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Cooley underated as far as tight ends are concerned

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Old 06-15-2007, 06:24 PM   #1
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Cooley underated as far as tight ends are concerned

Shockey failing to make deep impact
By KC Joyner
ESPN Insider
(Archive)


Updated: June 13, 2007, 5:47 PM ET

This is the first of a series of articles covering the most overrated and underrated players in the NFL. The criteria I used was contrasting the player's 2006 metrics with his perceived performance level.
This week's list features overrated and underrated tight ends.

Overrated tight ends

Jeremy Shockey
Shockey was voted to the Pro Bowl last year, but the metrics indicate he didn't deserve the selection. Shockey ranked 23rd in yards per attempt among qualifying tight ends last year (5.6). He ranked last in medium pass YPA and 18th in short pass YPA.
Shockey is perceived to be an excellent downfield threat when lining up as a wide receiver, but that is also a mirage. He had a 4.7 YPA on passes thrown to him when he was flexed out, a total that placed him next to last in that category.
In a nutshell, Shockey's YPA figures place him more in the company of Randal Williams and Alex Smith, not Jason Witten and Alge Crumpler (the other two NFC Pro Bowl tight ends in 2006).

Randy McMichael
This is the second consecutive year I've identified McMichael as being overrated. His move to St. Louis has revealed that some people still believe he is one of the elite tight ends in the NFL. The metrics say otherwise.
McMichael's overall YPA (6.9) was adequate, ranking him 13th among tight ends last year. Unfortunately, he is a one-trick pony. Of the 92 passes thrown to him last season, 71 were short passes (1-10 yards). The reason McMichael wasn't thrown more vertical passes is his YPA on the 21 combined medium/deep/bomb passes last year was a meager 7.0 yards.
McMichael also had the lowest YPA and success percentage for a tight end when flexed out. He should do a fine job in St. Louis as a check-down target, but he is certainly no longer one of the best tight ends in the NFL.

Underrated tight ends

Chris Cooley
Cooley is already considered by many to be one of the top 10 tight ends in the NFL, but the metrics indicate he deserves even more praise.
Cooley posted the fourth-best overall YPA among tight ends. He had the sixth-best medium pass YPA and the best short pass YPA. His YPA when flexed out (10.8) was easily the highest in the NFL. That he was able to put up these numbers, despite the struggles of the Redskins' quarterbacks last year, speaks volumes about his ability.


Desmond Clark
Last year, Rex Grossman claimed Clark was his go-to receiver, and the metrics show why. He ranked third in YPA, finishing ahead of players such as Cooley and Jason Witten. Clark's numbers were not skewed by a smaller number of attempts:

Tight End ComparisonPlayerTeamAttYdsYPAClark Chicago 87 729 8.4 Cooley Washington 90 747 8.3 Witten Dallas 94 764 8.1 In addition to his impressive overall numbers, Clark also ranked fourth in both medium and deep pass YPA. If he puts up similar numbers in 2007, he should receive a lot of votes for the Pro Bowl.

June 12 Glossary
YPA (Yards Per Attempt): A quick barometer of a quarterback/wide receiver/tight end's efficiency.
Depth level: A measurement of how far downfield a receiver was on a pass attempt. It is measured from the point at which the receiver touched the ball. Short passes are 1-10 yards downfield, medium 11-19, deep 20-29 and bombs are 30 or more yards downfield.
Success Percentage: The percentage of plays a player does something successful with the ball. Successful plays include completions (for offensive players), incompletions (for defensive players) and penalty plays that go in the player's favor. Complete Glossary
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Old 06-15-2007, 06:27 PM   #2
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Re: Cooley underated as far as tight ends are concerned

Looks like our boys finally getting the credit he deserves. Hopefully next year the NFL won't put him on the pro-bowl ballot as a fullback.
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Old 06-15-2007, 06:34 PM   #3
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Re: Cooley underated as far as tight ends are concerned

http://www.redskinswarpath.com/locke...nderrated.html
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