst on this list converting a low average depth into nothing more. The bad news for Carolina is that Dan Arnold is right next to him, but did the same much further down field.

OJ Howard 2020 pre-injury was not very efficient, but nothing in TB was early on.

Mike Gesicki looks to be more usage than talent – look for an overall regression in 2021.

Chris Herndon IV is not a thing.

Zach Ertz and Evan Engram both seem a little washed.

Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant were no Njoku.

My favorite sleeper tight end Anthony Firkser doesn’t give me much confidence on his efficiency showing.