With the recent trade demands by Denver Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall this week, many of the Tampa Bay Buccaneer faithful have
expressed a desire for general manager Mark Dominik to offer the Broncos a first and third round pick in next years draft for what some consider to be an up echelon receiver in the NFL. But I must beg to differ here, when looking at Marshall stats one must look at the big picture of not only his worth on the field but also what he brings to a community and a looker room.
What we already know about Marshall is he has a wealth of talent on the field, but somewhat of a head case off the field.
Marshall has put up some gaudy stats over the last two seasons, but you need to look at the bigger picture to truly be able to evaluate such stats. Many fans will argue that Brandon Marshall is an elite receiver and worth the asking price. But I will argue that we already have a player of the same caliber that just needs the same chances Marshall has gotten over the last few seasons to have the same impact on the old stats sheet.
Lets look at the stats for Marshall, he has been the intended target on 389 passes, catching 226 for 2,899 yards and 15 scores with a catch percentage of 58% with 21 career drops, a career average of 12.83 yards per reception & has averaged a touchdown once every 15 catches.
Michael Clayton was an intended target on 342 passes, catching 205 for 2,706 yards and 9 touchdowns with a catch percentage 60% with 13 career drops, a career average of 13.2 yards per reception & has averaged a touchdown once every 22.7 receptions.
When you factor in the big picture such as intended targets Clayton is the more reliable receiver. When you look at the numbers once Marshall signs a contract who is worth exactly what type of money to a team. Also factor in who Clayton has had as part of the band aid brigade throwing him the football and who Marshall has had throwing him the football.
Taking it a step further, by using the catch percentage of Clayton and Marshall’s intended target number and crunching the numbers you come to the conclusion that if Clayton had been given the same amount of chances in the passing game Clayton would have 234 catches for 3,089 yards and 11 touchdowns. he would also have a total of 16 drops. Which would best Marshall in every category except for touchdowns.
When you do the reverse math, and use Clayton’s intended target numbers Marshall stats would be 198 catches, 2,540 yards and 13 touchdowns. He would also have 18 drops. As stated above the only category that Marshall would best Clayton in would be touchdowns.
The reason we are using intended target is that it doesn’t factor in years in the league and injuries, just raw data for everyone to be able to see, which could be used on previous era’s if such data was available.
While some are down on Clayton, any player in the NFL can get stats if they are routinely feed the football on a consistent basis. Of course this ins’t a perfect world and we all know that there are many factors to determine whether or not a player is worth a grain of salt, but when comparing players I prefer to look at the bigger picture that gives a base line in which to do the comparing.