Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) runs onto the field during player introductions prior to the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
This past month at PFF, we’ve gone through the NFL prototypes at specific positions in today’s NFL and up today is wide receiver. After talking most recently about the prototypical defensive backs and those along the defensive line, today switches focus to those tasked with beating our prototype defensive backs on offense.
We’ve chosen five broad strokes categories within the position to assign prototypes including: shifty slot, big slot, deep threat, possession receiver and route runner.
Baldwin was the most recent receiver in the NFL to gain more than 1,000 yards in a single season from the slot – a feat he accomplished back in 2015. Since then he’s been in the top five each season in terms of receiving yards from the slot position. He runs a full route tree from inside, but he’s particularly deadly on underneath routes. This is why, despite not fitting the red-zone prototype, he’s accumulated 29 touchdowns over the past three seasons.
Two names to keep an eye on at the position going forward are second-year players Cooper Kupp and JuJu Smith-Schuster. The latter led the entire league averaging 2.15 yards per route from the slot while Kupp wasn’t too far behind at 2.04. Kupp actually would have led the league if not for his five drops from the position.
53.5 percent of his routes a season ago came lined up in the slot and he averaged 2.32 yards per route on those. Only one other tight end – Travis Kelce – averaged over 2.00 yards per route from the slot all season. You’d have to go back to…